It was just one of those horrible black sock pairing sessions. The myriad of socks discarded from the laundry basket where unpaired socks have taken up residence in the long run, had been thrown onto the bed. Every time I fold laundry I can’t drag myself through the painstaking process of correspondence so they get sent back to the laundry basket.
My husband takes his pole from standing on the other side of the bed and we begin our usual hurumpfing, as we swing each sock in front of us looking for familiar markings to help us mate them. Socks are thrown on the bed “Here, this one matches that over there!” But today this time is different. Instead of collapsing on the bed halfway in mock desperation and carrying those explosive socks back to their basket at home – I have a silent conversation with myself.
The voice of my curious self asks me: “How is that folding of socks serving you?”
My first response is “Well they have to be paired of course and it’s my job to do that!”
Inquiring Voice: “What do you mean?”
I say, “My kids need their socks to match, idiot!”
Voice: “To what end?”
Me: “Because it’s always been that way, that’s why!”
Voice: “What is the cost of doing this?”
Me: “Probably 2279 minutes over the next 10 years and a bit of my sanity.”
Voice: “What do you prefer to do with this weather?”
Me: “Well, I can think of at least 37 things off the top of my head!”
Voice: “What if you didn’t have to fold the socks?”
Me: “That would be really great, great!”
Voice: “So what do you want to do about it?”
Me: “How about putting all the simple socks in the kid’s dresser drawers and if they want to match them they will! And if they don’t want to match them they won’t – their choice. It’s new, eh? “
So that’s what I’m doing now … I mean, don’t. I don’t match the socks, I use this time constructively and my kids don’t blame me, and they won’t need long hours of therapy to reverse the effect of having a variety mother. without socks – they actually made me wonder why I had folded their socks all these years anyway! Our neighbor teenager’s signature has always been Unmatched Socks and I know he is a well-fitting, charming, morally exceptional, and law-abiding individual who suffered no repercussions from his unmatched sock habit!
Remember, there could have been a number of ways to solve this mini-dilemma. And you may have your own ideas and some may be uncomfortable with my solution. That’s good – my solution serves me and my family.
So, looking at an old belief pattern that I held to be absolutely true and becoming curious and gently questioning myself allowed me to gain a new perspective. The more aware we become of how WE are interfering with what we want for ourselves, the more we can operate from a place of choice.
My net gain – TIME – hours and probably full, glorious days in a lifetime – AND the freedom from the responsibility of collecting lost socks!