Embracing the mess
It’s important to be precise when writing contracts.
My professional pursuit of precision has shaped how I write blogs. I’ve tried to generally make mine neat, fairly linear and perfectly clear. This was easier when I had only one kid and a short-ish commute.
Now, with two kids, a long commute and a heckuva lot of change in a short time, I’ve gotta be frank: I’m getting tired of constantly pursuing precision.
Can’t I just leave that at the job? Can’t I step away from my desk and say, “Adios until tomorrow, Precision! I’ve got life and kids and love and laughter on my radar now!”
It feels pretty good imagining that adios.
You know what I want to write right now?
Not a treatise. Not an essay. Nothing thoughtful or poetic or preachy, or–yuck–precise.
Forget a beginning, a middle and a conclusion. I want to write about now. How I can’t sleep for the fourth night running. How I read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please for a while, hoping that’d inch me closer back to sleep. (I didn’t even like Amy Poehler’s work before I started the book, but whoa am I a fan now. That’s even apart from our shared love of Gavin de Becker, whose pointers might have saved one sister’s life. And helped me with creepy neighbors. And so on and so forth.)
I want to write about how I read a little Just One Thing because it usually calms me. How I did a little sudoku, tried my breathing exercises, tried visualizing exercises, tried watching a little TV with my blue-blocking glasses on, and then read some more Yes, Please before trying visualization again.
How, wondering where on earth I could find a little more sleep, I remembered lying on my sister’s driveway in Oregon a couple of years ago and staring up at the stars. I couldn’t sleep then, either, so I sang songs I used to share with my mom and felt infinite and connected to everything in the entire universe at that moment. I smiled remembering it.
I got up to look for a post I wrote about that, but sat down at the computer and saw my younger sister had just commented on one of my recent posts. To know she was up and thinking about me as I was up and thinking about her made me smile more.
I like tidiness. I like precision. But I like these messy overlapping moments of unorderly life even better, when I remember it’s OK to stop fighting their imprecision. I like these rare moments where I can sit with the infinite connectedness of things and be content not trying to impose human order on them by my little words.
Sleep doesn’t always come easy. Life is messier than my house, which is saying something these time-crunched days.
But the stars, oh, the stars. Unmoved by human words, they keep right on shining,