I have this basket on my dresser. It holds a few bottles of cosmetics, some hair accessories, and to my misfortune, a makeup pencil sharpener. It’s one of those pencil sharpeners that can open and let all of its contents spill out.
That’s what had happened when I started finding pieces of soft sticky pencil stuck to my hair brush, my hair clips, my lotion, my mascara. Why was there pink lip pencil all over our sink? Our bathroom rug? A towel? I found the culprit a couple of days later. However I was too busy to clean the mess up. In the meantime I was extra careful taking things out of the basket but there was an inexhaustible amount of that stuff sticking everywhere. I still didn’t remove it and clean the basket because the mess was too big and I was too busy. The basket has little spaces at the bottom, so that stuff was also on my dresser. Over the last week I probably spent an hour cleaning up pieces of pencil from different items, cleaning my hands and washing ”contaminated” objects. What would it have cost me to clean up the big initial mess? 15 minutes? If that!
I just didn’t want to deal with it. So it stood in my way. And caused me to waste more time. And energy.
I got to wonder how many ”pencil sharpeners” I had in other areas of my life. Laundry that stands in the way of family dinner. Unanswered emails that prevent me from taking a walk. A conversation I have been putting off that won’t let me have a nice get together with my parents. A client who keeps cancelling yet I have not fired her yet. Unpaid bills? A box of cookies that destroy my efforts to stay lean…
Sometimes a tiny thing that we choose to not deal with with can wreak havoc in our lives, stand in the way of important goals, drain our energy and rob us of our creative potential.
In India, people pray to their god Ganesha to remove obstacles. While I am convinced that our Lord loves us very very much, he still wants to be a good parent and show us that some messes we have to clean up ourselves. Obstacles will always arise, and it’s way too easy to get distracted. Instead of pretending the mess isn’t there – go and clean it up. Free up some space in your life to be happy, content, creative. If you feel like you are under piles of obstacles, start cleaning them up one by one, eventually, you will get to the last one.
Wondering if I got to clean up the pencil mess? Yes. The darned thing painted my sink all colors of the makeup rainbow. Yet I felt victorious. I had conquered. I no longer had to deal with that mess. I could now come to my computer and write this. See how it all worked out?
no mess = blog post = win-win 🙂