Just now when I was picking laundry off the floor of my girls' chronically disheveled room, mentally giving the lecture about how their room could be clean all the time if they would simply put each thing back where it goes instead of dropping it on the floor, I had a sudden flashback that made me chuckle.
I was at an overnight birthday party of a newish girl in our neighborhood. Her mother was sharing a few "get-to-know-you" facts about the birthday girl, including that she always kept her room clean. My 8-year-old self was completely awed by this bit of information. I think I incredulously asked her, "Really? Your room is always clean?" I remember her shrugging and saying yeah, it was pretty easy. I was just blown away. As in, "Who is this strange wunderkind who is come among us, who is able to do this thing?"
I guess my girls come by their messiness honestly. When I started this post, I was thinking I could include a photo of their room in its current state as an illustration. Then I realized that wouldn't be fair unless I was also willing to post a current photo of my own room, and well, yeah.
I love, long for, and strive for cleanliness, order, and tidiness. Sadly, maintaining them has never come naturally to me.
I have a friend who says she tells her husband, "Please, if I die, don't let people come over to help clean and get things in order. I'd just be humiliated for people to see my house when it's dirty. You guys clean everything before you let anybody come over."
I, on the other hand, have told Peter that if people want to come and help him clean up and clear things out when I die, then that can be my dying gift to humanity: to let them see how I really lived, and feel better about themselves by contrast.