Last night I was cleaning up my desk/ kitchen bar/ bookshelf and I moved a few things out of the corner to dust behind a few notebooks. When I pulled the books away this is what I found:
What’s so special about a heads up penny, confetti, and some tickets from Taste of Key West you ask? To me it’s special because these items, randomly yet perfectly placed in this tiny cluttered corner, served as a gentle reminder that messes aren’t necessarily a bad thing; many times, and hopefully all the time, they are the aftermath of a good time.
Growing up our house was always tidy and generally my mom was what I call a once a week cleaner. Every weekend we all had a room [in addition to our own] and had to clean it before we were allowed to do anything else that weekend. The caviat to the deal was that once the room was clean we were supposed to maintain it for the week; it was a good concept, in theory. I was in middle school when mom started in with this child labor stunt and I despised the new routine. I begrudgingly cleaned my assigned room with my teenage chip on my shoulder while my sister Kate relished in the “bonding time” we had while dusting or cleaning baseboards.
The only time we that I can remember immediately having to clean up was after dinner, my sister and I always had “dish duty”, which I would try to avoid at every cost, every night.
Some of my fondest memories growing up are making homemade play dough with my mom on snow days or breaking out my Snoopy Sno Cone Machine during the summer. In middle school I was known to host a pool party or two, one may or may not have ended in a cupcake war. The tradition continued during high school, we always had kids at our house. Over the years things have been broken, stained, you name it it’s probably happened at my parents house. There were a lot of messes and a lot of memories.
Inequalities; life is full of them.
Here are some hints to help conquer the messy ones.
Conversation > Cleaning
Instead of cleaning while you are in the middle of enjoying the company of your family, friends, refocus your energy to the conversation that is happening amongst you. Participate!
Memories > Messes
Memories are like the door prize of a good time. They are free and something that only you take home with you. No one’s memory is exactly the same.
Now that I am an adult and have my own apartment I continue with the once a week cleaning (of course it isn’t hard to keep this tiny place tidy but I can tell you that the baseboards in my house are as spotless as they can be with a husky in the house!). I also keep up with the McGuire tradition of entertaining regularly. Usually it’s just one or two people, for conversation and occasional porch wine. Whether it’s two people or ten, dishes and glasses inevitably pile up in the sink, and most of the time they wait until the next day (or two) to be cleaned and put away.
I could go on and on about all the philosophies I’m proud and thankful to have learned from my parents, but sticking with the theme of this post I’ll just mention two: 1. I’m thankful that my parents taught me to focus more on the memories than the mess and 2. I’m thankful that my parents chose conversation over cleaning (and if all else fails to dim the lights and light some candles to hide the dust, (no one’s doing the white glove test at your house, are they?!)).
Have a great day and may all of your messes today be as inspiring as scattered confetti and lucky pennies!