Dust and Dog Hair: On Finding the Balance in Our Lives
Written by
October 2018
Written by
October 2018

It is early on Saturday morning. I have already been up once to put Lucy outside to take care of her business. Certain that six a.m. is too soon to begin the weekend,  I encourage her to go back to bed. We laze and doze for an additional hour. At seven, I walk into the kitchen and flip on the coffee maker. We visit the backyard for the second time in an hour. It seems we are both ready to begin our day.

We head back inside and I am awed by the beauty of the morning sun streaming down from my upper windows... Then it happens! The sunshine spotlights the unintended focus of the dining room table. There is a heavy layer of dust coating everything in my sight. I am jolted by the memories of long ago celebrity interviews in ladies’ magazines. The interview always included the question, “What two things are always found in your home?”

Should the unexpected interviewer randomly appear, I would be prepared with my answer. “The two things you will always find in my home are dust and dog hair.”

I have a clean and orderly home. My friends would scoff at the thought of the accumulation of dust or dog hair in my living space. They assume everything looks routinely as pristine as it does when they stop in to visit. But of course I ensure all traces of both are carefully removed prior to their arrival.

I was never one who “dusted” because dust appeared again seconds after a surface had been polished to a gleam. Aside from living in a sterile bubble, it was always present and could not be controlled. Why bother? When enough dust accumulated that it became unsightly and bothersome –and it had now reached that point– I was motivated to resolve the problem. The dust mitt came out of the closet.

Dog hair is a more recent addition to my home environment. Lucy is a short haired Lab beagle rescue. Her tiny hairs do not clump. I brush her every morning on our first walk to keep her groomed and her shedding under control. Yet, those wiry little blond hairs are everywhere! Daily vacuuming and the ever-present Swiffer are no match for an active little dog and the flying of fur!

I long ago settled for “good enough” housekeeping and opted instead for an enhanced appreciation of day to day life. Lucy has played a major role in that change of attitude. So, dust and dog hair appear to be a permanent part of my life. Life is too short and too valuable to “sweat the small stuff.” There are too many moments to share, books to read, beaches to enjoy, and words to write. I want to savor my moments, enjoy my life, and embrace this new phase of my existence.

As soon as I wipe the dust from my computer screen, I will end this post with a question to you: “What two things are always found in your home?” I look forward to receiving your responses.

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