Monday, February 9, 2015

Dish Rags Don't Belong In The Sink

Do you have pet peeves? Sure, everyone does. Mine are things like this: don't leave the cap off the toothpaste and don't leave the kitchen cabinets open. Stupid things, that for some reason drive me absolutely insane.  I used to have a lot of pet peeves, and I used to make them all known. Critical Kelly, or whatever.

Today I woke up at 4 AM, and I found this in the bathroom sink:

I have a child, not to be named, who always does this:

Crazy Eyed Shepherd
A few years ago, the dishrag in the sink would have made me livid. I mean, steam coming out of my ears kind of mad. I used to have an anger problem. It's funny, because Number One struggles with controlling his emotions, and sometimes I ask myself why? Well, I can look right back at myself because I was that person for years.

I realized a few years ago, that dish rags in the sink DON'T matter. Who cares? Tell the kid not to put the dish rag in the sink, remind him over and over again, and he still does it. Obviously, he needed a wet rag to make the swoop on his hair perfect, or to stop the bloody noses that plague him all winter. In the scheme of things, is it important that I have to remind him to remove the dish rags from the sink a hundred times? There's absolutely no reason to get upset about it. A few years ago, though, I would have seen that in the sink and I would have seethed. When he woke up, the first words out of my mouth would probably have been caustic and punishing. I would have pushed him away from me, instead of holding him tight. I only have a few short years left with this crazy-eyed, wild kid before he moves off on his own. I want him to know he's loved and accepted. I want him to know how to make himself happy: by letting go of the small things.

You see, there's no point in getting wrapped up in the small things. All it does is take you away from the big things that you should be present for. It takes you away from the moment where your child might wake up and say, "Hey, I had the best dream." Or the moment when they're lying in bed next to you, and they're spilling their heart to you, because you're having one-on-one time and that's precious and rare. If you're always getting upset about the little things, then you're pushing people away. You're using it as an excuse not to let people get close to you. Trust me, I know, because I used to be that person (and I still sometimes am-a constant struggle).

It's so easy to change this too.  Be conscious of what you say to others and how you interact. Smile at people.  Let people know they're loved and accepted, even when they're being "corrected." When you feel anger rising up in you, count to ten, or walk away.  Come back to the problem at a later time if it angers you too much in the moment.  Think about it this way: if the dishrag is in the sink and I don't want it there, then I can pick it up and move it but I can't force someone else to do that. I can advise my child to not do it again, but chances are he will. I can use it as a learning experience, and make fun and conversation afterwards, instead of using it as a distancing tool simply in my tone and demeanor.

Do you get mad because there are dishrags in the sink?


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1 comment:

  1. I do think it's very natural, very human, to let little things like a rag left in the sink irritate you. I think, at least for me, what is important is that it doesn't irritate all the time. Once in a while, sure, we all have those days where someone saying hello to you can make you grumpier than you already are. If you can just laugh about it or let out a private "sigh" about it, then it's all okay. My husband tends to slam the drawers in the kitchen so that things get thrown to the back of the drawer. He doesn't do it out of anger, it's just a habit because the drawers close very easily. At first, yep, I would tell him in a not-so-nice voice to stop with the slamming. Then I realized, he doesn't even know he's doing it. Now I just put everything back in it's place. No different than washing the coffee mug he left in the sink. It's just what I do.

    I lost my mom very suddenly and out of the blue, no warning, no good-byes. But because we never let the rag in the sink get to us, I have the blessing of having nothing left unsaid between us. I'm happy to say our yelling matches were far, far fewer than our normal everyday conversations. Anger is a part of all us, but it definitely should be just a tiny piece of the puzzle we call life. Absolutely cherish family, friends, cherish the time. It goes by all too quickly.


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