Years ago, when I was fully embracing and living in my Type “A” personality, I was compelled to have the “perfect” house and to do things most efficiently, to reach that end result.
My loving, and extremely patient, husband was incredibly supportive of my personality quirks as well as my “house rules”. He was aware enough to realize that only I could change “me”; that wasn’t up to him, nor would he have been successful, had he tried. You’ve heard the phrase, “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was the pig! Luckily, for him, he was wise enough to know this, for both of us.
He loved me enough to see beyond my self-imposed, limiting idiosyncrasies. I believe he even possessed the insight I lacked, as to “why” I had to do things, the way I did. I was trying to control my environment and the things in my life that I could control.
I had asked him, awhile before this incident; to please be sure his clothes were not turned “inside out”, when he put them into the dirty clothes basket, because it made doing the laundry “that much more efficient”. With the very best of intentions, he dutifully agreed; I’m sure to make his life calmer, as well as to make me calmer.
One day, while heading out the door to run errands, I thought I would throw in a quick load of laundry, so that I could be efficiently multi-tasking while I was on the road. I glanced at the clock, because I had allotted a certain amount of time for each errand, (including driving, parking, taking care of the errand, etc.), so that I could be home in time to get dinner into the oven.
I ran upstairs grabbed the dirty laundry, ran downstairs and began sorting piles of clothes. It was apparent that there were mostly “whites”, so they won the wash. I started the washer and added detergent and softener. As I bent down to pick-up the whites, I noticed that not all, but many, of my husband’s tee-shirts were inside out.
I immediately cringed…not only because I had I asked him to be mindful of this, but taking the time to turn the tee-shirts the “right-side” out was taking up my valuable time, which had literally been calculated down to the minute, to make every piece of my puzzle fit perfectly. I was frustrated and upset, over finding myself in this position.
All of the sudden, as I heard the water filling into the washtub, a sense of peace and calm washed over me. I literally felt my blood pressure drop back to a normal range. I could actually feel the “energy of serenity”, as I now call it, as it floated across my body. I felt my anger and frustration subside.
As I picked up the tee shirts, to check each one to see if they needed to be turned right-side out, I was filled with an overwhelming feeling of being Loved and Blessed. I felt Loved, because for years, my husband had put up with this unnecessary eccentricity of mine. In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter which way the tee-shirts were, in the basket. Truth-be-told, there were many times when I knew that they went into the washer, “right-side-out” and when I went to transfer them into the dryer, they were turned “inside-out”. God does have a sense of humor, after all. He was trying to get me to see how silly I was being.
I felt Blessed, because my husband worked so hard, to meet my needs and the expectations that were important for me to feel Loved, and safe and in control. I also felt Blessed, because he was such a hard-worker. He was a good-provider, who never wanted me to “want” or have concerns over money. And during our life together, I never have.
So, there I stood before the washing machine, suddenly giggling at myself, while my eyes also began tearing up, because I had finally seen what was truly important. It wasn’t that the tee-shirts were one way or the other. The “Blessings of the Tee-shirts” is that I have a loving, patient man in my life, who loves me beyond belief and reason, even when I might be unbelievable or unreasonable. And he works very hard, both physically and emotionally, to make sure I feel safe, secure and comfortable.
Since originally receiving the “Blessings of the Tee-shirts”, I realize that my laundry blessing has grown, because my vision has expanded. Now, each time I do laundry, I stand before the washer, as it fills and I say a little prayer or say a little blessing of thanks, as I sort through the clothes. “I am blessed to have these clothes to wear.” “Thank you for blessing me with a washer and dryer, so I don’t have to haul my family’s clothing to a stream to clean them.” But I always finish my blessings with, “Thank you for bringing me a man like Steven, to love.” Now, I ask you, how lucky am I?