Sunday, January 1, 2017

Monday Musings!

When we moved three years ago, we didn't notice our clothes dryer was ridiculously loud. It was just background noise for our strangely smooth adjustment to a new house down the road from our old one.

When a sweet teenage friend came to stay with us for a while, she proclaimed, "Your dryer is REALLY loud!"

Hmm.  Maybe. I guess I was already used to it. It didn't bother me that much.

Soon it became the norm for people to comment on the dryer. During our kitchen remodel, each of the four men working in the house mentioned it on separate occasions. I mean, who notices DRYERS??? The final straw came this fall when an HVAC guy was doing a maintenance check in the basement when I turned on the dryer. He shot up the stairs yelling, "What was THAT? I thought the house was going to blow!!!"

We had to face the fact that maybe, just maybe, our dryer was not quite okay. We googled the brand and "noise," and found the problem was not unique, and there were concrete steps to take to deal with it. One afternoon, one cut finger, and several youtube videos later, Tim fixed the dryer and it now purrs like a kitten. It just took us THREE YEARS to deal with it.

This has me thinking of how easily the loud dryer became normal to us, even though we had to pull the door shut in order to hear the tv or talk on the phone, and I had a ringing in my ears on days when I did multiple loads.

I've written a lot about getting used to things, and how it is often necessary. I've had to get used to  living without Jack's physical presence, even though 5 years later I still find it bizarre, shocking, and excruciating. Time in itself does not heal all, but it does help us adjust, day in and day out, to reality. Heck, I must admit I am still getting used to the idea that I'm 47 with a baby, even though that baby turns 9 months old this week. I guess at some point it will start to seem normal.

But as the calendar page now has not only a new month but a new year on top of it, I wonder if there are other things that we are living with, that we have grown accustomed to, that really could be  improved if we would just take the needed steps.

(In my life these tendencies range from putting all of my goals on the back burner because of the baby, speaking and being spoken to by family members in ways that are curt and transactional not relational, and my leaning toward sloth rather than health and connection because eating candy and watching TV by myself takes less energy and planning than figuring out how to exist any other way)

But maybe that which seems permanent and unchangeable needn't be that daunting, and perhaps isn't even really that unique. There was a comfort that a bunch of other people out in google-land had the very same dryer issue Tim and I did and chose not to keep living with it.

Perhaps we've talked ourselves into believing that certain patterns/habits/situations might be a nuisance, but they're not really a big deal. I know that's what I do; and as a result, I put off positive changes in favor of inertia.

I wonder, are you living with something you've convinced yourself you cannot change, or that it's not a big deal?


Amanda said...

I've been divorced for six years, and haven't dated/been in a relationship for the last two years. My daughter is only with me 60% of the time. So lots of bad, non-family, habits have emerged such as eating meals while sitting on the sofa watching tv. I cannot remember the last meal at a table....maybe last Christmas?! I would really like to be in a committed relationship, but sometimes I think about how much having another person/s around full time would require changes to the laziness that coping with a demanding job and child that have become my norm. I ask myself frequently that if a friend dropped by would they find my home/life strange. Granted I am currently sleeping on a twin bed in my guest room that also serves as the guinea pig's room just because I hate my mattress in the Master bedroom and I am paralyzed with indecision over which mattress to buy ( big $$ and old mattress was $$ )!

Jeanne said...

Definitely some good thoughts....especially this time of year when we all tend to be slack. Do be "nice" to yourself tho with a small baby, and make the time to enjoy all of your family. As a grand mother of five, mom of three daughters, it ALL goes so quickly!! Your writing is beautiful, and I'm in awe that you can share what you do. It has to inspire many people.

Anonymous said...

I had neck pain for years and could barely move my neck - in fact I had to turn my shoulder to see behind me. After pulling my back out and not being able to move I went to a chiropractor! Within a relatively short time, I was able to move my neck and it doesn't hurt. I can't believe I lived with such pain and inconvenience for so long, but you get used to it!

Sandy P said...

I so relate to how much easier it sit on the couch and watch TV. I am going to try to be more intenational about entertaining and going places this year. said...

Something to think about. It's so easy to simply let things be. I'm sure I'm living with bodily pains, inadequately functioning houseparts, questionable actions and attitudes of family members, .... Is it laziness or lack of caring? Or just not wanting to rock the boat? I don't know but I'm glad you got your dryer fixed.

Kerry S. said...

Happy New Year Anna!
Thank you for sharing this. You ask a great question and it comes across with feelings of love and friendship which makes it easy to ponder.
So many things...
I've tried looking at things I want to change with the mindset that they can be changed instead of focusing on them being that way and not liking them. My biggest "want to change" is clutter but I often find the "beat myself up energy" I usually bring to the task soon drains me from trying. Changing my mindset is helping. Here's hoping...

Much love to all of you
(and just wanted to note that when I type "all" that means Jack too <3 - I saw a bracelet charm with his quote on it the other day on Amazon and wondered if you had one)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am and it will probably remain the same for a long time. Great post and good food for thought!