Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Mismatched Sets

We have two sets of sheets for our bed, one robin's egg blue, one white. At some point in the distant past, whether due to a sick child or a particularly sweaty hot flash, the set became separated. A top sheet thrown in the wash, a mismatched sheet put on the bed. When I strip the bed, it's now blue and white, when I make the bed, the same.  

It's a small thing, really, and no one has noticed but me. Every once in a while I will think, "I'd like to get these sets straightened back out," but then I'll toss the mismatched ones in the wash together and put the other mismatched ones on the bed. I do this for the sake of expediency and to conserve energy, because everyone knows if you don't dress a bed right away, you're likely to find yourself at 10:30 pm looking at a bare mattress pad and choosing a fitful night's sleep over having to do ONE MORE THING. It never seems like the right time to deal with it.

I think my sheets are a bit like relationships. 

Something can be out of whack, and instead of addressing it, we keep doing the okay-but-not-quite-right-things again and again. Maybe straightening it out takes too much energy when we are already depleted. Maybe the mismatch has become comfortable or almost imperceptible. And in relationships, unlike with a bunch of balled up sheets, we run the risk of finding out that a simple fix might not be simple at all, and that's frightening.

In life we often take care of the day to day: getting to school and work on time, making sure most boxes are checked and the car registration is renewed. But there are the other things, both tangible and intangible, big and small, that pile up on sticky notes, or in sacred rooms of our brains and hearts, that we just can't seem to tackle. We put them off for another day, hoping for a burst of energy, motivation, or inspiration. We wish we could summon a laundry fairy, a relationship guru, or a virtual assistant to take care of them for us, and do what we can't seem to do for ourselves.