Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Two Things I am Thankful for this Thanksgiving

I've always wanted to do that thing where you go around the table on Thanksgiving and everyone says something they are thankful for. But the eye rolling and clearly translatable sighs deter me year after year. But you, dear reader, I cannot see your eyerolls or hear your "ughs!" So here is what I am thankful for this year:

The Mess
Homemade chocolate chip cookies

That's it. That's right, just two things.

I could list walks on the beach, reruns of Castle, cereal, my family, finding five dollars in my winter coat when I put it on for the first time, blah-dity, blah-dity, blah. The truth is though, they all belong to The Mess, or, more accurately they are all the balance to The Mess. And to be clear, when I refer to The Mess, I am not speaking of kitchen duties in the Armed Services, I am speaking of the glorious Mess that is my, and, everybody's life. It is capitalized because it deserves honor and respect.


Yes, honor and respect. Many would say that mess is there to be cleaned up, that is creates a sense of chaos, unease and judgement from visiting relatives this weekend. Yes, it can do that. Mess can be feared and swept under the carpet and stuffed in the closet and crammed under the bed. It can be the hidden secret of shame you carry with you all weekend as you smile and answer "Things are good, thanks for asking." Eventually, though, someone is going to go looking for their coat and when they open the closet the Mess will reveal itself.

Mess will always be there no matter how many baskets you buy from Pottery Barn or drawer organizers you pick up at Bed Bath & Beyond or pictures of idyllic familial bliss you post on Facebook. So, here is the thing I love about the Mess: all the cool stuff I find when I sift through it. I love the feeling of relief when I throw things away I really don't need but was convinced I had to hang onto. I love finding things I completely forgot about that make me squeal with joy and surprise. And I love the new stuff that has found a way into my world. I would never experience all of these things if the Mess did not exist.

Yes, the Mess can be ominous and the anticipation of dealing with it is often unbearable, but there are so many interesting things to be found there; wonderful things, hard things, confusing things, things that create more mess. At the end of the Mess though lies a delicious sense of clarity, accomplishment and pride. It is that moment when you know where everything is, where everything goes. And then the mail comes and the Mess starts anew.

The Mess will always be there, and it is not there to be conquered, it is there to remind us of what living is. Life reveals itself most vividly in the midst of the Mess. So I am thankful for the Mess.

And as for homemade chocolate chip cookies, that's self-explanatory.

Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. Right back at ya, Mary. I am thankful for the periodic smile your blog puts on my face.