The "Messie" View from Here
Last night I decided to listen to my favourite radio show "Focus on the Family" while I cleaned the kitchen. To some of you this may come as a shock. I do clean my kitchen and I have been for the last little while. See I have been inspired by my friend and my mother to "get it together". I am known for not vacuuming daily, leaving dishes in the sink overnight, and being generally untidy. I have managed to stay organized most of my life. However, since getting married and having children (and oh yeah a dog) my secret messiness has surfaced. My friends can be found closing cabinets, sweeping my floor and loading my dishwasher. My mother lives with me and often folds my laundry that has been sitting in the dryer for days.
In the beginning of my marriage I frequently blamed my husband because he was domestically challenged. Then we hired someone to clean the house. Every Friday I would come home and find shiny floors, hairless bathroom floors, and cleared kitchen counters. It was the best thing money could buy. Then children came and the budget wouldn't hold a cleaner on a smaller income. Children have a lot of stuff. So naturally we moved to a bigger house. It didn't occur to me that a bigger house meant more time cleaning and organizing. But it became very clear that I was in trouble.
So back to last night. The radio show featured a self proclaimed Messie, Mrs. Sandra Felton. She talked about her years as a "Messie" and how she became a "Cleanie". She created these terms. I was shocked to hear that she didn't think it was funny or quirky to be messy. Being messy was a problem. This turned out to be a good show for me because for the past week I had been making a sincere effort to keep a clean house. I was tired of apologizing the minute someone came to my door unannounced, and I wanted to feel confident as the manager of my home.
Listening to Mrs. Felton's interview made me feel confident that I could tackle this problem. The way she described Messies reminded me of the way you describe someone who has an illness or addiction. You had to work on it daily. So I made up these 5 steps as a reminder of where I heading. ( I just check the website (www.messies.com) and discovered that there are 12 steps for Messies! Here are mine. Hope you enjoy them.)
1 : We admitted that our lives had become unmanageable.
You know things are unmanageable when:
- there are no matching socks in your child's dresser draw
- you have laundry to put away that would take you 2 hours
-you can't remember what your child's swimming shorts look like because it has been that long since you have done laundry
-on occasion you forget the colour of your kitchen tile
-you can't find the vacuum cleaner, dust pan, or gloves
-you hate when people ask for tour of your home!!!
2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Three words: Thank you Jesus!
3: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
FYI: Being a Messie is a defect. Contrary to popular belief it doesn't mean you are misunderstood, creative, or interesting.
4: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
My Children: Sorry I kept blaming you for loosing your hat, gloves, soccer stuff, sun glasses, water bottles, shoes, backpack etc.... It was my fault. I truly understand the meaning of the phrase, "a place for everything".
My Mother: The countless piles of clothes on the floor, a bedroom door that always had to stay shut, and a bathroom with more products on the counter than in the cabinet. One word- sorry.
My Husband: Apologizing would mean that you are not part of the problem. I think you are a secret Messie. It is time to come out. It is okay, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Hi my name is__________ and I'm a Messie. Okay I will say sorry for (...thinking..hmmmm.....) I can't do it.
My Friends: I apologize for covering your black socks in dog hair, running late all the time because I had such a mess to clean up before I had to meet you, and making you feel like you have to clean my kitchen (P. you know who you are)
5: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to Messies, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Today is day 5 of leaving my Messie world behind.