Utter Clutter Nutter
I ♥ mess. Yyeah, baby!
But wait up … that doesn’t mean I’m a slob/slug/layabout/slack-arse. I’m not. It’s just that once you have kids, any sense of structure, order, and control goes down the crapper.
Pre-ankle-biter days, I was anal retentive. Example: the bathroom of our very first house had a stainless-steel rim around the porcelain hand basin. Water spots on that shiny metal lip were verboten. My injunction didn’t cause any friction between hubby and me because he was an accountant, a neat-freak who colour coded the pegs when he hung the washing.
But in the early stages of parenthood, when he had to hang cloth nappies and mini-onesies, there wasn’t a whole lot of energy left for military precision. By the time we got to toddlerhood, we would have both been dishonourably discharged.
The Lore of My Jungle
Now, all these years on, I’ve found new reasons to keep up the chaos. Nine of them:
- My messy place was custom-designed by my kids. They’ve long since flown the nest, but I’m nostalgic. I’m reluctant to rearrange the twigs, leaves and feathers
- I have seven episodes of whatev I need to see on Netflix. Spruce up or watch TV? It’s a rhetorical question
- I have a bone in my leg
- A perfectly clean house is a sign of a misspent life
- Women with tidy houses don’t get important shit done
- Women with tidy houses rarely make history. And by God, I’m determined to leave my mark … a more indelible one than water spots on stainless steel
- Fifty Shades of Grey has become a synonym for success. I want that level of success (only, with quality writing). Still, my process is disorganised. I’m a pantser, not a plotter. So, the working title for all my books has been Fifty Shades of Look Who Did It and Ran. It had to sound real, which meant the research involved was akin to method-acting, you know, cultivating the experience
- I’m subversive. ‘Don’t edit your manuscript till the very end,’ they say. I edit as I go. ‘Tidy as you go,’ they say. I wait till the very end. Then again, I don’t subscribe to linear time; I respect circular time—no beginning, no end
- I like to keep up with the times, and apparently cluttered is the new clean*
All of the above notwithstanding, when my place is tidy, even if it doesn’t last long, it makes me feel good. So, modern woman that I am, and as an author who thinks outside the box, I tried turning to my Google Home Mini for help.
Google Assistant is happy to tell me the time and current temperature when I ask for it. She also offers a whole lot of unsolicited, useless information. But she gave me attitude when I asked her to straighten up my apartment. Her response: ‘Let me try’—shimmery, sparkly, fairy sound—‘Did anything happen? Sorry, I guess I can’t.’
Then again, maybe she’s not lazy. Maybe her developers programmed her with a tough love sentiment. In other words, to not rescue her users, but instead, to encourage them to find another way. Now that is the nature of creativity. And creativity is a messy process. See. We’ve come full circle!
For those of you who don’t consider yourselves creative, think again. Maybe you’re not a writer, artist, actor, singer or musician, but the I-don’t-have-a-creative-bone-in-my-body won’t wash. Living in itself is a creative process.
On Superlative Shitshows!
You’d never get through the day if you couldn’t problem-solve. And God knows life is unpredictable and challenging and full of curve-balls. Ways to do things can stop working, and what worked yesterday won’t work today. No one knows this better than a parent.
And like me, your children might have left home, but you need to ensure your inner child hasn’t. Without mine, I couldn’t write. Or laugh. Or experiment. Or trust or be curious and open to new experiences. Or be flexible. It’s like playing in the mud again. Messy joy.
There’s one more reason—and probably the best I can think of—to celebrate disorderliness/mishmash/omnishambles/dog’s dinner … or whatever you want to call it: apparently the chronically messy are intelligent.
That makes me a frickin’ genius! Are you …?
This was originally written as a guest post (The Lore of My Jungle) for B-Gina™ Review https://bginareview.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/author-guest-post-the-lore-of-my-jungle-by-author-of-cupid-fcks-up/ An affiliate member of B-Gina™ Creations, B-Gina™ Review is an online literary journal