I have a confession. Sometimes I turn on my computer to drool over certain pictures online. I know what I like, and I know where to find it. I even look when I’m in public, boring places like the DMV or the grocery store checkout line. I know the pictures are unrealistic, but I just like to look and imagine that could be mine. Yup, I’m an organization addict.
There is something so appealing about the perfectly organized, immaculately clean spaces in magazines and on Pinterest. Everything has a place and there are no visible cords (The cords! I swear they’re growing like vines and wrapping around everything in my house!). Even the books are uniform in height and match the room’s color scheme.
If we take a step back and really consider the life that goes with that kind of perfect, sterile environment, it loses its appeal. Electronics don’t work without those annoying cords, and the value of books is not in what they look like. It’s the stories inside that make life richer. The stories playing out inside our imperfect, toy-filled homes are what life is really about.
It reminds me of an old proverb that is attributed to the Cherokee. In the story an old grandfather tells his grandson about a battle that goes on inside each of us. He said, “My son, there are two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity,lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, generosity, truth,compassion, and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
His grandfather simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The same is true in our homes. We can feed perfection, organization, and keeping up with the neighbors, or we can choose relationships, memories, and simplicity. Trust me, when you are old and grey you won’t be bragging to the nurses in the nursing home about your great filing system. With any luck you’ll be bragging up your wonderful grandkids. Fill your library with stories, not empty covers.