“What are you doing with that?” I ask my partner.
He gives me an incredulous look. “I’m going to dust.” The incredulity is understandable. He’s holding a duster, after all. What did I expect? That he was prepping for his worldwide debut into janitorial cosplay?
Don’t make that face. Mario was a plumber. And I do like jumpsuits. So there’s that.
But I can’t help myself as I add in a whiny manner, “Doesn’t dusting kick up dust? Doesn’t it get it everywhere?”
“Yes,” he replies. He explains he needs to clean one of our lighting fixtures. I look up and see he’s correct. There’s so much dust in it.
I know he’s right — and doing the right thing. And yet I’m so crabby about it. The best I can do is not take it out on him. Thankfully, I do that part pretty well.
And as I walk away, spiriting my crabby mood with me, I find myself reflecting on how I hate the part where everything gets stirred up. The part where you shake the dust loose and it’s flying everywhere. Yes, it’s the only way that anything gets clean. But I can’t say that I’m in love with what it does to my lungs and skin. (I’m allergic to dust mites.)
And as I think over this, it occurs to me that it’s not just about dusting… it’s the same when it comes to conflict too. I hate the part when all the nasty stuff surfaces, especially if the people involved have been letting it sit there collecting for far too long. It’s awful when the dust kicks up interpersonally — and feeling are hurt, tempers run high. You know that old song and dance.
Even if I’m not the one losing my temper, even if I’m just a third party standing by, I hate the part when the dust starts to fly.
But sometimes it’s what needs to happen. Sometimes it’s the only way to get things to where they should be.