Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Messy Stuff Will Always Be There

In the hour or so before sitting down to write this, I was restless. I had no idea what I wanted to write about. This happens a lot. Writing is a process. It's easy to get distracted. I paced for a short while. Went on the porch for a few minutes. Checked on Lisa and the fur-kids who are sleeping soundly. Went through the piles of notes sitting on my desk. This alone overwhelms me. Most of what's written are things that need to be done. Paced again. Noticed a few dirty dishes in the sink and crumbs on the counter.

Finally, with hesitation and a long sigh, I sat down at my desk. I could feel my knees immediately cramp. They hurt. I call it movie theater knees. The discomfort is relentless. My desk chair has been almost-broken for quite awhile.

Four years ago when I purchased the chair, I went cheaper than I should have. I had just moved back to the New England area after living out of state for several years. I work at home and, at the time, spent close to 100 hours a week sitting at my desk. I didn't take the time to find an appropriate chair. I gave no consideration that a chair meant for occasional use (1-3 hours a day) wouldn't suit my 16+ hour a day sitting schedule. The inevitable happened and now, the chair sits at the lowest level to the floor. The seat cushion has deteriorated. Other stuff is broken.

Cramped knees and a sore ass does not motivate me in the least to sit and write. Purchasing a chair is one of the many items on my "to do" list. 

I grabbed my Chromebook and decided to work from the sofa. I have yet to decide if this is a wise choice. I'm tired. I left my coffee in the office. I'm too comfortable to get up.

Pathetic, right?

As I plucked my brain for inspiration, I become distracted by the mess on the floor. Dog toys. Bones. Chew toys. Biscuit crumbs. A blanket Coco pulled to the floor.

The light bulb went off. Messes. 

I'm reminded of a comment thrown in my direction not too long ago. It was in reference to the many photos and updates I post on my personal Facebook wall.

"Your life seems so happy and perfect...blah, blah, blah."

Wait. What? Perfect? No. I don't believe in perfection. We white knuckle the concept of Wabi Sabi in this household. Why would anyone get the impression that my life is perfect?

I took a step back and scrolled through my updates. I viewed my photos, rants, quips and everything between through neutral eyes. Ah. Okay. Okay. Well. I see.

My life wasn't depicting perfection. I just left the messy stuff out. 

I sat back and thought about this. Messy stuff. What was I leaving out that gave the impression my life was perfect? What was I supposed to post?  A gripe about the burn on my arm from a cookie sheet or the mud on the kitchen floor from Lisa's sneakers? I just mopped the floor yesterday! A photo of our outrageous monthly electric bill? My hair that currently resembles a mop? A word-for-word recap of the altercation I had with our upstairs neighbor. Again. By no means is our life remotely close to being perfect. I don't want it to be.

My saliva gums up when I say the word perfect. I despise it that much.

We have messes just like everyone else. They mingle with all the other happenings in a day's time. Lisa and I aren't running around farting sparkles and crapping rainbows. Messy stuff happens. We experience a melting pot of emotions. Sadness. Frustration. Irritability. Stress. Exhaustion. Anger. Joy. Satisfaction. Content. Etc.

Tiny or enormous, there is messy stuff. 

It started to make sense. I don't put any effort in hiding the messy stuff. I simply choose not to make it my focus. Or, more accurately, I try not to. It attracts too much negative energy and drama.

Although some messy stuff is quick to come and quick to go, most of it sticks around for a while. It's not going anywhere. Learn to live with it. It's there.

Our upstairs neighbor is an ideal example. He moved in 8 months ago and has disrupted our lives, household and is inconsiderate, narcissistic and has no respect for those around him.  His plans are to move out in May. Our fingers are crossed.

I've put him in my bucket of messy stuff along with a slew of other stuff. Family relations. Daily stress. Worries. Big expenses. The what ifs. Piles upon piles of "to do lists." Those things aren't going to disappear anytime soon. There is no sense in trying to clean it up. It's there. It's called life. I'm in my 40's. I no longer have the time or energy to devote my entire existence to the messy stuff.

My knees hurt from a cheap chair. Either buy a new one or grab the Chromebook and relocate to another area in the house. Family relations suck? They always have. Let go or be dragged is my mantra of choice for that area. Worried about bills? Aren't we all. Work hard, Budget well. Use coupons. So far, this simple method has done well by us. 

I'm flooded by another incident that happened a few weeks ago. Messy stuff. It was a Sunday. Lisa and I were both having an off day. PMS. Exhaustion. Pre-Meno hormones. Who knows. We spent the day letting the negativity get the best of us. We snipped at each other. Exchanged harsh words. Spent most of the day and evening in separate rooms. I didn't tuck her in that night.

On the overnight, I couldn't focus on work. I was sad. Restless. Unmotivated. I felt disgusted with the world. About a half hour, before Lisa got up for work, I sent her an email that I knew she'd receive after I had fallen asleep.

"Yesterday we had the day off together and we wasted it. What if something happened to one of us today? We'd live the rest of our life with regret. We were both stupid yesterday. Let's not do that again."

What I choose to post on my personal Facebook wall and share with the world is what I have chosen to focus on. The goodness. Moments where I feel empowered or have taken a stand. Food porn. A selfie here and there because I felt confident and a little beautiful. Photos of our fur-kids. Just because flowers or other treats Lisa surprises me with. Times spent with our close friends. Topics I'm passionate about. And, the occasional rant.

The messy stuff. It'll always be there. Why post about it day after day after day? How many of you have that one person on Facebook who posts non-stop about how unhappy they are? Their job sucks. Their spouse pissed 'em off once again. They're in cahoots with several people. They bitch about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. That amount of messy stuff and negativity drains me. It jades my outlook on the bigger and more important happenings around me. The good stuff.

Inhale. Exhale. Coffee. 

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