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Deeply Held Belief: Men Don't Clean Up After Themselves

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
1 min read

A man is chopping down part of a tree in my backyard.  Earlier, he cleaned the gutters.  The whole time, I’ve been nervously sitting inside the house, listening to the noises of work being done outside.  After a few hours, and many noises, while said man took a break inside, I peeked into the backyard to survey the progress.  When I saw the entire backyard covered with tree parts, I didn’t even notice the progress that had been made… all I could see was the mess.

I became anxious and started searching my brain’s databank for who to call to dispose of a backyard full of tree parts.  Instead of communicating sincere appreciation to said man, I made a few passive aggressive comments about how when I got back from my errands I would look for someone to do the haul away and then ducked quickly out of the house to separate myself from the anxiety of the mess.

When I got a safe distance from the house, it dawned on me… I live with a deeply held belief that men don’t lean up after themselves.  That they make messes and don’t clean them up, and I have to.  

If I believe that men make messes and don’t clean them up, then I will attract (and put up with) men who make messes and don’t clean them up.  

Well, that’s over.

I believe that men can make messes and clean up after themselves.  

And if men in my life don’t do that, then I will practice asking them to clean up after themselves, instead of trying to do everything myself.

Besides… if I let go of my worries about always being the one to have to do the clean-up, perhaps then I can communicate unbridled appreciation for the work and help that is done, which will encourage more of the “good” behavior of helping and getting things done, among the men in my life.

I believe that men can clean up their own mess.

relationshipsDeeply Held Beliefsrelationships

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.