Messy People

All over the world, successful businessmen are mapping out plans on how they are going to conquer 2013. Part of those strategies most likely involve coming up with a list of goals, with one overreaching pinnacle that must be reached in order for the rest of the list to fall into place. For some, that might be establishing a better business model. For others, it might involve exploring the latest in technological innovations. In any case, these plans are being made by minds of razor-sharp precision, impeccable organization, and stunning intelligence.

On the other hand, you have people like me. My goal for 2013? Clean up the desk in my office enough so I can actually sit at it and use it messy-desk1again.

My keen skills of organization should be easily discerned by the fact that I started this entry by discussing strategies for the new year – in February. Somehow, somewhere, I have lost the gift of order. I have stacks of papers “I might need one day” filling up desk drawers. I have CD’s I have burned music onto but have no idea what they contain because I never bothered to write the contents down anywhere. And there is no telling how many gigabytes of memory I have consumed with useless files on this computer I’m working on right now.

The odd thing is, I can’t stand to be around messy people. While a cluttered desk or disorganized files might make me mutter under my breather, I define “messy” here more as an overall state of being. There are just some people who can’t seem to get anything together, and they’re usually the people who seem compelled to let you know they can’t get anything together every time you see them. Their cars are always breaking down or their jobs are not going so well or someone in their family is sick all the time or their alarm didn’t go off like it was supposed to and on and on and on

I’m sure many people who know me read that last paragraph and wanted to say, “Dude, pretty sure that was talking about you.” I’m not oblivious to my tendency to sink into self-pity, so I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort to at least not project my crappy attitude onto everyone else. I can’t say I’ve been entirely successful at this, but I’ve at least managed to tone down the act a bit. While this has resulted in a lot of positives (My wife, for example, doesn’t want to kill me every day now. We’ve at least worked our way down to every other day. Progress, progress…), I’ve also noticed a distressing downside.

I’ve tried really hard to buy into the “Turn that frown upside-down!” philosophy. I’ve looked for the positives in everything. I know “all things work for good…” At the same time, though, in my effort to be a shiny, happy, positive person all the time, I’ve been stuffing some troubles. I won’t unpack the list here, but there have been some obstacles I just couldn’t get past on my own. To expose them, though, would be to indicate weakness, and that certainly wouldn’t line up with what I was trying to project. Strength is what my family and friends need to see from me, not neediness.

What I am learning (because I am far from the end of this journey) is that everyone needs a little help sometimes. That there are some issues that are just too much to handle. That the facade has got to come down sometimes in the name of relationship. In short, I’m realizing things are going to get messy sometimes. People are going to get messy sometimes.

So my new resolution for 2013 is to get messier. Honesty, love, truth … these are not neat things, but they’re things every one of us needs to focus on. I may never see the top of that desk again, but as long as I keep trying to clean it off I benefit from the work.

So, what do you say? Ready to make a mess with me?


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