“…What a beautiful mess I’m in.  Spendin’ all my time with you,  There’s nothin’ else I’d rather do.  What a sweet addiction that I’m caught up in.  ‘Cause I can’t get enough, Can’t stop the hunger for your love.  What a beautiful, what a beautiful mess I’m in…”
(“Beautiful Mess”.  If you don’t know this 2002 number from Diamond Rio, I’m gonna need you to YouTube it post haste.  I’m pretty sure it’s about to become your new personal anthem.)

A beautiful mess, huh?  Well, that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one, right?!  

For most of us, the word mess has a pretty freakin’ negative connotation. The power that single syllable yields is… impressive, to say the least.

Mess.  (OH CRAP.)



Dirty dishes. Dirty laundry.  An explosion of toys that HAD to register on the Richter scale.  Mounds of paperwork.  So. Much. Paperwork.  You haven’t been brave enough to light a candle in your house for months.  An open flame within the same city block as all that kindling?  No, thank you. You’ll choose to feed the adrenaline junkie part of your soul by ripping tags off mattresses, thank you very much.


Chaos.  Clutter.  Confusion.  Debris.  Disarray.  Jumble.  Mayhem. Shambles.  Turmoil. Wreck. Wreckage.  Botch.  Combination. Compound. Dirtiness.  Discombobulation.  Disorganization. Eyesore.  Fright. Hodegpodge.  Mishmash.  Monstrosity.  Salmagundi. Sight.  Untidiness. Every which way.

Listed above are twenty-six synonyms for the word “mess” according to thesaurus.com.  Pretty standard, right?

Take another look.  Combination.  Compound.  Hodgepodge.   Mishmash. Salmagundi.  (What the crap is a salmagundi?  It’s either a mixed dish consisting usually of cubed poultry or fish, chopped meat,anchovies, eggs, onions, oil, etc., often served as a salad OR a word to signify any mixture or miscellany.  I’m also pretty sure it’s become my new favorite word.)

Any mixture or miscellany.  

That’s all your mess is.  A mixture or miscellany of crap.  It’s not a living, breathing, scheming beast hell-bent on devouring your very soul.  Just a mishmash of stuff.  The dishes, the laundry, the papers, the obligations, the commitments, the kids, the friends, the responsibilities, the cat throw-up your spouse conveniently forgot to clean up…There’s nothing malevolent in all that.  It’s not out to get you.  It doesn’t lie in wait for a crack in your armor to appear and then pounce upon you with the precision of a stealthy jungle cat.  I mean, yeah, it might SEEM like it does but really, your mess has no power.

Did ya’ hear that?  YOUR MESS HAS NO POWER.

So you can’t have the family over right now because every surface of your home is littered with crap.  Take a deep breath.  You’re not gonna wake up one morning tied up on a railroad track (Think Ben Stiller’s character in Night at the Museum) while your crap looks on with glee. The salmagundi is conquerable.

So you can’t have the family over right now because getting everyone in the same room is an open invitation for  WWE madness to invade your home.  Covertly schedule a few separate dinners to make things easier on yourself.  Take a deep breath. The salmagundi is manageable.

We have to remember that we yield the power.  The power over our mess. The power over our feelings.  The power over our reactions.  We get to CHOOSE to make it manageable.  With every breath we take, we can make that choice.  Even if we have to fake it for a while.

So your mess?  Declare that you’re the boss of it.  Declare that you’re thankful for it.  Declare that it’s beautiful because it’s yours. Even though someone else’s may seem more appealing, (“Man, I sure would like to swap messes with that one.  She’s got a new car and a new house thrown into her mess. I wouldn’t mind taking care of all these ungrateful ankle biters if I could do it wearing her outfit!”) your mess is the only one you’re gonna get.