Today there has been a festive note in the air. Thanksgiving is coming next week, and then we launch full-blast into Christmas. And, my son is coming home tonight after being away at school since August. YAY!!!
With all the approaching festivities, my cleaning bug finally kicked in. Our house was a big ol’ mess. I had the kids help me clean up Friday night, but the problem is we had pockets of clutter all over the place. So, while everything was picked up off the floor, the room still felt a mess. So, today we tackled the clutter. I put two kids on the job of fixing our bookshelves. In order to do that they had to take all the randomly piled books off the shelf so they could organize them all neatly. In the process they also found some movies, toys and papers that didn’t belong on the shelf.
I assigned another child the hall closet. He had to pull everything that had been stuffed in there and make a giant pile on the floor. Then from that pile he could hang up all the coats, put all the gloves, scarves and hats in a box, line up the boots, and put the duffel bags of snow pants back up on the shelf.
I cleaned out the Random Drawer that had all our coloring papers, school papers, playdough, puzzles, school supplies, and a bunch of other random kid things. (It’s a big drawer.) In order to clean it out I had to make all kinds of piles on my dining room table in order to sort everything out.
Sometime in the middle of all this cleaning, my husband came in from some errands he had been running. The house looked worse than when he had left. I quickly defended myself. We ARE cleaning. It just doesn’t look like it. We’re going to have to make some messes before it all gets clean. He understood.
Today I also decided it was time to start potty training our youngest. It’s way past time, I’ve just been procrastinating. So, I bought a bag of M&Ms and asked him if he wanted some in exchange for sitting on his potty. Of course! He sat and peed for me. And so far has stayed dry and peed five times in the potty! I’m super excited. But, I know that we have some accidents coming in the very near future. It’s part of the package deal. Some of our kids have potty trained in as fast as a week, and some have taken a year. But all of them had accidents. It’s part of the transition from changing dirty diapers to having clean dry underwear.
One other thing I did today was commissioned my fourteen year old to paint me a Christmas Painting to hang on my mantel for the holidays. She got out her sketch pad and started sketching out some ideas. She showed me one, rough lines outlining the little drummer boy. It was a messy sketch, but I could see what she was drawing. It looked great. I knew that eventually she would turn it into a beautiful picture.
Of course, you’ve probably got the point by now…It has occurred to me this evening, that in order to clean something, or accomplish a goal, you usually have to go through a messy stage where you are making progress, but it doesn’t look like it.
It gives me some hope. I am dealing with some personal shortcomings that have me really discouraged. I have been spending a lot of time recently just thinking about the problem. Trying to get to the root of why I can’t seem to ever overcome in this area. Spending some concentrated time just thinking about this has not been fun. It’s put me in a bad mood. It’s also helped dredge up some old stories from my past that I’ve not properly dealt with. It’s all been rather messy. But, here’s where the hope comes in. Right now it just looks like a mess, but it’s still forward progress. I’m closer to overcoming today than I was a week ago. Sometimes, in order to clean something up, you have to make a mess first.