I’m Normal and My Car Is Even Messy, Too

“Some things go very wrong even when we’re doing our very best.”
Gerrit W. Gong

I rushed to meet three other women to car pool to a women’s conference. I volunteered to drive. The first woman opened my car door and said, “Oh good you’re messy, too.”

Yes! I’m normal. We eat in our car. We spill crumbs. And I don’t have time to vacuum more than every three months.

Her relief set a tone of familiarity and honest conversation between all of us on the rest of the ride. She needed me to be messy not to validate herself but to verify that none of us can do it all.

I don’t want to do it all—I never have—but I do want to succeed at what I do choose to do. We can all try to do our very best, but we’ll still leave some crumbs.

Some days I feel like I’m not surviving my new schedule. Sometimes that means that my messes appear bigger than crumbs.

One day last week I fit in a meeting for church on a Friday night. Our usual date night gave way to mesh everyone’s schedules. Paul decided to campaign, and at the last minute I chose to take my youngest daughter with me.

In the hour between work and leaving for the hour-long trip I picked up my car, made a quick dinner, read a verse or two from the scriptures, knelt for a brief family prayer, ate dinner together, checked email, printed my papers and set my stuffed binder on the stair banister while I packed my purse—only two minutes late.

Then it all tumbled down the stairs. Every single paper in my binder scattered the entire length of the stairs.

I cried. I pouted. I stomped my foot. Until my husband pulled me together and sent me on my way.

I sat in the front seat, desiring peace and praying for calm. And I heard her voice. The excited voice of my tween daughter from the back. She couldn’t wait to talk to me the whole way. I sighed a little, wishing I had some of her eagerness left.

But then, I saw my binder crammed with papers.  “Can you organize this for me while we drive?” I asked.

And I handed it over to her.

1 Comment

  1. Rebecca
    Oct 5, 2010

    I’ve been having many a similar meltdown lately. It makes me feel better that you go through meltdowns too. =)

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