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Diversion Therapy

May 22, 2015

It’s spring, both officially and in the air. The sun streaming through our windows brings comfort. But the shining sun also highlights the dust bunnies. All of them. And there are many.

bunny of dustWhile in a downward dog this morning, I glanced to my right. Big mistake. There, under the couch, a nightmare. Later, my hand swiped the counter and, whoa, what was that? More dust? Seriously? I cleaned it last night. I can’t even talk about the feet on my kitchen stools. It’s like dust bunnies go there to meet other dust bunnies.

As an organizer whose home has a place for everything, what I don’t have room for is dust. Yet there it is, everywhere, haunting me. No matter how many times I vacuum, Swiffer and mop, they remain, hiding in plain sight. The worse thing is that they keep me from focusing on work. I need to wipe them away before I can do anything.

In college, my roommate Stacey and I were easily distracted by our sweaters. Those lilting piles called out to us to be refolded. We ignored them, looked away, even turned our backs in our tiny Z-Room in Kennedy Hall, but at some point it became fruitless. Inevitably, we put down our pencils and Texas Instrument calculators, and refolded them, planning to get right back to our X’s and Y’s. But once the sweaters were refolded, the T-shirts now looked messy in comparison and so, well, we had no choice but to refold those as well.

Of course these chores didn’t take long, but it did take us away from our work. All these years later I find myself once again distracted. This time by dust. (Well, today anyway, I did the sweaters last week).

It’s easy to get sidetracked during the course of the day. It’s life. How then, do you keep your butt in the seat? There’s no one solution, the trick is finding what works for you. Today that solution is a big, fat bribe. If I get my blog done, plus a few other items crossed off my To Do list, then I can go for a bike ride later this afternoon and enjoy this beautiful spring day.

Until then, the dust bunnies can wait.


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  1. Haha. Love that picture.

  2. Tom Olverson permalink

    Felice, I have trained myself to ignore. My low standards for house cleanliness make this fairly easy for me. Your self-discipline is to be admired!!!

  3. Dad permalink

    I think your readers would like to hear some more about the more unusual strategies you’ve used to confront the dust. NYC is a surprisingly dirt/dust-filled space (thousands of vehciles, endless construciton, dry wall dust, budgetary restraints oon steet cleaning machinery). But it could be –and not too long ago was– worse. In 1967, while in graduate school, I lived in a $40/month tenement on the lower East Side on Ludlow Street,,and I remember cinder ash falling like snow on the roof. That year, the New Yorker ran a cartoon which had a mother telling her child who was with her an outdoor restaurant table in the city: “Eat your soup before it gets dirty.”

    Back then, especially in summer, the talk was of a New York City form of a “Los Angeles air inversion” (i.e., a moist smoke/sulfur mix heated under a magnifying glass — like Beijing is today). Today, the New York City Health Dept. which monitors air pollution reports whopping 72% decrease in NYC “airborne particulates” since 1975. So, if coal dust and ash are gone, what has taken its place under your sofa? I don’t know, but I have observed some of your interesting strategies to deal with the dust, from sealing the windows (but your mother and I couldn’t breathe) to getting a Roomba- a little Frisbee-like device with a spinning paper towel underneath it.

    I recall the “Day It Chased You Out”.

    Problem was, as ithe device steadily, relentlessly went around hard objects, looking for [soft] dust to eat or for spills -which apparently,it could sense it insisted on mistaking your shiny (reflective like water) toe nail polish for “wet spots” and so it kept trying to dry the [wet] spots by continuing like Ahab, to chase (and dry) your toes, going “bump-go-round-de-bump, like an endless square dance (maybe not quite “square”) .(“…circle round left and doe-si-doe). I have to say it’s persistence was impressive: it attacked (that’s the only word for it’s battery-driven single-mindedness and soft ferocity) finally chasing you, screaming as you ran out of the kitchen as though you had seen a small mouse. (I thought “great parlor game to build up children’s character”) I finally dispatched the Monster that Ate Manhattan by putting the plastic weevil on its carapace (back) like a turtle, its round dry pad, probably trying to compute why the lights went out. I could hear the voice from Mel Brooks’ Frankenstein shouting: “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

    Your Mom and I will stick to a /damp mop and air conditioning the house.

  4. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    So true! Here and in Florida I am always swiffering. That’s life! Hope all is well with you and your family.
    Marilyn 💞

  5. Jackie Burkey permalink

    I find the key to ignoring dust bunnies is to leave my house! Ha ha. That’s why working outside is so much better. But then there are other distractions like people and cappuccinos! But then again maybe that’s our brains way of telling us we need a break!? Xoxo

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. so true….and dust bunnies have reproductive habits unlike any other species!!!!

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