A Message from the Middle of Messy

I often find myself pondering why my life seems so messy. Yesterday morning, I was thinking we should take a weekend and just fix all the broken things in our house. In my musings, a fear began to creep into my awareness.

I realized that I had to face one of the most dreaded times of the year: the changing of the seasonal clothes. So, I left my list of  endless “to do’s” in order to face … the basement, the bins, and the ensuing battles between my wallet, the trolls, and the children. (Yes, I believe there are trolls in my basement driving me to mental and financial ruin.) The trolls attack the perfectly fine jeans that have somehow in 4 months shrunk by 2 inches. Then there is the inevitable negotiating of the removal of clothes stained and torn but which my daughter just “loves” or my son believes is still cool.

Then of course this unpleasant activity leads to the cleaning of the drawers, which leads to the cleaning of the rooms and the covert and very secret removal of certain clothing items that certain little people must never know about. This then, of course, leads to the impending trip to the store to replenish the damage inflicted by the trolls. (The trolls, I think, are winning.)

At the end of the day and this very unpleasant task, I found myself at my neighbor’s house where I relinquish the precious clothes that my babies are growing out of. Yes, I said babies and no, they aren’t babies but, of course, they are.

This led to a conversation – more of a neighbor to neighbor-kind of therapy session. We began to muse or whine, I am not sure which – of all the messy things in our lives including the endless list of things that are broken and need to be fixed. The list includes the broken light switch to the hole in our roof, to the screen door, to the key broken in the lock, to the refrigerator that just died last night to the drain that won’t.

My neighbors have four boys (I think they have trolls, too) and a house with the same endless list. All this led to laughter and a strange sense of contentment. My life maybe isn’t so messy as much as it is normal.

A final thought. Several years ago, I read a snippet somewhere that made the observation that the process of cleaning is really only moving dirt from one place to another. If you clean the table, the sponge gets dirty. If you clean the sponge, the sink gets dirty. If you clean the sink, the water gets dirty. So maybe life is just managing the messy.