Get messy

AJCake

Andy, the adorable son of my nephew and niece, getting messy. Thanks for the photo, Emily!

At the end of a long work day of sitting in an office trying to impose some sort of organized system on piles of papers and screens full of email, I went on a walk through my neighborhood. It had been raining all day, but had cleared just enough to be perfect clearing my head of all things work. The air was cool, the leaves just beginning to turn colors. Aaaaaaaaaah, I thought. It felt great just to move.

I strode around several blocks, through the park, across a woodsy path at the end of my street, and then in the field beside that path, I hit a patch of slick, sopping wet grass in a spongy bed of mud.

bootsMy boots sank into the muck. And my first thought was, “this will make a mess when I walk in the front door.”

Really?

Who am I now, that a mess like this is a thing? That it’s the first thing I think of when I sink into the mud? If I had a dog, she would make a bigger mess. I had kids, for goodness sake, talk about messes! And I think of my dear little friend down the street, and the messes his parents must clean up every day. I would welcome an enormous amount of mess from him just to hang out with him and hear his funny little four-year-old perspective on the world. Just as I did when my own kids were small. Cookie dough mess! Finger painting mess! Garden mud, skinned knee, stinky laundry, toothpaste smear mess! The more mess, I think, the better!

Now that there’s just me and my honey in the house, the messes are minimal – the mud on my boots, dirty dishes when I have a baking spree and the extra shoes that my honey leaves all over the house. Well, there’s also the clutter of too many boxes as yet unpacked. But my intolerance for these messes has grown into something I don’t recognize. Getting my hat and gloves, I was annoyed that there was a shirt hanging on the umbrella hook. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Really?

I think maybe I need more messes in my life. Just to put things in perspective. And maybe I need to take myself for more walks.

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