Last couple of weeks have been tough. As you must know by now, we in the process of changing our kitchen and floors in most of downstairs. Work is going well. Loads done and few bits and pieces to finish but we are almost there.
One thing that is really getting to me is the dust and the dirt. Dirt everywhere! The moment you come into the house your hands feel drier and dusty and you feel the grit under your feet. I have done nothing but cleaning floors and surfaces but I guess that it is going to take a good while before all the dirt is gone and we go back to our “normal levels of dirtiness”, I mean, our usual spotless house…. (yeah right… in my dreams!!!). I think I have been coping well with the work in general and the problems that we have encountered during the process, but the dirt is really getting to me. It really is.
Yesterday morning, I was thinking about all the things that I had to clean and I was feeling so negative about it. I had to stop. A thought came into my head. How lucky am I to be able to change my kitchen and complain about dirt in my house! I have to spend my days cleaning the house because I decided to change the kitchen. Life is tough! Poor me and all that! Ugggh! That sentence made me sick!!!
Last week, Mr B and I watched a documentary the Refugee Crisis in Europe. What those people are going through is just awful! Travelling in appalling conditions, having to walk for miles with their family in the cold, having lost all their house and all of their possessions, to be put in a refugee camp for no one knows how long. There was a mother in a refugee camp in France with 5 children. Her husband had died in Syria.They were living in tents and all their bedding was wet. Her youngest was very sick and the doctors were concerned that it was measles and giving the conditions the family was living under the child was at risk of dying but she couldn’t take the child to the hospital because she had another 4 children that she couldn’t leave on their own and she didn’t trust the French authorities. Can you imagine having to make that decision? I can only imagine how happy that family would have been to have a dirty house to stay in!
I spent the hour crying. How lucky are we? Most of the opportunities that I have got in my life have been there because of an accident of birth, because I was born in a developed country, after a civil war, of a loving family. But what if I had been born in Malawi? I could have died of starvation a long time ago. Or in Rwanda? I could have been raped and hacked as a child. It’s pure luck and it is something very important to remember.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I feel guilty for changing my kitchen. It’s not about guilt. It’s about having perspective. About remembering that despite all the dust, the dirt and the grit, I am ridiculously lucky to have what we have. I find it essential. It grounds me.There are plenty of things anyone can do to help fight inequality and injustice in the world. You could sponsor a child or a family, donate to charities, pester your local politicians to make sure that your country is doing as much as they can, host events… All this takes makes a big difference and takes a little time.
You know what doesn’t help? Complaining about dirt!