I was talking to someone this week who said that they’d spilt milk all over the floor, but once it was cleaned it was cleaner than it had been in ages. I imagine we’ve all had incidents like that, suddenly there’s a great spillage, and after sorting it out you realise, maybe it hadn’t been that clean before. Sometimes it’s necessary for something out of the ordinary to happen, to make us realise the ordinary was in a bit of a mess already.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m speaking metaphorically. 

Yes, I’m considerably better than I was, but I’m still not firing on all cylinders. In order to get back to some sense of normality I have had to reflect on me, and recognise the part I am playing in this. Yes there are a lot of external factors, but I have had to understand that I am in a bit of a mess too. I imagine I knew, but I was glossing over it, the weekly dust around, but something out of the ordinary has made me see more of the mess. Now, I need to clean!

I say I’m speaking metaphorically, but actually it’s not that far from the way I live. I am a messy person. When I ask a pupil to put something on my desk in the office I always say “mine is the messy one”. Don’t get me wrong it’s not horrific, but there are lots of bits of paper, books, etc… I would say it’s organised chaos but I think that would be a lie as well! Similarly the house is not pristine by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s fine, and then there will be a mass tidy up. 

I don’t think mess is a bad thing, especially in a house. I’ve got friends who will apologise that the house is a mess, but to me it’s not a mess, it’s lived in, it shows that the kids have been doing lots of activities. Mess is often a result of happiness, and activity. Just the think about the state of the house after a party, that’s normally a good sign of success! 

Similarly, I think everyone is a bit messy mentally, but that’s what any form of relationship and life does to us. Again, it’s not a bad thing.

We obviously tidy up when people come round, and I know I’m going to pop into work next week to tidy up the classroom a bit, as there’s going to be someone else teaching in there. We like to make a good impression, but again , it depends on who it is, and what the occasion is. If it’s people I know just coming for a cuppa, it will be a quick skim round, but if it’s someone I don’t know that well, or if it’s for a dinner, then full blown clear up, dusting everywhere, plumping cushions, probably a scented candle as well!

The same on a personal level, there are some who only see the polished version, some who see some of the mess, and then those closest who get the full blown picture.

I’ve tried being tidy, but it never lasts. I think I find it quite a therapeutic seeing the transformation from mess, to shimmering splendour (not that that is ever really a description of our house). There’s probably also a part of me that thinks, there’s no point if there’s not much to do. I know people who have enougshirts for a few weeks, they then wash them all and iron them all whilst watching a movie! It actually seems quite sensible?

What I’m starting to realise is that this is what I tend to with my mental health as well – which is not so sensible. I keep glossing over it all, but never really getting any clearer, and then it all gets too much and I have to work really hard, over a long period of time, to get back to a sense of normality. Not healthy. Not helpful. Not productive. Do I think theres no point in dealing with the little things, let’s wait until things are really bad first. Then I’ll see a difference once I sort It out. Quite possibly, in fact I think this probably is the case. 

Mess, it isn’t a bad thing. I was going to say it’s a necessity, but that’s wrong and would suggest that I’m going down the route of mess is necessary for us to appreciate when things are clean. Mess is an inevitability, a result of living, but too much mess and it’s unhealthy and takes a lot more effort to clean. 

As usual, I have no answers, but I have a feeling I know now what I’m going to be doing on the first morning of my half term break… 

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