31 More Things – 24 – Mess

These are from Ali’s 31 More Things class. More context here.

So here’s my day twenty-four – mess.

(journaling below)

This is my desk right now. It’s where I do my work all day long. it’s where I write my journaling. It’s where I do my art. It’s where I spend pretty much most of my awake hours. While I like to keep all my pencils and art supplies out, I constantly wish my desk was less messy. When it looks the way it does now, I feel stressed out and overwhelmed.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with mess. I am messy and have always been but then sometimes all the mess overwhelms me and I cannot clean it up fast enough. Lately, it seems worse than usual. I feel the need to shed everything around me. I want to throw away or give away everything but the bare minimum of what I actually use. I feel like the items around me are too much. I can’t wait to get rid of it all.

When I am in the middle of working, scrapbooking, making art, my desk is always a total mess. I take things, I put things, I pile them up in ways that are clearly unwise, stuff is everywhere and it doesn’t bother me one bit. But then, as soon as I am finished, I need to clean every single thing off my desk. Even if I will continue to paint, scrap or whatever, I need to clean up between two different pages. I can’t start a new project unless I am starting with a clean desk. I cannot go to bed with a huge mess on my desk.

I regularly find myself making messes and cleaning them up throughout the day. (In fact, I started cleaning up my desk and I am type this.) For me, this dichotomy between having everything out and within reach and keeping my desk tidy is always tough to work with and I rarely find myself at peace with the solution. Every few months, I seem to hit a threshold and I will remove every item on my desk and start over. But it doesn’t take long before it’s exactly where it is right now.

Maybe my desk will never be super-clean. Maybe my life will always have pockets of messes. Maybe I will never be as neat and tidy as I feel I should be (or even as neat as I sometimes wish to be.) But, in the end, I what matters most is I love this table. I love how it’s full of things I love. Things that bring me joy and happiness. Things that I can touch and feel and experience. Color. Texture.

Everything on my desk is a piece of my life that I cherish and my full desk reminds me how full my ordinary life is in all the magical ways. So I let go and embrace the mess.

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