Pardon the Hanged Man

By Melanie Harris
Can't that Wheel of Fortune stop turning for just a minute?  Destiny knows good and well that I need a break after the hectic holidays, and yet she's still spinning the gears of fate, chance, and daily obligation as fast as ever.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I cherish most of the responsibilities that keep me busy, especially playing with my kids and my writing work.  Mundane chores like housework, though, fill me with the heavy dread of impending failure.

I admit that Donna Reed could mop the floor with me when it comes to cleaning.  In fact, she's welcome to.  It's rather dirty at the moment.  I'd like to say that I'm like the Nine of Pentacles, a master of domestic order and tranquillity.  In reality, however, I'm more like the Seven of Swords, prone to taking the 'cut my losses and run' tactic.

I try to keep my house clean, but my efforts don't seem to have any visible effect whatsoever.  You see, the harder I try, the more my home tends to fight back.  I'll get some things organized, and I'll be feeling good about my progress, and then crash!  The Tower in the hallway closet collapses in a deafening avalanche.  

I know it's my responsibility to keep my home looking nice, but when the living room goes from clean to messy in 2.5 seconds, all my cleaning work seems downright pointless.  Why put forth an honest effort when it goes unappreciated?  Why bother fighting when the battle was lost before I even started on the breakfast dishes?

I suppose trying is the right thing to do, however futile are my actions.  Yes, I must ride with the Knight of Swords, charging towards rightful achievements and moral accomplishments, otherwise known as laundry, dishes, and vaccuming.

I'm beginning to see my problem, and I bet I'm not alone in all this self-inflicted suffering.  By letting my emotions get wrapped up in the meaningless, in the mundane, I forget to focus on the positive aspects of what is truly important in my life.  My problem is not that I have a few dirty dishes in the sink.  My problem is that I truly care about those dishes: they sit there like a big, ugly label, announcing, "Here is Melanie, the loser who can't keep the dishes washed!"

I've had it.  My New Year's resolution will not involve becoming the queen of clean: "Never again shall I turn the laundry pink by neglecting to sort out the reds!"  Instead, I'm making a resolution that will have some real value.  I'm resolving to celebrate success in areas of my life that really matter, and I'm no longer going to beat myself up over the fact that I'm not exactly a winner when it comes to housework.

My new attitude has produced a surprising result.  When I'm not stressed out about it, I've found that my cleaning efforts are actually more powerful and long lasting.  Indeed, my house has stayed much cleaner, and without the usual motivation of shame and fear that someone is going to call Nanny 911 on me.  

I'm making major progress, but I still have a long way to go to achieve the bliss of perfect domestic order.  We Tarot readers are a mystical breed, after all, and we shouldn't be expected to squander all our energy on mundane household chores.  We're relied on to offer good advice and striking insights, and we simply can't be at our best when we're worn out, worried or weary.  We need to nurture ourselves by rejoicing in our meaningful accomplishments, and we also need a break sometimes.  That's easier said than done, of course, so I've developed a trick to help out my fellow overworked cartomancers.  The next time I need a break from chores, I'm going to let my eyes glaze over as I mutter, "Urgent message from the astral planeā€¦must go to the coffeehouse to receive it."  Then, I'm going to walk straight out the door.  Dishes and laundry can wait, but sanity cannot be neglected.

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008

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