I’ve always been a mess. When you walk into my house, it may appear neat, if I’ve had notice that you’re coming over, but please keep out of my closets, drawers, and baskets. I know throwing things into the wrong places is bad habit that I have formed throughout the years. My house might look clean and perfect, but my drawers and baskets are always full of random items that do not belong together. Always. I spend more time looking for things than I actually use them. Maybe someday I’ll change, but I honestly don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my space to look neat, however, I have never been one of those people where the whole house is actually clean, including the drawers and closets. I’ve always admired those who have a place for everything and spend their evening and weekends organizing life and their closets. Their lives always look clean and neat. They appear to live this way effortlessly and I always admire their discipline that I do not possess.
My admiration for the type-A organized people is probably why I was determined to have a happy, simple life, with a simple family. As a young twenty-year old, I wanted nothing more than to find the “right one,” my soulmate. My plan was simple, I’d find my true love, we’d fall in love, build a solid foundation, and have kids as we sorted through life together. I never wanted a messy family. There was not going to be divorce or stepfamilies. Life wasn’t going to be perfect, but our family would be a solid unit, together forever. That was the plan. Clean. Simple. Perfect.
Life is not clean, simple and perfect. As I age, I’m finding that life gets messy. My young self never predicted cancer and being widowed at thirty-four. That was not in my clean, simple plan. For two years, I cried everyday about my less than perfect life. Along with the millions of feelings of grief, I felt like my family plan was shattered. I didn’t know what to do, how to cope, or even think about a possible future. Life would never be clean and perfect again. I had a choice, keep my simple family and be alone OR accept the imperfectness of the future. I thought I could be happy alone, with memories to keep me warm. I was wrong. After losing Scott, keeping a simple family was lonely.
I mourned the loss of simplicity for two years. I loathed the mess, although I always lived in it. Always. I know that Scott wanted nothing but love and happiness for me. Me existing, instead of living was not honoring his memory.
Once I accepted this mess, this life, everything changed for me. I laughed a real laugh for the first time earlier this year. The laughter gave me life, and hope for a happier future. As situations unfolded, I realized that I needed to accept my messy basket life if I wanted to actually live. I was too young to give up and live the next few decades going through the motions. With this true acceptance, I have found love. My loss taught me to grateful for the past, present, and future.
Nothing in life is perfect, not even the well planned family. My messy baskets are imperfectly perfect. Life this way was not in my plan, but it is my beautiful mess. My life, my future, my family is a messy basket. Whether my basket is simple or messy, I accept it with love and gratitude.