My Messy Life


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It looks like this outside my windows right now and I’m totally loving it!  I think it should snow continuously from December to February and then be done.  Old snow is dirty and a bit ugly, but fresh new snow looks so clean and well, fresh. 

It has been almost a year of blogging for me, and so many good things have happened because of it.  It has opened up an entire new world for me and most of the time it makes me happy.  Sometimes, though, I start to get discouraged and a little bit jealous of the seemingly perfect lives I read about on other blogs.  It is like opening a Christmas card every single day…full of fun happy news, beautiful images and not a difficult or discouraging moment to be found.  It is hard not to get disillusioned with your own messy life when lives in blogs or Christmas cards seem perfect.

I think the most frustrating part for me is that these women seem to have a secret power that I don’t know about.  I think that I’m just as creative as the next blogger, but I seem to have less time for those creations than anyone else in the whole world.  In fact, I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one operating with 24 hours in a day.  When does all the magical, creativity happen in the midst of families and homes and jobs and community and church obligations?  Who is paying the bills and doing the grocery shopping and laundry and cleaning the house while the artistic creations are emerging with seemingly little effort?  I honestly don’t get it!

The hardest part of all for me is that my life doesn’t “look” like theirs.  So I slog on pushing harder and harder to make my life “look” as perfect as possible.  The problem is that behind the scenes is a dirty house, disorganization, too much fast food, and too little sleep.  In other words, not a lot of happiness.  This entire process is infinitely compounded at the holidays when the “shiny, happy” look is plastered everywhere.  I know I’m not alone in this…one of my friends mentioned last week that the holidays is the one thing that about brings her to her knees every year.

In my heart, I know it is ridiculous, but sometimes I feel like I’ve jumped on the track to a perfect Christmas, and I just can’t get off.  And no matter how hard I work and how much I worry, it is never perfect and I feel completely exhausted and frazzled by the end of December.  It usually takes me most of January to recover. 

So, this year, I’m jumping off the track!  I will no longer be comparing my Christmas or blog or life to the lives around me.  I’m going to be grateful with where I’m at and what I’m doing.  I’m going to recognize my limitations, acknowledge them, and respect them.  I’m going to do what I can with what I’ve got.  It is what it is and I am what I am. 

In light of that, I thought I would give full disclosure of what my Christmas is looking like at the moment. 

-I haven’t finished editing photos for our Christmas card, so no cards, no envelopes addressed, nothing mailed.
-I haven’t bought hardly any gifts, and I mean any!
-Money is really tight right now.
-My garage is full of painting projects so we can’t put the cars in and they are covered in snow and freezing inside.
-My craft room is one big mess!
-My bathroom hasn’t been cleaned for a few weeks and it is gross.
-My walls never got painted so walking through my house is like a big, loud color fest.
-We still haven’t hung lights outside.
-I’m still decorating.
-Not one gift is wrapped.
-Our teenager’s car died, so we are juggling cars right now.
-My dog is shedding all over the house because it is too cold and wet outside.
-I’m writing this in my PJs and I haven’t even combed my hair or brushed my teeth yet.
-I ate store bought rolls and Diet Coke for breakfast.
-I didn’t actually get to drink my Diet Coke because I spilled it all over my desk and then mopped it up with my bathroom towel…my nice white bathroom towel.
-My kids tell me “no” 100 times a day and lately they watch too much tv, eat too much junk, and have really messy bedrooms and bathrooms.
-Last night, my entire family refused to watch a Christmas movie with me.
-It has been the hardest year of my life!

But, and this is the important part, so many good things are happening and we are enjoying Christmas here.  Despite the fact that it doesn’t “look” perfect, it is feeling pretty dang close.  And that my dear friends, is what it is all about!

*I am completely tempted every year to write a Christmas newsletter chronicling the messy parts of our lives, but sharing the hope and happiness we have despite the tough times.  I would love to get a Christmas letter like this…it would uplift and encourage me.  Am I just really weird?

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5 thoughts on “My Messy Life

  1. Weird? No. Refreshingly honest..Yes!I accidentally found your blog today and I am here to tell you, it's the most human thing I've read today. Sometimes I feel like there are only 10 hours (!) in the day and I'm not accomplishing much in most of them. But I still plod forward trying to find the beauty and grace and the all too often missing forgiveness of myself for not being as perfect as everyone else.Your lovely and true post helps me to understand that everything is relative – pain, joy, effort and expression are the same but different for each one of us depending on the circumstances of our lives. Your life sounds perfectly human and you sound like a woman with a good and tender heart doing her very best at the hardest task of all … being honest and true to herself. Thank you for that.PS….Loved the post too, about the toothpicky ornaments … you are fun on many levels 🙂

  2. This year I decided to set up all my unstylish, outdated Christmas decorations that I know will incite comments behind my back. It is my way of protesting the perfect.And who needs clean toilets? Wait and do them on Christmas Eve for a festive impact!:)

  3. I think the world be a happier place if we were a bit more honest about what our lives are really like. I am a substitute teacher at the high school my boys attend. I know what the neighborhood kids are really like in school. At parent events, it is always interesting to hear how other parents describe their children… always glowing reports… never any mention of discipline referral for skipping class or the fact that Johnny is failing three classes. Of course, I would never let on to these parents that I know their "dirty little secrets," but it does make feel better about my own children. It also makes me a bit kinder to the other parents because I know they are struggling too.

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