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Is this normal?

Posted by Patriciaaobrien on Feb 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

My clothes dryer broke this weekend.  Not out of the blue.  Actually it has been declining for a while.  But when it stopped functioning altogether, it was clear there was a problem that we had to address.   And when I say we, I mean my husband cause he’s the one who knows how to troubleshoot and fix modern contraptions.  After he replaced the heating element, it works like new.  It is unbelievable how fast one can do laundry with a properly functioning drying machine.  No, seriously, it’s incredible.  Now I see how ridiculous it was to accept my dryer’s previous performance, to think it was normal, to not expect more, to suppose that I must not be so great at keeping up with the laundry, to spend all weekend trying to catch up and only have a few loads to show for my efforts, to feel inadequate and disorganized as every morning was a scramble to piece together complete, properly fitting, weather appropriate, dress code compliant attire for everyone, to consider spending a day at the laundromat to make some headway.  But, it happened so insidiously.  It was so incremental.  I honestly don’t even know when its performance started slipping.

I feel like mental/emotional/psychological health can be like that.  Sometimes it takes something pretty significantly going wrong to realize that there is a legitimate issue that needs addressed.  Then when things have been righted and are moving in a positive direction, looking back it is crazy to see what you accepted as status quo.  But in the middle of it all, it somehow seems that maybe I just need to try a little harder, life is not all fun and games, maybe I am just not good at life, life is pretty serious business, maybe we are not meant to take it lightly.  And we trudge on, running like a hamster on a wheel, thinking if only we can stick it out, put in more effort, maybe someday things might get better but mostly this is all there is and all we deserve and what we just have to keep doing.

But then things get a whole lot better.  Brighter.  Deeper.  Hopeful.  Meaningful.  Enjoyable.  Attainable.  Joyful. Beautiful. Peaceful. And suddenly it seems ludicrous that you settled for quiet desperation and tried to make a life out of it.  Life is crazy and hard and horrible.  But it is also full of wonderful possibility.  You deserve to see that wonderful possibility and have a chance to embrace and embody it.

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