I’m fully aware that not everyone places the same importance on various things, and that’s okay. Actually, that helps make life interesting – I often think of how much I like being me, but how sad I’d be if the rest of the world was also like me. Yet, there are a few areas where I sometimes wish the world leaned a little bit more in my direction. For instance, I don’t like having clutter around. It makes me feel like I can’t think clearly because the stuff that I see externally gets jumbled up with the stuff I’m thinking internally.
It took me a long time to realize this about myself – to realize that I was less overwhelmed with figuring out how to process my thoughts if the room around me was organized. That was super helpful for me and changed the way I lived my life. I am a much more organized, orderly person now and it definitely helps me live life more fully.
But eventually I began to realize that I might have a slight issue with just how much I like order and everything in its place.
One day I was having a picnic of mochi ice cream with a few of my friends in front of my wood burner. We were cozily sitting on the rug when I realized that we having bits of starch fall off our dessert onto the rug. As the conversation continued I felt like all I could see, all I could hear, were the crumbs so I jumped up and grabbed the sweeper to vacuum it.
“It’s okay Lydia, you can leave it,” my friend Anna told me. “It’ll be good for you,” she added after I gave her an imploring look.
And she was right, although didn’t want her to be. After that I began to pay attention to how I viewed messes and disorder. Before she pointed out the unreasonableness of my actions it hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I was too fastidious about keeping everything in order. Maybe it wasn’t balanced to want to make my friends pause their conversation and move out of the way so I could sweep up a few crumbs.
That seems to be the theme in my life.
I find out something about myself and when I’m aware of the issue everything gets so much better so I run full-tilt towards whatever action, habit, or goal. But then I have kind and caring friends and family who wisely point out the new issues I’ve created by trying to combat the previous issue I found out about.
The Bible talks about how iron sharpens iron and similarly how one person sharpens another. I’m so thankful that I have a whole host of people in my who will nicely point out where I need to grow and change because although I’d like to be perfect, the sad reality is that no one is even close.
So, these days I go about my life balancing my “need” for clutter-free spaces and the reality that humans are humans and healthy dosages of grace and leniency are important factors in every situation.