Comedian Ali Wong has a short bit about hoarding and helping her mom clean her house. Tensions ran high when her mom wouldn't let go of a calculator manual.
"You never know when you might need this!"
"Buuuutttt, I do know that I'm gonna have to clean all this $#&@ up when you diiiieee."
It was funny until I thought about my own basement.
I pictured my kids, many years from now, standing trapped in the middle of my crap, still in shock from learning about our financial situation, feeling totally duped. And then pitying me because I must have been shamefully hiding problems and bad habits and baggage all these years. Eventually it would all rot into annoyance because cleaning everything out was taking forever.
The last thing I want for my children is to not know the real me. Ben and I have worked too hard to make our family and our home the safest places for them to be and dream.
I want them to have a broader, more accurate world view. I want them to know that owning and renting are both respectable housing options. I want them to be thoughtful about their choices. I want them to be unafraid of vulnerability and course-correction. I want them to make the time to know and love themselves as their Creator does. And hopefully these things will all converge to create the authentic lives I desire for each of them.
Encouraging them to be brave or be responsible or to confidently be themselves in a resistant culture will have no traction if I'm not doing the same thing. So here I am, owning my crap, taking big steps to fix things, and staying true to my values regardless of how upstream they are. All in quite plain view.