The items currently in my van are as follows:
- four bags of used clothes, but it's been so long that I don't remember what's in the bags or where they're supposed to go
- a cup containing the frightening remnants of a green smoothie from three weeks ago
- two gigantic sheet pans in the passenger's seat like an HOV-lane Tin Man
- three months' worth of Sunday school and preschool art projects that are prized enough by my son to bring home but not enough to take them inside
- boxing gloves
- packing tape
- a full-sized pillow
- at least three apple cores, but they're in a grocery bag so it's cool
Here's the thing... I could totally clean out my van. I am a Reasonable Adult. But I don't, at least not until I know another human who I didn't marry or give birth to is going to ride in it, and even then, I'd just make sure the Tin Man was out of the way.
Here's the other thing... it doesn't bother me. Horrors. I should at least feel guilty for driving a mobile thrift store (RIGHT???), but I don't even feel that. I mean, it's not the van of a hoarder you can still see the floor it's fine.
I once had a conversation with my friend, Mary, about doing things we don't want to do, how sometimes we have to. People need to eat and wear reasonably clean clothes and get to work on time and not have Dr. Phil show up at your door to stage an intervention. There's a line.
But we don't all have the same one.
Your dirty car might make you crazy, but you don't own a mop. You spend a bulk of your hours making homemade food for your people, but you've never had a budget. You read with your kids every night before bed, but you will never be a room mom.
The problem with trying to be a person who generally has it all together is the problem. You can only Do It All when you decide what actually matters. And a spotless van doesn't matter to me.
So I've let myself off the hook for the cookie sheets and the smoothie cup. I'll bring them in eventually, and I'll enjoy the van when it's clean. I might even think, "Man, I should do this regularly before it looks like a house on wheels." But then I'll remember that adding something else to my daily plate, especially something that doesn't really bother me or anyone I live with, only makes me guilty and fail.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
So if you're feeling a heavy dose of The Shoulds about any area of your life, ask yourself if you actually care, if it actually matters. If it does, figure it out. If it doesn't, just go get the cookie sheets when you need to make cookies. No big thing.