I don’t know about your house, but at mine, bunny rabbits have nothing on my laundry! It just seems to multiply, and multiply, and multiply some more. Just when I think I’m getting a handle on the laundry, here comes a sink full of dishes or a spill on the carpet that needs attention. If you know a secret to get the kids slime out of hair, clothes, or the backseat of the car, I’ll pay you good money. Being vigilant about every crumb or mess in the house is exhausting. And time consuming. If spending more quality time with the family doing things that bring you TRUE joy was at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, there will be times when you have to save the tidying for later.
And be ok with that.
I saw a headline recently that made me gasp, and apparently all of the internet had the same response as I did. “The Queen of Clean, Marie Kondo, says she has kind of given up on tidying at home.”
Excuse me? Is she allowed to do that?
She’s the tidying up guru who took our lives and our homes by storm back in 2014 with her books and TV shows, teaching us all about the joy of keeping a clean home. Now, after three kids, she has thrown in the towel on tidy. The overwhelming response from her fans has been disappointment. Followers of her movement felt betrayed, and let down. But, maybe Marie is teaching us a new lesson. The lesson of prioritizing time with our loved ones. Choosing to put the pile of laundry on hold while you make memories instead. Allowing the dishes to sit just a while longer so that you can be present in the moment with the people who matter most.
So often we pray and ask God to make our lives more meaningful, to give us more time in the day to make those memories that last a lifetime, to help us juggle our busy schedules in order to fit it all in. But, it could be a matter of realizing that God never meant for us to cram our days full of “stuff” to begin with. Maybe we just have to become ok with a little mess from time to time in exchange for a spontaneous dance party in the living room with the kids, that afternoon nap we’ve been denying ourselves for too long, or a quick dash to the ice cream shop just because.
We don’t need Marie Kondo’s permission to let life get a little messy, although it is reassuring to us commoners to know that even “the queen” has her untidy days. We need to give ourselves permission. If you’re anything like me–an extreme neat-freak, admitted germaphobe–there is so much freedom in permission.