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Thursday, May 27, 2010


Some days there's just not enough optimism in the world.


wendy said...

Golly that's a depressing amount of mess and I am seriously glad I am not you.

Having given you my callous sympathy can I just say what I really wanted to? *ahem*

"How BIG is that jar of peanut butter! Man, that is HUGE. I am impressed."

That's all. :)

Judy said...

It looks to me like life is happening in your home.

Isn't that what it's all about?

Or, is it the hokey-pokey? I forget.

Anyway, it looks like everyone put their whole-self in and shook it all about.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you have guts Joycie. I so "know" the landscape (except my sewing machine is sadly crying in a corner from lack of use for quite awhile). I hug your realism. I have not been able to connect for a long time with people who do life without veneer. I doubted that anyone would accept me if they found out I wasn't like them and so I have avoided most everyone. And yeah, optimism is tough depsite the deep knowledge that time with family is precious and life can't be neatly stacks like books (at least not in my home). Still makes me feel like a failure. Also, your previous blog of "How Come:" resonates strongly and so I hold hands with you from a distance in this crazy journey and thank you for being exactly who you are, and for affirming that I am not the only one who feels that way. Run on sentence.

Anonymous said...

My head feels like those pictures right now. So much swirling, mumble jumble mess in there. Overwhelming... Just feel like crawling into a dark corner and crying in self pity. Yup, that's how I feel, but what good would that do, except that a big cry every now and then does feel really good, doesn't it? And we are allowed that every now and again, aren't we?

I don't want to have a shower, dress like a normal person, head to work and pretend that my life is ok. I just want to lay in bed, by myself and sleep and cry, cry and sleep. And pee every now and again (I have reached that stage in life, where, even though I don't drink anything past 8 pm, I still have to get up at least twice a night to pee!!). And not have my damned cats wake me up at 1/2 hour intervals to either come in or go out of the house....

And have someone else, for once, clean up, make a meal, clean up that meal and just leave alone. Sounds like I need a 1 person retreat! But to where and how and when??

Sorry for your mess Joyce. Really. It feels so overwhelming from here in my head.

The Naked Chef

joyce said...

Wendy- that is a hilarious comment. I remember when I was a little girl and at my grandmother's on a Sunday. She had the LITTLE-est jars of cheese whiz and peanut butter. That image is like BURNED in my memory.
When you are the eighth of eight children, and then you go ahead and procreate four for yourself, you shop in bulk. Costco, big ass jars of everything.

Judy- the put their whole selfs, plus their sandwhiches and sports equipment and shake and shake and shake. And I must do too much for all of them. Although... last night when we went out, we came home to eldest daughter studiously cleaning the kitchen. That warmed my heart.

Is that you, Vanilla Bean? I've been thinking and wondering about you. That's all- just know you are loved. It must feel like a risk to live life real, and without veneer. Sometimes it does feel sort of vulnerable and embarrassing, but then I hate the feeling of hiding even more than the feeling of vulnerability. And I think anyone with some kids, plus another six or seven kids who drop in daily finds their kitchen buried, the laundry boring,etc, etc. Honestly. Do people with real LIVES actually live in show homes? Blech. No thanks.

Oh Naked One.
You know, I'm so glad I snapped those photos when I did. I think you nailed it- that clutter feels so symbolic of the inside of one's head. I usually feel like I can't carry on and think if there is Sh** on every surface of everywhere in my home. (well, I actually really like stuff. but I like ORGANISED clutter- like vignettes, and not markers piled on top of peanut butter piled on top of soccer socks.)
I wish you could crawl back into bed. More than that, I wish you had a good woman friend to bring you kleenex, hot tea, and some chic movies, and then eat cheezies in bed and laugh while you cry.
Please give yourself permission to cry. It is vital to your health.
And I'm sending you a virtual supper, complete with a nice glass of wine (try and finish it up before 8 pm). After, we'll clean up your dishes and send you to bed early.

I'm deeply grateful for ALL your words, EVERYONE. This is the reality of work that constantly, eternally gets undone and has to be redone and redone and redone.

Pretty thankless, but ever so necessary. I sometimes imagine a landscaper putting in flowers and pathways and then every day returning to that same yard to see it all over turned. Then doing it all over again. day after day.

That's what a house pretty much feels like.

Love you guys. You are my outlet in this house I exist in.

christine said...

i like your house...i seriously love it. all i see are the "details", like the cool suitcases above the armoire (?)!!

Anonymous said...

Aren't you just so thankful to have a dishwasher...and that's all I have to say, cousin.

briacolleen said...

You are a brave, brave woman for posting these pictures. While my house looks pretty-much like yours I wouldn't have the guts to show pics....but it makes me happy that I'm not the only one out there! (I love your kitchen table by-the-way!)

Anonymous said...

Ok and I'm gonna say some things here, just because I can, and because I love this! Been thinking about LIFE lately. What IS the meaning of life? We get up, do our thing, go to bed and do it all over again. I observe people at different stages of life -- also doing the same things over and over and over again. Some feel the importance of "veneer", some the importance of a "holy image", many embrace people and stuff with love and acceptance... and I do all of the above at different times. What do I want?? To live an honest life -- inner and outer, to love wholly, to laugh, cry, speak the truth -- yet always leaving people THEIR dignity, to make an impact but not a gag-me-with-a-spoon impact... just a real this-is-my-life-I'm-trying-to-figure-things-out-as-I-go impact. Sometimes I make great choices and say great things... other times I say the stupidest things and make the dumbest choices, and sometimes I do NOTHING -- that really annoys me too. Vent vent vent. Thanx -- I LOVE real people!

Karla said...

But why is it that I don't see a ziploc bag full of frozen spaghetti on your counter? Huh? Letting things slip, a little, aren't we, Joyce?

janice said...

Your house looks GREAT! Like a great place to be a kid, a cat, or a dog. My first, last, and middle offspring is leaving in September and I have not had the courage to rent other's, as you have, so IF I clean my house it will stay that way. That thought does not fill me with joy.

Can I come live with you? I can cook and clean and wipe noses and bottoms and do laundry.

joyce said...

Thanks, Christine. I love my home too. I have lots more stuff that I like to muck around in once a millenium when I find time. I found a great chair at a yard sale that I think you'd like. Will post pics when the world stops spinning.

Roselle, I ought to be grateful for a dishwasher, but I don't really give a rat's ass. It's the putting away of all the dishes that gets to me. I actually don't mind washing them all that much. But yeah- on onemmillion plastic cup days, that dishwasher comes in handy. It's pretty much there for aesthetic reasons, as it doesn't actually clean dirty things. I hear that some dishwashers actually CLEAN dishes, while mine mostly makes a lot of impressive swishing noises and then bakes things onto plates. blech.

Bria- it's interesting what makes people cringe. My messy house doesn't bother me much- it's not always messy because I actually like order. There is always a lot of stuff in it, but i'm cool with that. Now, I would never, ever post a spread sheet on how I spend money. Ever. I would never post how much I spent on groceries, or thrift shops, or gas, or anything. That sort of thing makes me feel really really vulnerable. Probably because in my house, growing up, S-X and money were off-topic. Totally off- topic. Really vulnerable to shame and insecurity.

real people commenter: i love what you said here, and It will likely spawn a post of its own. i like the humility and honesty in it.

Karla, Karla. You have so much to learn. Some day I'll take you into my Special Mentoring Program. I'll Disciple and Mentor you. Then perhaps you will Grow.

Janice- if you slid in here and hid under some quilts in the living room (I have a severe weekness for yard sale quilts), or you tucked yourself under some laundry (dirty, or clean but unfolded, and un-distributed), then you could likely live here indefinitely, and unnoticed. Just pop up and do all that saintly stuff that you mentioned above. Maybe do it at night when the bathroom (singular) is under less demand. While you're in there, fold some laundry, and wipe some surfaces, would you? thanks.

Mary K. said...

Thanx Joyce. I felt so much better after I said all that "real" stuff... Love reading your "stuff".