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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fitted Sheets, Summer Heat, and Little Annoyances

Just a few minutes ago, I was in our guest bedroom trying to put clean sheets on its queen-sized bed. My honey and I (and the pups) sleep in a King, which is a square that doesn't require thought. So as my mind is in a million other places, I grew frustrated at trying to get the fitted sheet on the rectangular bed. In my frustration, I became annoyed with our three dogs underfoot who required me to step over them simply because they wanted to be near me. I also mentally complained about how because I'm growing my hair out, I'm hot. Last summer I didn't have hair on my neck. Then, as quickly as these ridiculous complaints registered, my mind involuntarily slapped itself.

I stepped back and thought of the thousands of homeless people who would appreciate a clean mattress, much less clean sheets. Privacy versus a shelter full of people. A bathroom to themselves instead of waiting in line simply to brush their teeth. I thought of my best friend's mother with a chemo-therapy-caused bald head and how she would love to be able to hold her hair up and complain about the heat. I thought about those who don't have the arms, the strength, or the mental capacity to make a bed. I thought of my mom who, if she were only aware, would love to be making that bed instead of sitting in a wheelchair unaware of her surroundings.

I'm not saying we never have a right to be sad or annoyed or angry. But we also have a responsibility to recognize and appreciate all that is good in our lives. And find the good even in the mundane. The ordinary. The annoying.

Oftentimes, writers will describe scenes or characters who appear to contribute nothing to the plot or dynamics of the story. But nothing we write lacks purpose. Isn't intentional. In trying to capture a reader's imagination and convince them to lend hours of their busy lives to the words we've written requires authors to be judicious with their words. Purposeful.

In fighting with the fitted sheet tonight, I was reminded that I need to live my live with gratitude and awareness. Purposefully.

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