More on dirt

I know a lot of people worry about the images of females we put in front of ourselves as women. As in, we need to be careful we don't think we should look like pictures of women in magazines. Those are models, we are regular people. We don't want to place those expectations on ourselves.

Well, I've got a new one. It's those pictures of people's houses in magazines. I confess, I wish my living and dining room looked like a magazine spread. I'm constantly needing to remind myself how unrealistic they are. Like, the random cutting board with 4 perfect lemons on the counter. No mail, no stickiness, no dishes. My favorite is when there's a big hairy dog right smack in the middle of the gleaming wood floor. They must hire a single person to follow around the dog during the photo shoot with a dust buster. Anyway, even though I know it's not realistic, I still long for it.

In my mind, I can get it there. I envision my walls full of cool art and photos and all the surfaces clear. In my personal reality, it couldn't be farther from it unless I unloaded a bottle of chocolate syrup onto every surface. Now I know I'm supposed to let go of this. That one day, my children will be out of the house and I'll have tons of time to magazine-ify my house. I should be content, even happy, that my rooms are full of life and thus a beautiful mess. But really, this doesn't always do it for me. I want it all. I want messy life AND pristine decor.

So what do I do with this revelation? Do the children need more chores? Do I need to get rid of more stuff? Should I hire someone to follow the children around with a dust buster? I'm not really sure. And all of the above.

One of the Queen's (my mom) famous quotes is, "Play is a child's work." This is what I observe every day. They aren't trying to be slobs, they are just hard at work playing. I ask them again and again to put away, throw away, etc. But when they are in the middle of a streaming imagination, I just don't think it soaks in. So the constant reminding can be difficult and wears you down. When I come into a room and discover someone has emptied the contents of a pencil sharpener on the floor and left it there, I honestly don't want to call them away from their "work" to come clean it up because they are occupied and independent from me.

I wish I had some sort of solution or funny ending to the mess, but I don't. I just want to put it out there that I'm tired of cleaning things up. I know like a trillion and one moms have felt like this before. I know that my mommy work is nothing compared to some of those that have gone before. So I hereby resolve (again and again and again) to love the mess. Because the people I love most in this world left it there.

I recently read this anonymous quote:

"Mothers fight all their lives against dirt, and when they die, they are buried in it."

I'd like to donate my body to science, in hopes that my skeleton one day hangs in a classroom of some sort collecting dust. I'd like to go from dusting things while alive, to collecting unlimited amounts of dust with no ability to make a move to clean it in death. Dust and I currently have a pretty close relationship so I think it would work out.


Sandra Bennage said...

I am living this reality. Thanks for the encouragement...I think having the perspective of loving the mess because the ones I love made it may be the best way to view it. ;-)

Carey M said...

Oh Julie. You capture our lives so well.