William Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” This advice, of course, echoes the part of the Serenity Prayer that admonishes me to “accept the things I cannot change.”
For a long time I have worked hard to change some things that I cannot change. I have fought valiantly and believe that right was on my side, but I am conceding defeat in the following areas.
I cannot stop the electric cord on my vacuum cleaner from snagging. Every time I vacuum a floor, the cord gets caught on a doorknob, a chair leg, or some other item in the room. I hate the sudden jerk that results, and I also hate having to backtrack to determine where the cord is caught so that I can free it and continue with my work. The cord knows that I hate these things, and thus it is determined to continue employing its “snag and jerk” attack plan. I cannot change this, so I say, “Let it snag.”
I cannot keep my grandkids’ toy closet organized. Being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, I have gone to great lengths to make this a tidy area. Dolls and doll clothes go into one bin. Plastic cars, trucks, airplanes, and boats go into another. All of the Peppa Pig characters, the My Little Pony horses, the Thomas the Train pieces and the Little People Nativity Set figures have been separated into individual, clearly labeled, color-coded plastic boxes with snap-on lids. Yet, I am continually distressed to discover Dora the Explorer lying in Baby Jesus’ manger or a Disney princess shoved inside the My Little Pony stable. Obviously, the toys and/or the grandkids have minds of their own and refuse to comply with my organizational system. Therefore I say, “Let the toy closet be messy.”
Being a friend to the environment, I want to recycle everything that is eligible for recycling. At my house this means almost all paper, metal cans, and glass, plus plastic containers that are marked with a number 1 or 2. I don’t have a problem understanding the recycling rules. I do have a problem seeing the tiny triangle and number printed in 4-point font on the bottoms of plastic items. Even if the item is large, like a cat litter tub, the sizes of the recycling symbol and number are as tiny on it as they are on a one-ounce bottle of vanilla extract. I will no longer pull out a magnifying glass, stand in direct sunlight and squint my eyes in order to determine whether or not an item is recyclable. If I cannot clearly and quickly see the number, I will say, “Let it go into the trash.”
Now that I have recognized the futility of pursuing impossible goals, I will be able to focus exclusively on achieving my one logical and achievable goal: getting rid of all the dust inside my house.