I got home last night after being away for five days. It was both great and anxiety producing. Great because I love my home and the beings that reside there with me. Anxiety producing because I am total control freak and super particular about how the house looks and where things are. Coming home has always produced this effect on me. I both love it and hate it at the same time.
So as I moved through my disappointment in my teenager's standards for cleanliness and order and the anxiety I felt in trying to get everything back in place, I noticed what was happening to me and was able to stop it from blowing up into a full blown meltdown.
It was a weird experience because I was having the following conversation in my head:
WHY IS THE HOUSE A MESS?!? I JUST PAID SOMEONE TO CLEAN IT AND IT DOESN’T EVEN LOOK LIKE ANYONE DID ANYTHING!!!!!!
calm down. you are home...safe. your animals and kid are safe and well. it is all good.
BUT WHY CAN’T ANYONE EVER LET ME HAVE A CLEAN ORDERLY HOUSE? WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT AND THEN HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF CLEANING UP ALSO? THIS IRRITATES ME TO NO END!
because you are the only one who cares. it doesn’t matter to everyone else. especially to a 13 year old girl and a dog. they do not care.
THEN THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT ME!
you can frame it like that if you want but it isn’t going to change anything.
I JUST WANT THINGS TO LOOK NICE AND BE WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE! I WANT THE HOUSE I PAID TO HAVE CLEANED LOOK CLEAN!!!!!!
it is in the nature of things to fall out of order and need to be cleaned again. this is life my friend.
I AM SO FRUSTRATED!!!!!!!!!
I know, stay with that but let’s not lose our shit over this. it won’t help or change a thing. you can do something differently...really.
BUT I WANT THEM TO CHANGE!
oh sweetie, doesn’t everyone?
THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, IS IT?
no. it isn’t. and the only one who is going to suffer with this is you and the people you love most in this world. let it go. be here in the mess for now. it is ok.
WHY AM I SUCH A FREAK ABOUT THIS?
good question. ponder that. but be here now with this child who loves you and wants to be with you. be here. let the anger and expectations go and be here.
FUCK. SHIT. DAMN. I AM NOT SURE I CAN.
I know it feels really large and hard to let go of...but you can. right now. just leave it right here and move on to the next minute without it.
CAN I REALLY DO THAT?
yes you can. just begin.
And with that, we saddled up the goats and went for a lovely walk on a cool summer evening. We laughed and talked and enjoyed it all. I apologized for my initial freak out. She apologized for not doing a better job of meeting my expectations. We both laughed at how much a freak I am. We both were grateful to have the ability to move on and into an evening that was full of love and laughter and joy.
So I am going to go with “yes you can, just begin” and so can you. Right now. Right here, let go of whatever you are holding onto that hurts you, pushes people away and makes you unhappy. It is harder than it should be but so very rewarding for the effort.