By Marsha Woods
What is it about life that teaches us to be perfect? Where, in the process of growing up, did we learn to allow the small things to make us sweat? How did we get to the point in adulthood where we are so caught up in the jungle of trivial unimportance that even the smallest disruption in our routine can turn us into raving rhinos?
To explain; the other day, having focused fully on a well-thought out schedule for accomplishment, I lost the cap to my toothpaste. Instant paranoia! Then, my Labrador misplaced her favorite purple ball, turning her into a whiny, sniffling Weiner-dog. Of course, nothing would do until that ball was retrieved, therefore all of my goals for the day were abandoned and I needed a tranquilizer to get to sleep that night! What is up with that?
Life, as they say, is what you make it. I personally believe that is not only a truism, but the frightening reality of what has made our society a mixed-up menagerie of maniacs! The pressure to succeed has turned us all into a plethora of perfectionism. Is our actuality based on what is expected of us, or, what we expect of ourselves? How, then, is success measured when it is all said and done?
As for yourself; would you rather have your home featured on “Martha Stewart Living,” or be chosen “Grandparent of the Century” by Parents magazine ; your picture in the centerfold, surrounded by the grandkids displaying the award-winning projects that you helped them create out of dryer lint and honey?
Fortunately, one’s priorities seem to alter as one ages. There, gratefully, comes a time when a perfectly organized closet suddenly gives way to dirty laundry hidden away under ones bed. One justifies this action as making a cozy den for the dust bunnies! That is adulthood.
A dear friend once convinced me that life is too short not to enjoy every minute. Married to the same man for over 60 years, a collector of everything from recipes to rocks; scraps of cloth and clothes hangers, she never wasted a precious moment on mundane things like shiny door knobs. One of the most content of women, she declared that one of her most prized possessions were her cobwebs! After all, at least to her way of thinking, each and every one of them was a priceless antique, and who in their right mind would ever rid themselves of anything so valuable? Now, there’s a statement for posterity!
My friend and so many other sage and seasoned people with whom I have been privileged enough to have spent time have opened my eyes to some great realities It’s journey that we travel before we reach the end of the road, but it is the lessons that we learn at each crossroad that make us strong enough to endure the trek!
I, personally, have decided that mold on cheese can be scraped off! Dusty coffee tables can be used as message boards (saves you from trying to find a broken crayon and a grocery receipt to let your husband know that you have run off to Alaska with all of his money!) And anything left on the kitchen floor is great for growing tomatoes! I have learned that when you have company coming, bleach in the toilets is a great disguise and the wash machine holds a lot of dirty dishes! I have learned that doors are meant to be closed, not only on disgusting messes in bedrooms, but to things from the past that become trivia! I have learned that weeds have a mind of their own no matter what kind of philosophy that you use to convince them differently! I have learned that if I sleep until 8:00 A. M. drink coffee and read books until 10, life will wait for me!
If in my many years of education in life (don’t ask!) and the tuition that I have paid thereof, it is this! Superwoman is a cartoon character! Bet she never had to deal with filthy carpets, unruly kids, or even broken appliances! Good Grief! She was invincible and a fantasy that we all fall into when the world gets to be too much!
That, my friends, is not reality! Reality is simply being who you are, being a friend and loving those around you! Reality is finding your happy place and staying there as long as no one is affected adversely! Reality is family and giving all you can give without losing yourself! Reality is staring at a cobweb and sighing! Cobwebs are beautiful when you think about it!