Is it possible?
Finding the joy in the mess.
I mean, really.
IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE?
I actually believe it is.
It is a battle of the mind to get there. No, a TRAINING of the mind.
Speaking of the mind… Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” is in theaters now. It’s a movie about 11 year old Riley and the control center that is her mind. In the movie, the audience gets to see inside Riley’s mind and meet five Emotions that run the control center – Fear, Anger, Disgust, Joy, Sadness.
*This post is sponsored by Clorox. They have asked me to share about MY emotion on messes and the joy that can be found in the midst of dealing with said messes. All thoughts and strategies around how I emotionally deal with messes are my own.
For me, to find the joy in dealing with the mess I need to be able to look beyond the mess.
The mess might appear to be the center, but it is not the sum.
I guess what I am trying to communicate is, if we didn’t have the richness and sweetness of home, life, an family, we wouldn’t have the mess!
In order to be free of the mess, do we want to sacrifice our families… our homes… our lives?
It sounds so heavy. Stay with me. It’s not really THAT heavy.
No family, no home, no life = no mess.
No thing, really.
Family + home + life = mess.
No sunrise, no sunset. No weeding, no flowers. No guts, no glory!
THANKFULLY, messes are not the only thing that family, life and home add to our lives… Through them we receive joy, companionship, and support… we get to experience amazing things, share in victories and defeat. Through family, life, and home we get to make and unmake beds, eat delicious meals on dishes that we own and must put away… we drive in cars that take us to new adventures, and sometimes we spill entire cups of coffee in those cars that make adventure reachable. Or lose sippy cups full of milk somewhere in the vastness of the minivan… for weeks, and…
And sometimes we walk into the bedroom of our youngest. The bedroom she was to have cleaned. When we open the door we see she did not do what she was told to do and we feel angry. Discouraged. Frustrated. And then we feel take a picture. Because deep down we know these 10-year-old messes will turn into 13-year-old messes, then 17-year-old messes, and someday she won’t have a bedroom in the home at all and then there will be no more messes and as crazy as it seems – suddenly the mess doesn’t seem so bad. In fact, it’s something to remember… the pillow pet.
The American Girl dolls.
The robe and tennies and discarded craft materials.
The tired little girl who couldn’t clean.
Hints of sleepy limbs peeking out from under that humongous pillow pet…
To my point… finding joy in mess, it’s a frame of mind. It’s realizing you can’t have one without the other. It’s taking that moment when you walk into the dirty kitchen – again – to remember there are dishes to make dirty, and food to serve on them. There is running water, and soap, and capable hands to clean those dishes.
Can I get an AMEN?
I write this as much for me as I write it for you. To be honest, I LOVE a clean home. It is a state that happens far less than I would love to experience. I can get fairly bent out of shape and miss out on the joy when I feel everything in my life is one mess after another after.
Finding joy in the mess is a great attitude check for me when I start having a bad attitude about the mess. When I do take those moments to step back and look beyond the clutter on the counter or on my calendar I can see the fullness and blessing. And then feel that joy. In the mess.
The mess is actually a big piece of the evidence that I have a full, and a joyful life. And judging by the posts about messes I see shared on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter everyday… a lot of us have full and joyful lives!
As that old hymn goes, “Count your blessings, name them one by one…” Maybe that means when folding socks, think of the feet they will be keeping warm. Maybe that means sitting on a couch with dog hair to take advantage of a spontaneous snuggle. Maybe that means admiring the lines on the chubby little fingers that let the carton of milk Junior HAD to pour “BY MYSELF” fall to the floor.
(For more mess-inspired wittiness, check out the Clorox Ick-tionary here!)
The messes need to be cleaned, but the attitude and mind going into the cleaning (or postponing it) is where the joy lives.