I often feel like I'm suffocating in my own mess, you know the physical kind of mess. The mess that is endless piles of laundry, dishes, and diapers; the mess that reappears suddenly after every clean up. And no matter what I do, the mess never goes away. It's kind of like one of those terrible nightmares you have when you're running away from a monster, and no matter how hard you run, you're going nowhere. That's me. Right now...in this stage of life, that's me.
I envisioned a different kind of life today: carefree, quiet, without chaos. And I thought to myself, how many more "messy years" do I have? You know, the years of back breaking work, cleaning up after every meal, every spill, and every episode of vomit. And the answer just depressed me. I couldn't even allow myself to envision it.
I hate that everything inside of me wants my life to be perfect, and I hate that I can never be content with the mess in front of me. So I asked myself today, what would it look like if I could be content with the mess in front of me? What would that life even look like?
I instantly thought of my mother; the master of hospitality, and the queen of chaos. She always made life look so easy, so "go with the flow," so content. I always just thought that life mustn't be all that hard with kids since she made it look so effortless.
And when my grandfather passed away two weeks ago I realized something, my mother is just like my grandfather. And this is where the revelation began...my grandfather was one of the most selfless and fun loving people to walk the planet. He worked hard, loved life, and more than anything wanted to enjoy it with the people he loved most. He invited people into his "mess" at every chance he could. He desired relationship, community, and experience over perfection. He would take the shirt off his back, the money out of his wallet, and all the food out of his refrigerator and give it to you if that is what you so desired because he understood that at the end of this life none of it goes with you and the idea of perfect doesn't exist.
All that we can strive to do and understand is that time is a thief, so take what you have and forget about what you don't. Love the people around you, invite them into your mess, have meals with them even if that means you throw together a smorgasbord of food; people just want to be with people, making memories together, doing life together. Nobody truly wants to be around "perfect people." Perfect people are intimidating, hard to live up to, un-relatable, and unattainable.
So what I've learned from looking at people like my Papa and my mother, is that it's important to embrace these "messy" years; to cling not to the mess but to the ones that are creating the mess and to love them through it. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how to allow myself to apply that in my everyday life but I want it. I'm giving up on my mess because it's not worth the anxiety, stress, and strife that it causes.
Let's stop chasing perfection and start embracing our mess. Ya?
As always, thank you for stopping by! xoxo, Tessa
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