So I started decorating the tree yesterday. Wow, that's a job eh?
First I have to remember where all the stuff is. I mean, I know it's all in the utility room.....somewhere. Some of it is in clearly marked bins but other stuff is in random boxes of all shapes and sizes. Apparently I utilized whatever was at hand, shoeboxes, previously used UPS boxes that still have the carriers label on it and even a box that once held furnace filters. I ought to re-label that one I suppose. Then it's a matter of getting step ladders, moving stuff around in the utility room to reach things, and as is often the case with the bins, first hauling down all the bins that were stacked on top of the one on the bottom which is always the one I need. Quite a work out.
Then I drag it all into the living room and family room, open it all up and sort through. What is in where? For a person who compliments themselves as often as I do on my tidy habits, my Christmas Decorations are an absolute mess. Shame on me. I'll bet it's one of those things that I swear I'm going to do "next year' and then I don't. Either too busy, too tired or too not in the mood. I won't even say that this year I will sort through it all and tidy it up and properly label it. But it sure would be nice if I did.
Then I need to bring in the step ladder because as we all know, Christmas tree decorating is not a job for short people. That was the first thing I needed because I found the top decoration first thing and unlike most people, I put it on immediately. First decoration is on, the decoration has officially begun and I'm already tired.
But I do love unwrapping each decoration because each one is a treasure. Handcrafted or store bought, inherited or gifted, each ornament brings to mind the person who gave us the decoration. I decorate a tree with memories :) That's kind of nice isn't it? But the mess I'm making all over the place isn't so nice. It looks like a hoarder lives here. There is literally a path through the boxes and tissue and bags and bubble wrap that will guide you to the tree. And frankly, knowing that once I'm through decorating and worn out from that, I still have to clean that mess up and put everything back makes me even more tired.
I'm philosophical about it though. Most of the best things in life require a big mess first. Think about it. One of the biggest messes ever is renovating. When we had the kitchen reno'd the entire house was a wreck. We hadn't yet unpacked, had almost no furniture and what we did have was just shoved into empty rooms because the kitchen and living room were a disaster area. So was the utility room and what is now the pantry. Just by it's proximity the front hall, guest room and family room fared little better. The only safe places were Tim's office and our bedroom (with the doors closed) and the bathrooms (also with doors closed at all times) and even then every single night I had to clean just to stay ahead of it a bit. This went on for almost three months. But at the end, just when I thought it would never end, that we would live like squatters in a construction zone forever, it was finally done and it was a thing of beauty. It was worth the stress and the mess.
On a smaller scale, cleaning out a closet is the same. First you have to make a big mess. Drag everything out of the closet and strew it around. Clean like a fiend, sort through the piles, throwing away what is no good, giving away what you don't need and tidying up what you chose to keep. When it's all done and the brooms and mops are put away, the donations delivered and the garbage taken to the curb and the things you keep put away properly, you gaze upon the gorgeousness that is now a closet you can be proud of and know that it was worth the effort.
Now that I think about it, the same thing can be applied to my actual life. The worst times in my life, the messiest, ugliest, most horrible moments eventually led to the best. Once I waded into the thick of it and put in the work to throw away what was no good, give away what I don't need and tidy up what I'm going to keep things got better. It is always a lot of work and it takes a lot of time. I get dirty, and tired and bumped and bruised a bit too. And lordy, I always get tired. Sorting out a life mess is the kind of job that just wear you down to your bones. And sometimes I get discouraged and think that the tough times will never end. But I persevere, I keep working and sorting and cleaning and tidying and at the end, my life is always improved immeasurably. And quite honestly, this happens every single time. Awesome.
Isn't it good to know that in the end, it's all worth while. And that goes for Christmas tree decorating too.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.