Day 472: “M” words

I’m about to make a momentous confession*,  my readers.

I think of myself as messy.

Am I messy? Maybe. But what does that even mean? Am I too messy? Compared to whom?

Most people might see themselves as messy, if they had a mother like mine, renowned for her neatness, tidiness, and meticulousness.

So it’s difficult for me to measure my messiness.  Am I moderately messy? Mucho messy? Just a mite messy?

My guess* is that on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is maximum messiness, and 0 is no measurable messiness at all, I’m a …

Man! I really resist being numbered (or otherwise measured), much like Mr. Patrick McGoohan’s character, in The Prisoner:



(I found these images here and here)

I don’t know … if I MUST choose a number … it would definitely be a number that has a six in it, maybe somewhere between a 60 and a 65?

Hmmmmm.  With those kinds of numbers, my messiness is WNL — Within Normal Limits, as we say in the therapy biz. While I might modulate towards the messy, it doesn’t interfere with my functioning.*

Yes, I’m not remarkably messy. Since I’ve been an adult, nobody has

  • refused to live with me,
  • given me ultimatums,
  • done an intervention,
  • gotten mad at me,
  • suggested I get help, or
  • otherwise made any kind of major fuss* about my measure of messiness.

However, I feel like they might, at any moment.  That’s because I have labelled —  filed, stamped, indexed, briefed and debriefed — myself as


and that has made all the difference.

Well, I’m working on taking a different road through the woods, now.  Maybe I can replace the “too” in that label with a more modulating word, like:


But you know what? When you are trying to rewrite an old script, it doesn’t make sense to restrict your vocabulary. Let’s open up the alphabet, for this portion of the post, shall we?

As I was saying, maybe I can replace the “too” in that label with a healing, more helpful word, like


or even better:




Let’s see if Google Images has anything to contribute* for the word “messy” at this point:


(I found this image here)


(I found this image here)


(I found this image here)

And let’s see if I can use any of my own photos* to end* this post.

Well, if you were to ask Michael which of our two cats is messier, he would definitely choose the one on the left, Harley.


He still looks pretty neat to me.

Thanks to my mother, to Patrick McGoohan and The Prisoner, to Robert Frost, to the Berenstein Bears, to Justin Boyd at, to Mark A. Hicks (for the pig illustration), to people and other creatures ranging from 0 to 100 on the neat-to-messy scale, and  — even though my thanks have already included you —  MAJOR thanks* to you for moseying, moving, materializing, or otherwise making it here, today.

* has no suggestions beginning with the letter “m” for this word. Believe me, I checked.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Day 472: “M” words

  1. A new scale to make Ann further accept she’s WNL:

    Clean freak with PineSol dreams and Fantastik! memories

    Neatnik with one white glove


    Can’t find the table top

    Can’t find a path to the bathroom

    No episode on ‘Hoarders,’ no problem, my friend.

  2. Haha! Maybe it’s time for no labels and just be…. the way I am! 🙂 PS — Some would consider me messy. I just call it creative.

  3. I’m messy in little piles haha!
    Diana xo

  4. Peggy

    Dear Ann: I don’t think of you as messy at all. But then what would I know 🙂

  5. Messy is in the eye of the beholder….. 😉 Val

  6. I saw the pictures of your house when you got home from the hospital. That was not a messy house. I am clean but messy. There’s stuff around everywhere. If people like me, they deal with it. If not? Too bad. Dull women live in messy houses, after all.

  7. My husband loves this series.

  8. What people “can see”, I make sure everything is clean, neat and orderly. But if one were to open the doors to the master room closet, closet under the stairs, or the bedroom dresser drawers — what a MESS. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I consider myself as not messy and still need to clean and tidy up sometimes…. well I blame the children…… hehe.
    As a matter of fact I just cleaned my desk up an dlove how empty and organised it looks. I love it!
    Being messy is relative anyway!

  10. Pingback: Day 473: Depressed/Happy | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  11. Pingback: Day 740: Links, Labels, and other L-words | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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