Beauty in the Mess

Recently, I’ve been trying to look at household chores from a different angle, because, honestly, this begrudging hostility that I’ve been using for a decade is about to undo me.

I need something new.

For a month, the new perspective I tried was to look at my chores from a metaphorical perspective, each room having a symbolic meaning. In the laundry room, there is renewal and restoration. As I wash my clothes, I am giving not only my image renewal and fresh appearance, but my heart and soul renewal. In the kitchen, there is comfort and communion with others, nurturing. As I wash the dishes, I am preparing myself for comfort and connection. This is all deep and meaningful and I’m sure it has some validity.

But I still hate my chores.

This morning, I was reading from an older gentleman’s work. He was describing how old farms always bring him such nostalgia no matter how ill-kept they are. Even in disrepair and destruction,, they hold beauty. It reminded me of all the reclaimed wood, rustic and vintage elements that Joanna Gaines uses in her designs. We can love the old and ugly in our homes so that they can become beauty.

As I read this, I looked at my atrociously maintained master bathroom and I tried to find beauty. Truly, the toilet has not been cleaned in four months. It’s disgusting. Clothes are strewn everywhere and about 4 square inches are unlittered on my generously-sized vanity. Where is the beauty here?

I couldn’t see it.

As I’m writing this, my laptop sits on mounds of unopened mail and shards of children’s homework and artwork. Next to me sit Lysol wipes and a box of hair color. It’s utter chaos – that’s what I see.

How do you see the beauty in the mess? All I see is a giant pile of overwhelm. I want so desperately to know the secret, to look at the areas of my home and know the value – to see the moments of joy instead of the drudgery of chores.

I often come to the conclusion that I’m just not one of those people who loves to clean and organize. Are there people who love those things? According to Pinterest there are! What is their secret? I.e. Please tell me their exact myers-briggs personality types so that I can see how much of myself I will have to change in order to become an enthusiast of chores.

Maybe when I know the answers, I’ll repost this as a series with all of my enlightenment. Until then, I’ll be folding laundry with ill temper.

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