Today was a good day

Today was a great Sunday. We went to see The Avengers last night (go see it, seriously, no matter who you are) and got to bed late. So our plan was, quite literally, no plan.

We woke up around 10am, well I did anyway. Lindsey was up and relaxing by doing the little chores around the house that make her feel better. For the record, I don’t see how this is considered relaxing, but given the benefits I won’t argue. I got up and she made me pancakes and coffee. Awesome.

I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing my office/library. It’s been a mess for weeks and I’ve taken to working at the kitchen table on my work from home days. I finally decided that enough was enough and got to work. We have not figured out how to merge Lindsey’s sizable library with my own, but that is a much bigger problem for a different day.

Grading consumed Lindsey this afternoon, and I think she made a lot of progress. I say I think because I don’t ever ask questions like that. Keeping up with grading English students appears to be quite the sisyphean task, so I just don’t ask.

We went to church and saw most of our community group there. We love going to the services with them and getting to worship together and spend some more time with them. It was really a great time today at the Stone.

Finally we came home with Thai takeout, watched Game of Thrones together, and Lindsey is sitting at the table next to me planning the week’s meals for a grocery trip tomorrow while I write this post.

Days like this have been few and far between since we have been married. We have been so busy, had so many commitments and dealt with so many (external to our marriage) challenges that a day like today was a true blessing. So we are enjoying it while it lasts, and hoping another day like today comes along soon.

The mess

“Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived…Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.”
―Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

I know Brian is not a huge Anne Lamott fan, so he is probably cringing right now that I’ve used her here on the blog 😉 This is a quote from her book on writing, but with Lamott, you always get a message or two about life thrown in. She was huge for me in college, second only to Donald Miller.

I quote her today because I’m trying to hear her words and let them sink in, as I am living in a mess.

Brian would tell you that we are not living in a mess– but I know better. I see boxes and gifts and piles of things we don’t have a place for yet. I see things that need to be organized, dusted, sorted, thrown out, and simply dealt with. And since I don’t get home until 6:30 or 7:00 and then leave again at 6:40am, there simply isn’t time after the grading, thank you cards, dinner, and a couple hours of sleep. And my incredible husband with a heart to love on people keeps inviting those dang people over to come sit in our mess! Sigh.

So, what’s it going to take to change my eyes to see “that life is being lived” instead of chaos and dirt? How do I get past my “frozen form of idealism”? I just want to be that 1950’s picture of a wife so badly– the tidy home, the apron tied around the waist, the perfect hair, and dinner on the table when my husband gets home. But none of that is a reality. With my commute, Brian is having to cook dinner (which he is happy to do and spoils me with), and I look like someone who has been dealing with eleven year olds all day when I finally trudge through the door.

Life IS being lived. Why can’t I accept that? Our friends know what our schedules have been like– am I afraid of the judgment? Knowing that I theoretically have the ability to be an amazing hostess with a pristine house– is it that I need the compliments and approval?

Or maybe Lamott is right. Maybe I need this mess right now to find out who I really am and why I am here.

And if so, it’s a tough lesson.