Sometimes it helps me to think of my life as an operating system--like on my computer--that needs to reboot or reset every week.
To reboot means to reload an operating system. You have to turn everything off, restart, and then launch the whole thing over again. You reset your machine. To reset means I clear away errors or events that clog my system, and I bring everything back to it's normal operating condition or initial state.
Saturday cleaning day is my reset day. I reboot the whole house.
As I scrub, wash sheets, clean floors, rearrange bookshelves, I think about cleaning as rebooting. Tomorrow, we wake up, go to church, and start the week afresh. We'll create disasters in every room, dishevel all the books, track mud upon the clean floors, and leave traces of our projects.
But we'll reset the next Saturday--reboot--to that initial state so we can start a new week.
What if I didn't reboot? Could the house freeze up like my computer? Would we prevent important changes from taking place that require a reset? Just like my computer needs that reboot, I realize how important it is to let my family enter tidy rooms primed for a new week of creativity, relaxation, and connection. If the clutter and dirt of the previous week remains, I'm not allowing space for the new.
Cleaning my house resets it for the upcoming week. But personally, what am I doing to reboot my own mind and body? What does it mean for me to "reset" and enter this new week with a clean, smooth operating system? I want to practice taking the kind of time it requires to slow down, let all my programs rest, let the screen go dark, and then start up again so I'm ready for this new week.
If I don't answer the phone, it's because I'm rebooting.
(Photograph of first Argonne Computer in 1953 with scientist Jean Hall. Courtesy of Argonne National Library)