Shooting the dogs….

Here I am working from home. I have been at my desk for almost 2 hours and in that time I have emailed, filed documents, printed out application forms and ……put the washing the dryer, unloaded the dishwasher while making a coffee, paid several bills online and completed some necessary correspondence. I have also skimmed several blogs and started the ideas for a new article for So I guess my focus is not great today!

My desk is a mess. Partly because last weekend “A” and I decided to move three massive bookshelves out of the study. One went upstairs to the girl’s room and the others remain in the hallway. As a result the hallway is looking gorgeous complete with all our favourite books (it is quite confronting to see where our money must go..!) but the study is scattered with paper and miscellaneous material that is now homeless.

It is amazing when I realise that all my work starts and ends on my laptop so if I had a wireless connection I could be working on the sofa or outside or on my bed.

But alas I must be content to sit amongst the mess, until inspiration hits and I clean it up.

Mess does mess with my head in a way that my “A” does not really understand.

I have girlfriends who secretly admit to being proud about keeping their house clean and tidy, or having gorgeous stationary and boxes and Tupperware to organise life’s clutter. We agree that we “get off” on keeping things ordered and controlled. The reality is when things are not tidy I feel the gloom and dark of the black dog looming, snapping at my heels. And I have to confront the mess and do something about it. Right now it is not just the study but the playroom aka sewing room, my wardrobe and the linen press…and possibly the fridge that all need attention.

Am I alone in being messed up about mess?

Mark Driscoll in Confessions of a Reformation Rev, argues that we should shoot the dogs. He is applying this metaphor to issues in the church and his ministry but it resonates with me. It is relevant to the things that are not working, that cause us stress and hound us for attention, dragging us down. So often we are immobilised by people pleasing, fear and an inability to act. Driscoll says shoot them.

My dog today is the mess….as I sit here and work I am distracted. I need a plan to attack each dog and be done with it. Sieze the day. The poodle is going first!