Sometimes, we get so used to what we have, whether it is good or bad or mediocre, that we don’t even notice it anymore. It’s normal. People are creatures of habit, and it doesn’t take long before we begin to be comfortable with things as they are, even things we don’t like or wished at some point we could change. We don’t change them and eventually the emotional reaction to them, the disdain we have for them, lessens into distaste, and eventually becomes acceptance of something as inevitable and almost unchangeable. That’s how I’ve gotten about a lot of things over the last few years. And I don’t like it.
As you probably know (if you’ve been reading this little thing for a while) we’re not exactly flush with funds. The economy is in shambles and it’s a horrible time to not have a great job. We don’t have a great job. (Technically, it’s my poor husband who has to actually deal with the lack of a great job, as I get to spend my days playing with our children, but whenever we speak of his job, it becomes “our job.”) He’s working, and we’re so very thankful to God for the blessing of ANY job with the way this country is going at the moment, but it’s far from perfect.
This whole attitude of acceptance of mediocre things has a lot to do with the acceptance of having very little money. When the choice has to be made, who is really going to buy a new pair of shoes for herself instead of buying a package of diapers? Who’s going to put spiffing up the bathroom with some new hand towels ahead of paying the rent? Not I. I may seriously want to some days, but I don’t do it. And so it is that we’ve gone for about five years without buying new sheets for our own bed.
Now, five years doesn’t seem like a long time, and it isn’t in the grand scheme of things, but for sheets, it can be a lifetime. We have a queen size bed, and on it, most nights, are not only me and the Husband, but usually at least two little girls who crawl in just before he heads out to work. At times, there have been nursing (and also spitting) babies. Children who are sick are almost always just put into Mommy and Daddy’s bed, which means children tend to get “sick” in Mommy and Daddy’s bed as well. Suffice it to say, our sheets were shot.
Guess what. Didn’t matter. We weren’t buying new sheets. We were making due with a bed that looked like it was owned by some grungy college students, and the acceptance had grown to the point of not even recognizing anymore just how bad the sheets were, and just how much of an effect accepting that state of grossness as our norm was affecting us. Because the bed looked terrible, we stopped caring about how everything in the bedroom looked. Instead of putting laundry, we just shoved it into piles in the corners or draped it over the treadmill. Instead of keeping the tops of the dressers clean and neat, we basically used them as the dumping ground for anything we couldn’t figure out a better place for. Who cares? The bed sucks so why should we bother trying with anything else?
And then, this weekend, it happened. My mom, kind woman that she is, gifted me some brand new sheets. She told me to throw the others out and start fresh. To clean up my room (because yes, even at 33, sometimes I need to be told this) and make it not only neat, but pretty. Just because we have no money (and maybe even more so because we have no money), there’s no excuse for living like that. And she was right.
I put the new sheets on, and it made me happy. It’s a little thing, maybe almost insignificant to some, but it made such an impact on my attitude. Suddenly, I want to clean the place up. Suddenly, I’m not OK with my dresser being covered in an array of receipts, tissues, hair things, socks, toys, and almost anything else you can imagine. Suddenly, it matters to me again that this is my room, and it should at the very least be clean, and maybe, just maybe, even pretty.
Will I actually get my room looking the way I want it to look? Probably not, at least not right away. The important thing is that now I actually want to try again, and it was the new sheets that made me realize how far I had allowed myself to sink under these last three years. I’m ready to start trying again, and that’s a lot.
What room do you absolutely need to be neat and clean and yes pretty and why?
I find I sleep better in a neat bedroom. Best tip for keeping a bedroom neat and tidy?
How do you not let the little things (like old sheets) get you down (and keep you there)?