Hidden Treasures in Black Holes

We have a couch in our family room that sits against a wall with a window. It was passed down from my aunt and uncle to my parents and finally to us. Throughout the years in our home, it has survived the addition of one dog (who liked to dull his nails against the leather surface) and two kids (who like to use it as a spring board to jump off of). Hubby and I enjoy using the reclining parts of it (one on each side) to sit back and relax on while we play Mario wii on family game nights. While this couch has been a source of great memories and comfort to us, it has also brought me feelings of great fear and trepidation. Why, you wonder? Namely because of the black hole that exists underneath and behind it.

It wasn’t until recently when I started doing yoga that I understood the extent of our couch’s power. During one of my “downward dogs“, my eyes peered into the foot of the couch and to my surprise and horror, I saw a collection of dustballs and toys hidden there. Sure, I vacuum around the couch every week, but I admit I hadn’t gone farther than that. This explained why the couch had been gradually sucking lego pieces, balls and other knick knacks into its dark abyss.

I knew I had to do something about it. I commented to hubby one day that we should move the couch and clean up the stuff under it. And just to be clear, when I said we, I really meant him, but he didn’t get the message (he’s a smart one, haha). So, I took it upon myself to make it happen.

One morning while the munchkins were at school, I cleared the floor of toys and pushed the couch, one side at a time, towards the middle of the room. I took a deep breath then and peered behind it, bracing myself for whatever I would find. What I saw grossed me out a little, but also delighted me. There was some sticky, blackish stuff that I couldn’t really identify, but besides that I found one vest and jacket of C’s that I had been looking for and several missing toys. Oh, and quite a few marbles – yes, this would be the perfect time to insert a joke about missing all my marbles, but at least I only lost eight. 🙂

Image courtesy of Maggie Smith/freedigitalphotos.net

I set about cleaning the floor, first by removing the treasured items and throwing away the garbage, then by vacuuming and mopping it. By the time I finished, the floor was clean and shiny and beautiful. I pushed the couch back against the wall, exhaled and patted myself on the back.

Our couch taught me a lesson that day. It showed me that it’s so easy to live in denial and pretend everything is good when it’s not. I could have spent many more years vacuuming around the couch, making sure the floor around it was clean and simply ignore the dirt, grime and clutter that was gathering underneath it. No one would ever have to know or see what was lurking and growing there as long as the couch stayed put (and you didn’t do yoga next to it). But I did realize what was happening and I had to make the choice to do something about it or not.

It’s just like life. Often times there’s something we know we should do, but we keep putting it off. Maybe it’s a relationship that needs mending or a degree that needs to be finished or finding a new way to handle stress. Whatever the issue is, it exists and will continue to fester until you decide to deal with it. But if you choose to tackle the area and “clean it out”, you’ll come out stronger and a whole lot happier than before. And along the way you may even find hidden treasures there like I did.

This song, “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors is a good reminder to make every day the best it can be and to not let anything hold you back.

What is something you know you should do, but you keep putting it off? 

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