Thursday, December 31, 2009

There’s a Moose in My House

My darling husband, who finishes every project that he starts, is painting our front door red. This means that our rambunctious kitten, Elvis, is sequestered away until the paint dries. For the remainder of today, there will be no going near it, or so go our best laid plans. Our other kitty, Maizie, is accommodating this mandate by lying, unwelcomed, across the computer keyboard.

The red looks festive against our pale green house. A friend told me today that she plans to paint her front door black. I guess Sir Mick Jagger might croon to have ours painted black, too. Sorry, Mick, we’re sticking with red. It’s very inviting, overall a good thing for a house.

But beware what you welcome into your home.

We spent a fun holiday playing games with our granddaughter, Jasmine. One of them was “There’s a Moose in the House.” As the box says, it’s a very silly card game.

The object is to keep moose from getting into your house. With the right cards in your hand, you can slam the door or set off a moose trap and keep them out. Without these moves, you just get a houseful of moose, which I doubt are house-broken. I can only imagine what happens if you give a moose a bran muffin.

You might wonder, what’s so wrong with having moose in the house? Well, for starters, they just sit there and take up a lot of space. I can’t think of a single feng shui book that tells you in which bagua to put your moose.

Then, there’s the constant, silent staring.

So, I’m thinking today about the moose in my house, which has been crazily neglected through the holidays. I ignored them and spent a lot of time coordinating our annual fundraising efforts for the Bess Whitehead Scott scholarship fund with the Writers’ League of Texas. We head out into bookstores and wrap books for donations that fund two writing scholarships awarded each spring. Similar to what writer Anne Lamott shares in Bird by Bird, we get there bow by bow.

My first act of eradication it to take a moose inventory around the house. Just the cheese drawer alone is teeming with them. Some of them have been in there since about 1998. This makes me want to categorize my moose: stinky and stealthy. The former you get right away, but the latter sneaks up on you.

I have some moose to shoo from my mind, as well. These go into the sneaky moose category. Negative thinking that creeps in before you can slam the door or snap the trap. To counteract them, I’m loading my mental deck with healthy thought patterns to clear the clutter. A friend told me that at the end of the year she writes her regrets on bathroom tissue and drops them square by square to be flushed away – I like her style!

What moose are you going to shoo or flush away? How do you slam the door on counterproductive thinking? How has focused, positive thinking impacted your life?

When the paint dries, I’m shutting my red door and opening up my schedule for some serious de-cluttering (and flushing). And I’ll get there – moose by moose.