The Messiness of Life

Life has a way of being unpredictable at times. Mix those surprises into a large family with multiple members who have ADHD and anxiety, and things get even more interesting. Since my last post, which was admittedly a bit too long ago, the family dynamics have changed a bit.

Choices we make in life have a way of coming back to bite us, or sometimes just proving to be a rough patch on the ocean of life. This recently came to my mind as I was struggling to adjust to being a single mother again while working a full time job and taking online classes to acquire my master’s degree in social work. In trying to re-vamp my world for better functioning, I knew that the online university work was a big stressor on our family functioning. That inevitable inner critic wanted to point out how quitting half way through would improve day-to-day life.

At the same time, financial crises that most single parents face at times came calling at my door. One full time income with four male eating machines just wasn’t cutting it. In trying to figure out a solution, it became apparent that there was no way I needed to quit that master’s program half way through! Completing it means that my income will triple, so that seemed like a no-brainer to me.

As I was selling the artwork off the walls in my home to buy food and gas to get to work, it occurred to me that life is just messy sometimes. Having been raised as an idealist, it has taken a lot of bumps and bruises to finally get that through my head. The “picket fence” American dream is just that…a dream. When we are young it looks possible, but as the sanding of life knocks of our rough edges, we come to accept the fact that we will have a unique set of life experiences.

I love going to flea markets and antique shops. I seldom buy anything, but walking through is like taking a peek into history. My oldest son says it is like “Going to a museum where you can touch and handle everything.” My reason for loving this venue is that there is so much LIFE in each piece. The wood may have a stain or two, but in each stain is a story, a human connection where someone left proof of their existence and imperfection. Every time I walk through a place like this, I get the instinctive impression that I am not alone in this thing we call life. Others have lived and walked before me, with their own brand of mistakes, choices, and stories.

Life just gets complicated for each of us. If each item in an antique store could talk, we would all learn about the varied experiences of nameless others who have struggled with the same difficulties we experience. Difficult relationships, single parenting, financial crises, we would hear all about this and so much more. What would people learn from listening to the stories your furniture could share?

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