Normal people have one bag of these. Maybe even a box.
We have four boxes.
Bill became utterly enraged today by how desperate things had become. In a theatrical display of fierce indignation, he tumbled them out one after the other onto our bed and proclaimed, “I can’t live like this anymore. Get rid of them all!! It’s time for a fresh start.”
I did protest!
“Wait, there’s bound to be some pairs in here!!! Throwing these out is not going to change the fact that we are not good at keeping on top of laundry. This requires a lifestyle change, honey, not a clean slate.”
Later on, I lay down on our bed to chat to my sister on the phone. Then came the realisation.
I was literally lying in a sea of my own odd socks.
Then came the laughter.
The speed and chaos of our pace of life can be simply laughable at times, can’t it? No wonder some of us leave our car keys on top of our cars, or lose school library books every single week, or send our children in PE clothes on the wrong day (yes, I’ve done every single one of these things!)
Sometimes we literally end up face down in our own dysfunction, surrounded by all the loose ends we’ll never catch up with.
The temptation in that moment is to survey the extent of the odd socks – the unresolved or poorly-managed things in our lives – and think the solution is to throw them all out. We just need a fresh start. It’ll all be different next time.
The thing is, after temporarily managing to restrain my husband’s wrath against the socks, I did successfully make one box of pairs out of the original four.
I threw the ones out that were too small, or stained, or faded. But I rejoiced in every pair I’d put together, and kept the remaining singles in hope that, one day, their long lost partners will be found.
So, what do my odd socks have the potential to remind you of?
Well, I want this to be a reminder to be kind to yourself. Be prepared to laugh at your inadequacies and idiosyncrasies. And refuse to allow yourself to get too dramatic about all your little quirks or undone to-do lists.
Sure, there are some habits you will need to change, some routines you may need to improve upon, and some ways of living to throw out altogether.
But there is a lot you are doing right! And remember, there are always better things ahead, if we’ll just keep searching for them.