Small kindnesses and small irritants can make or break a day or a mood. I know that. Why don’t I remember it more often?
Laundry is my favorite household task. (In other words, I hate most housework, and merely don’t mind laundry.) For the first too many years of my marriage, every time I would take the laundry out of the hamper, I’d grumble to myself about my husband’s balled up socks and rolled up sleeves. “Why is he so inconsiderate? It only takes a minute to unroll things before tossing them in the hamper. Can’t he do this one little thing?”
Pot, meet Kettle.
I decided to look on the unrolling of sleeves and socks as a kindness on my part instead of an irritant, and after a while, I found that it truly didn’t bother me anymore. Unfortunately, there are plenty of other things that I still allow to irritate me, like dirty dishes unwashed or shoes not put away.
Like most people, I overestimate my own positive contributions, and overlook my own shortcomings. I see the mess of stuff my family leaves laying around the house, but my eyes gloss over my stack of unsorted papers. I wonder why my daughter won’t replace a roll of toilet paper, while I put off going out to buy her school supplies.
Kettle, meet Pot.
Sometimes it feels like the only thing I get better at over the years is recognizing my own hypocrisy.
What little kindnesses have you experienced lately?
Before my husband left for his trip, he brought home individual Fage yogurts for my breakfasts and Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey for my evenings. I’ll start and end every day this week thinking about how loved I am, and I’ll wonder why I ever let those stupid shoes bother me.