Σάββατο, 6 Αυγούστου 2011

Two hippie birds and why it's OK for life to be a mess






A pair of hippie pigeons decided to adopt us and take their permanent residence in our balcony.


That's great.I mean,they are cute.And in the tradition of my country,a pair of doves symbolises love and good luck.So of course I was overjoyed,both for the good omen and for all the cuteness.


Except for the bird shit.Which I hate and resent,being the only person to clean up after their mess every morning.And in resenting their mess I started resenting their presence as well,for all their cuteness and good luck symbolism.





  



It all started with a little guy or gal (there's no way to tell) bird.A few months ago he/she decided it was time to adopt a human family so he/she started frequenting our front balcony.I have no idea why our balcony and not somebody else's.I mean,we are not on the top floor,I do not feed birds or anything and there is nothing different about our balcony to justify his/her choice.Probably the bird was attracted to the collective energy of our family.It would fearlessly perch on the railings and stare at me inquisitively,while Faethon (our dog) would bark his lungs out and jump as high as his legs would allow him in a (vain) attempt to scare the intruder away.


I thought the bird would get tired of and abandon the whole idea pretty soon,but instead of getting sick and tired of dogs and kids shooing it away again and again,one fine day it brought its sweetheart along.And they decided to settle.For good.


The funny thing is that,unlike other birds,they have no intention of building a nest of any kind.Probably because they are hippie birds.They fly away with the first crack of dawn in search of food and fun,they sometimes come back at midday for some rest when it's too hot for adventures,but they are always back at their usual night spot after sunset,up on the pole of our tent.They neither build a nest nor go away.I can almost hear their conversation in their cooing bird language:


'' HIM:  -Hon,don't you think it's time for us to build a nest of our own?

HER:-Who needs to be tied down with a nest?Have you noticed the price of nest twigs these days?We don't need a nest and a morgage,we are free birds,remember?

HIM:- But where are you supposed to lay our eggs,baby?

HER:-We're too young to have eggs,hunny,haven't we talked about this before?Let's just see how it goes,OK? '' 


After a while,sick and tired of cleaning up their mess,I decided I've had enough and,under my mum's instructions,we crafted a plan to make them go away.We were supposed to frighten them away each night before they settled for the night.And that's exactly what we did.



Sure enough they would fly away,but not too far away.They'd watch us from across the street,puzzled.   








  They would spend hours there,patiently waiting for us to get over our madness and let them come back.They were determined not to seek a more bird-friendly place of residence.Their stubborness was quiet but unyielding.When all lights would go out in our home,they would silently fly back to their usual perch for the night. 







Until I finally gave up all hope of getting rid of them and just let them be.



Of course I could always use more aggressive methods to drive them away,but when two hippie birds decide to adopt you,if they insist on staying with you no matter how you treat them,it's kind of hard not to give in,mess or no mess.



I am used to all kinds of mess anyway.In fact,the amount of mess in my life would drive anyone insane.Having four kids and two dogs in a three-bedroom appartment means there is litterally never a mess-free zone around here.The amount of dirty dishes and laundry and ironing that needs to be done on a daily basis is the equivalent of a week's worth of chores in other homes.Other than the nanny who looks after my youngest when I am at work and occasionally helps with ironing,there is no help available for me,since my husband is away on his tour guide trips abroad most of the times.And my boys are not exactly the tidiest of creatures.

As for work,we're talking about mess here!As a school owner and director of studies my job is to take care of mess and put out fires (not litterally,thank God!).There are parents that need to be appeased,teachers in a crying fit to be consoled,fastidious students to be taken care of,irresponsible vendors and suppliers to be argued with,mini catastrophes to be put right (plumbing accidents,airconditioning breakdowns etc),mistakes and omissions from staff to be compensated for,marketing and promotion plans that go wrong to be saved,new teachers to be found and trained when staff ditch you or you have to ditched them,the heartache of dealing with ungrateful,spiteful coworkers and associates,my own incompetence to be overcome at times,not to mention the constant stress of looking for funding when I run out of money (hardly surprising in this economic crisis,just ask blogger Penelope Trunk about it) and I don't even know where the next payroll for my staff will come from.Or how the morgage and taxes are going to be paid.

I am sure your life is equally mess-ladden,either with the same or of a different-but still equally stressful-kind.Everything worthwhile in life is bound to create mess of some kind.You prepare a nice meal,there are dishes to be done.You throw a party,you have to clean up afterwards.You bring home a new puppy,until it is housetrained,you go through the messiest hell ever.A new partner/lover in your life brings along physical/mental/emotional baggage with them.And the list goes on for ever.

EVERYTHING WORTHWHILE IN LIFE MEANS SOME KIND OF TEMPORARY,CONSTANT OR PERMANENT MESS!That's just the way life is.And the sooner you accept and make peace with this fact,the better.

The problem is,nobody likes mess.Most of us thrive on a tidy,well-structured environment and become confused and disfunctional in a messy one.The rational part of our brain needs order to work properly.The more you are inclined towards rational and logical thinking,the more you are likely to be obsessed with order and organisation and be highly intolerant of any kind of mess.

But if any kind of progress or fun is to be had,some or a lot of mess is inevitable.



                                     So what are we supposed to do?



                                       There are two options really:

             -You avoid all situations likely to create mess in your life


             -You learn to embrace and deal with the mess in your life


The first is by far the most common approach.You just organise your life around safe and mess-free experiences.Of course,this means lots of loneliness,boredom and unfullfilled dreams.And a personality increasingly prone to obsessive perfectionism.

There is also another aspect to mess-avoidance.You might declare you wish for something but you subconsciously block it out of your experience,because you are not ready to deal with the mess it will inevitably create.Like,I wish for more students in my school but I subconsciously know that more students means more hard work for my already tired and overburdened self.So I decide  it's not worth it after all and block the experience from my reality.

Or a couple may desperately want a baby,but subconsciously they are not ready for the upheaval a child will bring into their life,so she cannot conceive,although there is nothing physically wrong with either of them.Or you might say you'd like to have a business of your own but the security of working for someone else is too appealing and so you never take the necessary steps to fulfill your dream.Or you may actively seek a new romantic partner but you've been so hurt before that you imperceptibly sabotage all new relationships to spare yourself more potential heartache.




                                  What's the solution here?


Ask your heart.Go through all your wishes and dreams and aspirations and plans.Then ask yourself:''Do you really,really want that?Are you ready to face the mess,the consequences,the lessons in what you ask?''Fully and happily?''If the answer is yes,tell your higher self that you are ready and more than willing to deal with the physical/mental/emotional mess your decision might create and go for it.If not,that's alright,too.Sometimes order and peace of mind are more important than wishes fulfilled.

And when it's time for you to deal with your mess,take a deep breath and go for it.Or,when it becomes too much,forget about it for a while.Go out for a walk,go online,eat something sweet,serve yourself a drink,make love,pet your pet,anything that will take your mind off the mess for a while.Then,as soon as you feel any better,go back to that mess and do something about it.Always remember,though,that your sanity and peace of mind are far more important than a mess free life,if it means constantly and obsessively trying to put things and situations to right.

As for me,I've finally made peace with the idea that my home will rarely if ever be tidy and mess-free until a couple of my kids are off to college.It 's not always easy to accept that.So I keep repeating to myself what a very spiritual,ex-monk once told me:''In a household with lots of kids,you have to set your priorities right: Mom is OK,kids are happy,house is tidy.You can only pick two of those.Now you decide which two are the most important for you''







photo from here




Love,peace and lots of creative mess 

Eirini





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