Clean up your messes. Profound huh?
I have been on a bit of a cleaning kick lately. A couple of weeks ago, I spent about two days de-cluttering all of the common areas of our house as well as our bedroom. The result was a house that just made me feel better. When I did it, Mark was traveling and you girls were at our dad’s, so maintaining my pristinely clean bubble didn’t take too much effort. When everyone came back, I threatened your lives if you left messes and was determined that the current state would be maintained.
Little by little, things appeared on surfaces, dishes appeared in the sink and little things got by. Isn’t that how it always goes? So I scrambled around and got it all back in shape and I realized for the 1000th time in my life that it is easier to maintain something than to get it there in the first place. Messes have a way of creeping up on us when we don’t tend to them. A few drops of spilled milk can stink up a whole lot of space if we don’t mop it up.
By now you know I’m not just talking about dishes right??
Relationships are a lot like clutter. When we take care of them, tend to them a little every day and clean out the trash, they stay fresh, and restful and good. When we let little things go unresolved and let frustration fester, the little messes turn into big messes and those messes put our relationships at risk.
And if you think I’m saying this whole maintenance thing is easy, please read on. This is HARD. It takes a little bit of work every day and a lot of work some days. But you know what? Friends and family are worth it. They deserve your honesty when they have hurt you. They deserve the trust that you have to place in them by telling them that something needs to change. People are just people, and sometimes they don’t know. People who would never knowingly hurt you in a million years deserve to know when they have unknowingly done so because they think YOU are worth it….worth the change, worth fixing it, worth the work.
I have learned this the hard way (by not doing it) and the easier way (accomplished through loving friends and partners who also believed it was worth it). Although the work you put into your clutter every day can sometimes seem like a pain, and it can be hard…it will never be as hard as a broken relationship or a lost friend.
So yes, clean up your messes…the big ones and the small ones. Tend to your clutter and tend to your relationships daily. That little bit of work is a whole lot easier than digging out from under a pile.
And when things get past you, and they begin to stink, don’t give up. Grace is a great deodorizer.