I cleaned the mold in my bathroom today. It was huge. Not the mold, the accomplishment. I’ve been trying to get that caulking between the tile and my tub clean ever since we moved into the house five years ago. I do clean my bathroom, but this mold is relentless. I’ve used just about everything. Essential oils, baking soda, vinegar, bleach, harsh chemicals, natural products. Nothing worked. The mold remained taunting me with it’s dark creepy face. But today I was victorious. It’s gone. The caulking is a nice whitish color again. I felt quite successful and satisfied.
But I am tired of feeling satisfied from having a tidy house, or winning the battle with the mold. I want something more meaningful to feel proud about. When I’m not feeling my best, I typically resort to doing something that feels productive so I can feel a sense of accomplishment. I’ll go for a run or organize a cluttered space. And it helps. But it feels so superficial. There’s people out there will real problems and needs and I’m getting my house clean. How is that making the world a better place?
I think I’m going about creating goodness all wrong. There is genuinely a part of me that wants to be anxiously engaged in a good cause. I want to create goodness with my life. I want to use my desires, skills, talents, and abilities to create something that will make a difference in the lives of others. But I feel like all my goals and ideas are bigger than my current level of capacity. I’m exhausted from metaphorically trying to teach myself to play the piano in hopes of becoming a concert pianist someday. Should I just be content right now with playing the piano at my current level? Should I forget trying to become a concert pianist and just embrace the joy I do experience when I play the piano in the solitude of my living room? Should I just keep playing and developing myself and let go of the goal of becoming a concert pianist? I really have zero ambitions or dreams with the piano, it just works as a good analogy.
There’s plenty of things I enjoy and that I can do that bring satisfaction. I enjoy writing, I enjoy water painting, I’ve been dying to take a wheel-throwing pottery class. I’m taking some philosophy classes and classes on the different religions in the world and diving into all sorts of books on those subjects. I love working towards physical challenges like marathons and triathlons and long bike rides. And I know that me participating in these various activities and developing these skills has played a significant role in my own personal development, but it feels like something is missing. I feel like some rich aristocrat who is learning foreign languages and music and art within the comforts of my home while the streets are lined with refugee woman on strike in front of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory protesting the inhuman working conditions they are forced to endure. What good is my influence, education, skills, and gifts, if I am not able to use my capacity for the good of others?
It’s like I keep trying to grow a garden and the seeds take and start to sprout, but they never grow strong enough to ever bear fruit. What am I doing, or not doing, that is getting in the way of the seeds taking root and growing into their full potential and living the full measure of their creation?
Oh, if you want to know how to attack that mold, Malcolm Peill will show you how. His delightful accent was what conceived me to give this a try.