Sophie, newly 2 and proud of it, broke her new/used doll bed yesterday. She flung her mom’s old Bitty Baby on the floor and climbed in, making some “waaa, waaa,”sounds. I was just about to warn her that it might not hold her, when the bottom fell out and she dropped to the floor. “I broke,” she quickly admitted. She hung her little head down. I comforted her and told her I’d try to fix it. She quickly recovered and soon we were covered in finger paints. She had an itch on her ear, and before I could reach over to help, her wriggly curls and chubby cheeks were covered in streaks of yellow, blue, red, green, and the lovely purple shade we’d been mixing. Since I, too, was finger painting, it got messier before it got neater.

Quite frankly, my whole life is messy. I thought when I retired, I might finally be organized and neat. No chance. When going to the zoo with the next door neighbors, we removed Sophie’s car seat, and discovered enough goldfish and Cheerios to feed a small country. I’m a grandma, but my car doesn’t look like my mom’s car looked when she was a grandma. My car still looks like it did when I had a two year old. But, this makes me think…do I want to strive for the perfection or embrace the messy?

Embrace the messy….that’s what I’ve decided. Because no matter how hard I try, I can’t be neat and tidy and organized and learn at the same time. So, if I constantly strive for this image I have in my head of what it “should” look like to be my age, my OLW is going to be frustration.

Everything Sophie does right now is messy….because she’s learning and growing. It’s to be expected when you’re two. Maybe, it should be expected when you’re 57, too. And newly retired, and your life is full of opportunity, each day a blank canvas. I want to follow Sophie’s lead, jump into things, even if they break. Get into stuff even if it spills. Not worry about the mess. I’ll do my best to clean it up, and strive to see the beauty in the mixing, swirling, and blending of colors as they spill onto the canvas of my days.