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How many times have you looked around you and thought of a certain situation, “What a mess?!”
How many of those times did you come to the conclusion that the mess was partly your fault?
Case in point:
Last night I went to bed. The house was secure, candles were blown out, everything was turned off for the night. But, sometime during the night. the rain began to fall, the dogs began to bark and the teen let them in.
Because she knows they are limited to one area of the house, she put up the gates, made sure the doors to the dining room and garage were securely shut, even taking the time to put the garbage can out in the garage so we wouldn’t wake up to garbage all over the kitchen floor, and went to bed.
This morning, upon my arising, I went downstairs and seeing only minor traces of them being inside last night (a spoon from the sink on the floor and a chewed up napkin they countersurfed), I was content to see that the mess was minor and all was well.
Of course, little did I know at the time, all was not well.
Walking downstairs to the basement where my office, a media room, storage room and small in-law/teen suite are, I immediately notice the first trace of dog.
Ugh, you’re kidding me! Well, I’ll have to tend to that. Walk a little farther and see my storage room door is open. Wide open. I step into the dark room with trepidation, afraid of what I would find. I had just spent days cleaning this room out and reorganizing it with Christmas items, miscellaneous items for storage and shelves for hundreds of paperback books, so my dismay at the mess that greeted me was authentic. Post-Christmas purchases that had not made their way into storage containers yet were strewn across the floor. Boxes, bags, tissue and wrapping papers, shredded. Items broken. Teeth marks in everything.
At least this was a mess I could handle, right? Of course! Surprise messes in life happen. We clean them up and move on.
And so I moved on to my office. Where a whole new debacle of dog disaster existed. I am pretty sure he danced on my desk and tossed papers in the air with his teeth. Books devoured, review product mangled, computer bags chewed through. Needless to say, while everyone slept I had one bored husky who should have been better withheld from the disaster area.
Now you may say that I did all I could do, my teen did all she could do and it is no one’s fault that the dog acted like a dog, and I will agree with you, to a point. Past that. my argument is that I know what their behavior is like, so instead of resting easy that they were not getting into trouble while we slept, I should have set a few extra precautions.
First and foremost, I should crate the trouble maker when no one is with him. I know crating works, but to be honest, we are not craters except when they are little puppies. That is a choice we made that we have to deal with.
Second, the basement door should have been shut and latched properly. I know that they are capable of getting doors open if they are not latched all the way, I have even seen our oldest dog turn a handle with his mouth to get a door open! An extra step on my part could have prevented this whole mess.
And then I think about that in relation to life.
I am in some mess right now that is taking a lot to clean. While I did not cause this mess and I cannot control this mess, there are probably a few steps I could have taken to have not let this mess get so out of control. I do have a part in this mess, and because of that I am working to clean it up.
Sometimes we need to crate that which is causing issues. That doesn’t mean not interact with it, love it, pet it and spend time with it. It means we recognize when it is not good for us and we put up a boundary so it cannot mess up our life.
We also must stay away of gaps. Places where trouble can leak through. Sometimes we don’t even realize we left a door cracked, and through that crack a mess arose. We might not even know about the mess until it is shoved under our nose like a pile of dog poo, but once we do find out, the only reasonable thing to do is to go about cleaning it up. One piece at a time. Throw away that which is mangled and broken. Salvage what is worth being saved and pick up the pieces to restore order.
Only you can know what is a mess and what is not. Only you can know what can be saved and what needs to be tossed. Break it down into what you can handle RIGHT NOW. This is your mess and even though many people will go about telling you how to clean it, you hold the reins on what cleaning supplies you hold in your arsenal.
This is your mess, clean it your way. I’ll be over here cleaning mine.