A beautiful mess

Sometimes lately I feel scattered, unfocused, spread thin. Life spilling over and making my edges more noticeable as they crumble, bits and pieces of me falling away.

My house.

My community.

My business.

My belongings.

Everything seems a mess, my hair consigned to the bedhead style. I need a haircut but I thought I just cut it. I have hardly looked in the mirror for a week. I keep forgetting deodorant. I haven’t done any formal exercise for most of the month. I haven’t been cooking much either. My 4 year-old wants to eat only bread. Our car broke down then got broken into. We’re moving and we don’t know when.

I am in the process of changing and simplifying. But I have to dig out of the rubble before I can take a deep breath. It’s like everything has to get a little bit worse before it can get a whole lot better.

And so, after a weekend of madly cleaning my house for a showing, and then sorting through the piles of stuff I’d thrown into the garage to get it OUT of the house, I am here. Thinking about the messes I’ve cleared away, the messes still waiting for the magic wand. My “trash” that will hopefully become someone else’s treasure. Wondering why my desk drawers and kitchen counters aren’t always this empty because it feels so good. Why do we love stuff so much and why do we want it all around us? For a distraction or a band-aid or a disguise or a preservative?

This purging of stuff has brought me a buzz. Strangely enough, it’s not so different a buzz from finding the thing I really wanted. The materialistic circle of life.

In clearing away the detritus–not just papers and clothing and toys but other things I won’t get into now–I feel like I’m seeing myself anew, yet again. Though I may (occasionally) look put together, I am (often) a mess. When we married my husband wrote in his vows that I was “a beautiful mess” on the morning before the evening we fell in love. But I was a mess that day because I’d been riding my bicycle in the rain on city streets.

So maybe, if the messy part comes from adventure and risk and fun, maybe it’s okay. Maybe I can learn to love my messes simply because I had the privilege to make them.

Is there something about yourself that you’re learning to love rather than shame? Tell me about it in the comments or email me lucymiller7 [at] gmail.com.

To read more of my musings on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.

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6 thoughts on “A beautiful mess

  1. I liked reading this. You have a nice style.

    I like a clean house, but not enough to actually get up and do any cleaning…yaknow?

    I embrace my messiness. Lower standards means less failure, I figure 🙂

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  2. Beautifully put. I love that you acknowledge and embrace the chaos of life. I feel like so many people try to paint life as being what it isn’t. If it wasn’t for the messes, and even the scrambles we’re put in, we really wouldn’t be able to appreciate the peace that comes with the calamity! I feel the same way about deodorant in particular! I keep forgetting that (and to eat!). 🙂 Cheers to you! Finding balance in it all is such a delicate art.

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    1. Yes when things are moving so fast my brain can’t keep up, I definitely have less time for eating. It’s a strange thing to lose weight by default rather than through effort. And I love what you said about messes and scrambles. You don’t get rainbows without rain clouds!

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