My Life is a Mess

This morning I woke up full of anxiety.

This is not necessarily a new thing…the to do list is always long, and I feel like I can barely reach it past all of the laundry piling up in front of me…or the dog hair that needs to be vacuumed out of the corners…the dishes…the general grossness of cleaning up after children, pets and let’s face it – husbands (at least mine)…

But tomorrow is Easter. And we have family in town. And there is a hole in our living room ceiling that no handyman had time to fix last week. And I never did get much cleaning done over the past few days since SPRING BREAK. And…well, the house is just a mess. I’m kind of a mess. My life is extremely messy and it can feel so overwhelming…discouraging…

Then I remembered something my Dad wrote for me. I needed to read this today. And if you commiserated with my post title, then I’m guessing you do too…

Life As a Reflection of Its Priorities
by Terry Coveny

When I grow up…

I think I would most like to be like my daughter, Kate.

Kate, to me, best reflects the essence of a business conundrum that states your choices include good, fast and cheap. But you can choose only two.

As a mother of three young children, her choices are happy, tidy and timely. She chose happy and timely.

Think of it…something in life always has to be sacrificed. Even the rich have been known to sacrifice cheap.

As I sit in Kate’s living room at Christmas, I consciously stare at the beautifully decorated tree… ignoring the helter skelter chaos that surrounds me. But my ultimate pleasure is reflected in the eyes of my grandchildren who radiate the blessings of being well loved.

The crayon stains on the sofas may seem rather distressing (at least from an Archictectual Digest point of view)… but to me, here is the happiest place on earth.

Thinking back in time to my own immaculately maintained home, I wonder what sense of joie de vivre was sacrificed for the tidy perfection that was achieved. Thankfully, both children maintain only happy memories.

But…I wonder. What if I were as insightful as Kate? Would the happy memories have been happier?

What of your imperfect existence?

Which of your three choices are you sacrificing?

Choose wisely.


I rarely feel like I have time to choose anything. But I guess that’s not really true. Everyone has priorities that influence their choices. And if I choose to let the house – my life – get overwhelmingly messy because I prioritize happy children over the neat and tidy existence I desperately want…well, then I guess I’m doing okay.

IMG_1515This picture was taken of Oliver and me at a neighborhood party well after midnight. I guarantee that there were piles of laundry to be folded and dog hair dust bunnies rolling through every room back at my house… But I have a happily exhausted child passed out on my lap (and yes I know he has one hand down his pants) and I’m holding a glass of wine (and yes I know that I’m wearing a captain’s hat). Don’t mind the mess. We’re all JUST FINE.

Whatever you are celebrating this weekend – I hope it’s the best kind of messy.

7 thoughts on “My Life is a Mess

  1. Dina McQueen

    Well, Kate, a quiet home for an hour or two, a coffee and time to read this apropos and encouraging post. Feeling slightly ashamed, as I clench against the recently recalled arguments I started over the mess my family leaves. This continual battle as been the source of deep and scarring conflicts I commence. I recall my blessed childhood with a lax mom who smoked cigarettes (a young child of the 60s, I was), drank a little, chatted on the phone for hours with friends upon friends as she wandered about trying to keep an eye on us four hooligans with the stretchy phone cord that wound itself across rooms of our mid-western home. She didn’t seem to care like I do.

    Me, not like her (where did I get it from? My father was not around!) with an obsessive need to control piles of vital toys and “things” … my need to maintain order as strong as my daughter’s need to see her treasured possesions no matter what room she plants herself in. … My admiration of you stems fully from your ability to push any compulsions aside in favor of maintaining joy, rather than order.

    You are the pole dancer, and I the club owner checking ID’s at the door. Who is having more fun? Okay, that analogy may only be appropriate for a few who read your blog, but you few know who you are and that’s what came to me. I aspire to be the dancer … Thanks for this truly honest post. I feel coached into submission. Now, with the rest of my hour or two, I think I’ll turn the must up and dance with the dust bunnies that mock me in the corner.
    Dina McQueen recently posted..“Home Grown … is the Way it Should Be”My Profile

  2. Lisa

    Oh, Kate – I love everything about this post. I have always said that the kids won’t remember how often the dishes stayed piled in the sink, but hopefully they’ll remember the time we spend together…I hope. Secretly, I just hate doing dishes. And laundry. And yet, the children continue to be miraculously fed and clothed …and happy, I hope :) And I am, too, amidst my mess. Happy Easter to you – great post.
    Lisa recently posted..Glitter and Glue for Good – A Special Event with Kelly CorriganMy Profile

  3. suburbancorrespondent

    It’s good to know I wasn’t the only mom waking up this morning with anxiety sitting on my chest, as it were. Once I got up and got moving it wasn’t so bad, thankfully. Holidays are so much pressure, try as I might to make sure that they aren’t!
    suburbancorrespondent recently posted..Easter? Really?My Profile


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