With all due respect to Forrest Gump, I don’t believe that life is really like a box of chocolates. Personally, I believe that everyday life is actually far more like doing laundry. Because no matter how many loads I wash, I know there’s always going to be more that needs to be done. I never get to the point where I can say, “That’s it! I washed, dried, folded, and put away all those clothes, and now I’ll never have to do laundry again!” Doing the laundry is an ongoing process, which makes it very much like so much of the rest of my life.
For instance, when it comes to home and yard maintenance, we no sooner complete one project than we are faced with another. We repaired out driveway last week, which means it’s time to replace our garage door and dig up three dead bushes. And at the Animal Shelter where I volunteer, no matter how many dogs I walk and am thrilled to see get adopted into their forever home, there are always more dogs coming in that need to be walked and cared for until it’s their turn to be adopted. Just like the laundry, it’s a never-ending cycle.
Even when I think something is coming to an end, I often find out that it isn’t. I went to the doctor yesterday for what I thought was the final check up on the varicose vein treatment on my right leg, so I was surprised when he strolled into the examining room bearing a tray of syringes. Apparently, I needed another treatment for minor veins, so here I sit in my support hose for another week. (They look so fashionable when worn with summer shorts and dresses.) When I was leaving, he asked if I wanted to do the next treatment in six weeks or wait until Fall, when he’s going to laser the varicose vein in my left leg. And so the fun continues….
Just like laundry, life presents us with both loads that are light and loads that are heavy, and we have no choice but to handle them all. And just like when we do laundry, sometimes we are successful (“I got the stain out!”) and sometimes we fail (“That stain is permanent!”). Occasionally, we do something stupid (such as running a new wool sweater through both the washing machine and the dryer), and all we can do is forgive ourselves and move on, hoping we manage to handle things better the next time.
I honestly believe that few things in life are a matter of “one and done,” and that a big part of success stems from our willingness to just keep plugging away to the best of our abilities. And it helps to remember that it’s not just the bad stuff, or even the everyday mundane stuff, that keeps on coming, but the good stuff as well. We will always have something to celebrate and be grateful for, if we are willing to look for it
I could say more, but I think I’ve made my point. Also, I’ve got to go throw another load of laundry in.