Five days ago we returned from a road trip vacation where we drove entirely around Lake Michigan, camped half of the time (once in the rain!), and enjoyed adventures that involved two other great lakes, Huron and Superior. It was wonderful! And then we came home to a house in need of cleaning, heaps of laundry, and all that goes with un-packing after 8 days on the road. Add to that the usual scramble to catch up on all that was moving forward while we were away… and all that was put on hold, still patiently waiting for some attention. I dove in and got started, but then I got sick for a few days and had to surrender to living in an overwhelming mess much of this week. And though it drives me crazy, I’m trying to embrace this tension as a spiritual practice.
I was led to thinking of the Jason Mraz song “A Beautiful Mess” and especially the lyric, “Hey, what a beautiful mess this is…It’s like picking up trash in dresses.” Such is my life many days, an oxymoron of sorts. For example, I do thrive in clear and clean spaces yet I’m often not living in them. And when I see a friend’s home all put together and spotless I think somewhere, along the way, I must have missed the day magic wands were being handed out.
So, then, what is the invitation for me?… To embrace the beauty in the mess AND to realize that every choice I make eliminates other choices. For example, why was the house in need of cleaning upon our return? Because I decided to use my housekeeping time prior to our trip to get ready for the trip. That choice eliminated the option of coming home to a clean house. That choice also allowed for the beautiful part: making great family memories to last a lifetime. Is the beauty worth the mess? Completely. And at the same time it’s okay, important even, for me to also balance in choices that prioritize my need for for a peaceful habitat… which reminds me, I’d better get back to cleaning soon.
Many of us have more demands upon us than we have hours (or minutes)… many of us do a quick prioritization daily, and let the rest fall through the cracks. Maybe we can console ourselves by recognizing the many blessings that require a bit of chaos, and actually see that indeed messiness can be beautiful. May you be inspired!