The glory of the Hot Mess

I’m just a hot mess. And that means I have no sweet clue what’s happening right now and I’d like forgiveness. 

A few years ago, I noticed a lot of people – women especially, glorifying the concept of ‘busy’. 

Once I became aware of it, I realized the phrase ‘I’m so busy’ or ‘I’m just too busy’ was being bandied about with reckless abandon. I started to read up on it and eventually took it to my business coach at the time. 

“It can’t be true that everyone is too busy,” I recall saying. “They are making a choice to prioritize. There’s always a misguided choice beneath the surface of a complaint about being busy.”

Slowly, I trained myself to reduce my use of that phrase unless it was entirely true. I started to say things like “My calendar is stacked. I’d like to find more space.” 

I started to ask better questions like “What am I focusing on that has little value right now?” 

Slowly, I removed myself from busy and I noticed the people around me did too. I don’t see many people glorifying busy anymore. 

Especially since COVID. 

The pandemic made it wholly uncool to be ‘busy’ and to focus on things that didn’t really matter – why? Because we were all making so many micro-decisions on the daily that, in most cases, had life or death implications. 

Our brains stopped glorifying busy. 

But something else took its place. 

The hot mess. 

Now, I find myself saying that ALL the time. In fact, I said it quite a few times just this weekend when looking at the main floor of the house and the complete disarray of my office. 

It’s a damn hot mess up in here. 

I was on a call with some other women a couple of weeks ago, and a colleague described her business mindset as ‘a hot mess’. 

I was DMing with a friend and former client and she said she feels like her whole LIFE is a hot mess. 

It’s given me pause for thought. Have we replaced the glorification of busy with the salve of the hot mess? 

Because there’s a lot going on when we decry ‘hot mess’. 

It’s laced with a request for forgiveness – that we somehow don’t feel we deserve. Forgiveness for not having things perfect, just so and figured out. 

It’s dripping with disappointment in ourselves, because often it comes out of our mouths or fingers at a time when we are making excuses for ‘not being the way we thought we’d be’… like my house, literal hours after a photo shoot, looking like it was hit by a tornado. 

I was disappointed. I was seeking forgiveness. 

Ah. There is is. 

What if instead of looking at our lives, homes, business as a hot mess, we instead replace that with the acceptance that we are currently SEEKING better alignment and something new? 

What if we aren’t all hot messes? What if we are all still LOOKING for something that just fits us better? 

What if being a hot mess is more about being a courageous, friggin, Mother Wolf who is in the brambly wilds of life, sorting through what she will use to make her den and what she will hunt down and kill for dinner?

Like in the case of business – which believe you me can feel hot messy a LOT! 

Right now, I could say that I feel like a hot mess.

  • I mean, I’ve launched a new branch of my business. Story Studio is still in it’s infancy to the point where we don’t have a fully locked down process yet. How could we? 
  • I’m between group programs, still trying to work out if I want to do a small Mastermind or a more affordable set of workshop-style bootcamps. (Leaning heavily towards bootcamps by the way – which means that I will need to REDO all of my teaching materials).
  • My subscription program is half-launched – and I say half-launched because the sales page needs to be updated, I’m adding more bonus material to it that needs to be written and I still need to record the entire hour long welcome webinar for the new version. 
  • I just launched a new Pinterest strategy which means my team is working on a project and they haven’t yet been properly briefed, so there are gaps that I’m filling constantly until I can find time to make that happen.
  • The world shifted and we are now able to go see my family for the first time in 18 months to introduce them to my new baby – and that means that all of that stuff above either needs to be figured out or moved around to accommodate a three-week road trip next month. 
  • Oh – and I started to renovate the laundry room and I’m trying to work that timeline around two corporate partnerships. 

I could easily say it’s a hot f**king mess in my business right now. 

But instead? I’m not going to say that. 

I’m going to say I’m in a period of seeking. 

I’m simply throwing it all in the pot to see what surfaces and what sinks. 

And being in that state means we are worthy of forgiveness and celebration more than ever. 

Because it takes courage to go all in and show up as we are – messy or not. Because being a hot mess means we know we are a work in a progress… we know we aren’t perfect – but we choose to show up anyway. 

The Rest of the Story is a project of love and commitment to showing up on this site every day for 90 days; sharing honest opinions, thoughts and observations. Comments are welcome.

Erin Trafford Incorporated is located on sacred land that has been the site of human activity for over 12,000 years. We are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People, and we acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this  land.
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