I was at a women’s thing a couple of years ago and at the end of it we were all supposed to get up and talk a little about ourselves and every single woman talked about a challenge in her life, and most of us (including me) became teary as we spoke. Except for this one beautiful woman who got up and talked about how much fun she was having and how excited she was about what was ahead. I don’t remember much about what anyone else said that day. I don’t even remember what I said, but I remember her.
Have you noticed this? Most writers/bloggers/speakers, especially the mommies, spend a lot of their writing and speaking talking about what a mess they are. I’ve spent many of my own words saying that very thing. And sometimes, it’s true. But I’ve realized something. I’ve had an epiphany, of sorts, which is: I’m not a mess all the time.
I think there has been a kind of solidarity in mommy-messiness, or woman-messiness. I think we have needed to affirm each other’s reality and to not pretend that life is a huge, sweet lollipop from which we get to take a giant lick every day. I think talking about our struggles and challenges has been fabulous and healthy and beautiful, and I don’t want to suggest for a second that we should stop doing that. I mean, just this morning I had an “issue” with a three-year old over why she keeps asking for food she doesn’t eat, and now she’s sitting on her bed and I’m sitting at the computer, and I’m not sure whether the struggle was over food or control or who’s-in-charge, and I think I might have handled it less gracefully than I could have. And sure, the house is kind of a wreck after the weekend and I can’t find my broom and my boys didn’t get outside to do chores until 10:00 this morning.
The thing is, this “mess” isn’t the whole of my world or my family or my day. The reality is bigger than that. The reality is less messy in a life-is-so-hard way, and more sometimes-life-is-ridiculous-and-even-hard-but-mostly-I’m-happy.
Mostly, I’ve found, life is pretty hilarious.
And even as I write that, I know it’s not that way for everyone. I know there are some really tough situations that some of you are facing. I know there are places in the world where horrible things are happening. I know it can be very, very hard.
I guess I’m just saying that truth can be all kinds of things for different people at different times, and sometimes, truthfully, life is fun.