I see an incredible amount of things out of place. I see piles of laundry, dishes, and renovation messes. I see cobwebs in windows, and corners that are layered in dust. I’ve swept the floor over and over and over again in a single day, and every time I look it seems as if I haven’t swept in a week. The fruit flies are taking over. We haven’t eaten properly for months now. We’re stuck in a mess of a kitchen that has leaked distress, financial strain, and disorder through to more pieces of our life than I Imagined it would. My little will be starting preschool next week, and we still have to replace things like shoes and boots that don’t fit. I’m heading back to work next week after over 3 years of a lack of routine, and to work as a teacher at the preschool my daughter will be attending, which involves a whole other set of questions and worries.
Every which way I look in my life, I feel the pit of my stomach drop and a little voice whisper into my ear and straight down to my heart. “This is too much. You can’t do it. You can’t handle your life.” At what point will all of the disorder of my existence end? With each step mounted and put behind us I feel like life will get easier. Yet the disorder continues. Something always needs doing. Many somethings.
Am I missing something? Am I doing it wrong? Some days I feel like screaming as loud and as hard as I can until I have no breath left, in some sort of a sad effort to let it all out.
The fact is both comforting and crappy: It will never end. There will NEVER be a point in my life when the dishes are really and truly done. We will always need to eat. They will continue to pile up and need washed every single day of our life. And so with the laundry. The floors. The toilets, tub, sinks, lawn. Those freaking carpeted stairs that I can never seem to vacuum. The fruit flies will always find a way to creep into our home as long as we keep food here. There is no end.
This is comforting, because accepting that it doesn’t end allows me at least a little bit of mental space to let it go. To be okay with things not being finished. To be able to see that pile of dishes and know that no matter how much effort I put into scrubbing them, they will always need done. The crappy part of that I don’t think I need to spell out for you.
I’m coming to realize that, as different projects come and go that need our attention – these will never end, either – the constant state is “in progress”. There is always something.
So. Do I dwell on the fact that this moment is full of needs, and become overwhelmed with this sense of failure and “not good enough” that I feel in this deep ache in my centre? Do I feel shame for each second I take to sit for a moment, to drink a cold cider, to write, or to do anything that doesn’t “need” done on paper?
Or do I accept that this life is in progress. That it always will be, and that’s actually a good thing.
Because if it wasn’t in progress, it would be done.
And I’m not ready for the end yet. There’s one heck of a story to finish, and the pages I’ve been through are much different than the chapter I’m on. Let’s keep this going and see where it leads.