Thursday, September 9, 2010

Psychadelic Pink Fake Fur

This is a true story.

Last Friday when I came home from school, I gasped with shock the minute I stepped over the threshold into my sitting room.  At the far end was my bookshelf.  The lovely blue and gold Thai silk runner had been replaced with a psychadelic pink fake fur piece of fabric.  A piece of fabric that was kept in a box upstairs with other pieces of fake fur - a leftover from my teddy bear making days.  My housekeeper had obviously decided to give the Thai silk runner a wash, and had turned her nose up at the other really nice tasteful runners I have, and opted for the psychadelic pink fake fur.  Now, while I appreciate the bright and colourful, the psychadelic pink fur was well...nauseating.  I almost felt like I needed to wear sunglasses in the house.  To make matters worse, she arranged my wooden map of Africa at a tilt on its side and she fetched the toy purple poodle from my daughter's bedroom and placed it as an ornament on the psychadelic fur.  It was all a little much, but she obviously thought it was attractive.  I collapsed in the chair and stared mesmerised at the bookshelf.  Could I be bothered to change it?

The next morning I found myself sitting in the chair again, contemplating my pink fur runner.  Siobhan came tripping down the stairs, her eyes full of sleep.  "You still looking at that pink thing?  If you don't like it, why don't you change it?"  And she flopped down on the couch next to her jeans she'd climbed out of the night before, the pile of dvds scattered everywhere, and her smelly dirty socks.
"You know," I muttered sadly, "I pray to God nobody comes to visit us.  I have a psychadelic pink fake fur runner, a shocking pink knee rug Grace has covered the coffee table with; and my lovely bedspread from India has been put on the dining room table as a table cloth!  Then to make matters worse, look at your crap lying all over the floor."  I shook my head, giving up.  There was no point in arguing with her.  The day before she'd told me it was my fault she was untidy because I employed a housekeeper.  Teenagers.
"Get real Mom, who comes to visit?" she sneered nastily.  "If you don't like it, stop whining and change it.  Do something about it."  She sashayed out the sitting room and went back upstairs to get ready to go out.
Of course, I had just returned home after dropping her off at a party when I had an unexpected guest.  Luckily, earlier when Siobhan was in the shower I'd taken her dirty plates to the kitchen and picked up the dvds and thrown away her dirty tissues.  But, I'd left the dirty smelly socks where she'd left them under the couch, and hadn't yet gotten around to changing the psychadelic fur.  My lack of motivation to get up the energy to change my decor resulted in me having to apologise profusely for the state of my sitting room.  It was embarrassing.

Today, one week later, I get home from school and the psychadelic pink fake fur fabric is still on my bookshelf as a runner.  A week has gone by and I still haven't changed it.  What signals am I sending out?  My housekeeper obviously assumes I'm happy with her interior decorating skill; my daughter thinks that I don't mind living in a bomb shelter.  This got me thinking.  When we are unhappy with a situation, what messages do we give other people when we make no effort to change it because we can't be bothered. 

Inside, I am very bothered, it's driving me mad, but change takes energy, it takes effort.  Many times in life, we just complain and whinge about situations we don't like.  We have the power to change it, but we can't be bothered.  It's too much effort.  So, we learn to live with it or around it.  We accept things we shouldn't accept.  We lower our standards.  And as we get more and more used to a bad situation, the less likely we'll make the effort to change it.  Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."  Nobody but you can change the situation which is bothering you.  You have to get up, find the energy and make that change.  Throw away the psychadelic pink fur runner.  Hide it where the housekeeper can never find it again.  Make that change, don't turn a blind eye and just put up with it.  Do something about it.

Besides thinking about how we go about changing unpleasant things, which I can blame entirely on my housekeeper and the psychadelic pink fake fur, I've also been thinking a bit about why we say sorry and how many times we really mean it.  So I wrote a hub about it which you can check out here

Long weekend here this weekend, and my goal is to write, write, write.  I want to try and finish my up trip part of The Great Mountain to Mountain Safari.  Have a great weekend and remember, make those changes in your life which are making you unhappy.  Everyone deserves to be happy.

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