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?