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Living the high life

My son's bedside table

I walk barefoot from the bedroom to the kitchen, crumbs collecting under my feet as I go.

Ouch! That one hurt. It was either a viciously sharp scrap of toast or else a small piece of gravel that transported itself from the schoolyard underfoot of a tromping seven-year-old to my kitchen floor.

I pick up items of clothing along the way and random pieces of paper that have cast themselves around the house like confetti at a wedding, but unlike a wedding, these are not a one-off special effect, they are a permanent feature.

It’s a battle to keep some order among the chaos. I wonder what would happen if I did nothing. Would we become slowly consumed by dishes, clothes, homework, half-started drawings and box sculptures so that we would have to tunnel our way through, eventually move out to the front lawn because the volume of our stuff has pushed us from the house? I wonder if the kids would notice that there would be no underpants left in their draw, no socks, no clean uniforms, that their beds would be smeared with a human oil stain from not being washed. Would they care?

My arms are overflowing with the stuff of life and I barely know what to organise first before spotting the next item that needs tidying.

Lights flick on and off, toilets flush, there’s farting and fighting, whispering, screaming, slurping and burping and not just from the kids.

On any given day this is the morning rush for us all to get ready for the next place we need to be; school, work, training, shopping, hair appointments, doctors’ appointments, always needing to be somewhere, doing something.

And in the evening we converge again, four personalities all fighting to be heard, for our pozzie on the couch, for our time on the computer, on the iPad, for our show on TV, for attention.

We jostle to find our place, but the position of power is constantly shifting. Sometimes in amongst all this I think “Wow, I am really living the high life now”.

But when my kids come home from being away and my daughter wraps her arms around my waist and says “I missed you mum”, my resolve completely melts and if I don’t know anything else I know this: that in my children’s hearts there will be no other place like the one they call home.

I wipe the benches clean, I stack the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and I wonder if maybe this is the high life after all.

My son's bedside table

My son’s bedside table

My daughter's bedside table

My daughter’s bedside table







[faktory_modal_window icon=”camera” url=”” title=”Order Among the Chaos” subtitle=”My son’s bedside table” column=”faktory_one_half” summary=”Finding creativity from mess”]I think this image perfectly illustrates the difference between adults and children. Adults see chaos, children see order. This is a snapshot of my son’s bedside table, with filters applied, once I had played around with the image, surprisingly I started to see beauty in the chaos. I love that this is a snapshot in time of this stage of his life.[/faktory_modal_window]

[faktory_modal_window icon=”wand” url=”” title=”Order Among the Chaos” subtitle=”My daughter’s bedside table” column=”faktory_one_half_last” summary=”Colour harmonises in the mess”]I love that if I squint my eyes and just look at the colour hues of my daughter’s bedroom, all the colours harmonise in such soft pastel tones and the details of the mess fade. However, of course, it’s not always possible to ignore the detail![/faktory_modal_window]


Karina Grift
Karina Grift
I am an artist and writer living in Melbourne, Australia. Professionally I am a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant. I paint and write for sanity and the challenge.


  1. Janet Pakan says:

    Definitely the high life!

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