Monday, March 22, 2010

The 5 second rule

I was traveling two weekends ago (sans Deirdre and Johnny), and the morning I left was a little hectic. I'd pack the night before and had gotten plenty of sleep, but trying to get out the door by 10am, showered, dressed and ready for a weekend away was tricky. Deirdre was a doll, giving me plenty of latitude to get prepped and ready - but our morning routine certainly wasn't as relaxing as it usually is. In fact, I was running a little behind, so I decided to bring "breakfast" upstairs for both of us while I got ready. It was a actually a mid-morning snack (in the form of a sugary, frosty donut) that I knew would do the trick for the few minutes I needed to buy myself. There she was sitting on the bathroom floor, eating her donut on the paper towel I'd provided, looking adorable. I normally wouldn't encourage her to eat in the bathroom, much less a donut - but I was desperate. Desperate enough, in fact, that when part of her donut dropped on the actual bathroom floor (which, I'm sorry to say, was not spic and span)...I just watched her pick it up, look at it sideways, and then pop it in her mouth. I know the 5 second rule was in full effect - but normally I cringe at the thought of her doing that. This time, I was pleased as punch. In fact, I even said something like, "That's right, honey - it's just fine." Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Later that morning, at the airport, I was enjoying a cup of decaf while I waited to board my plane. I took off the lid to let the coffee cool a bit, and the top fell on the ground. It fell top down, so the part where I was to drink was definitely "hit"...but I just picked it up, gave it a quick brush off, and proceeded to sip away. I guess I was on a 5-second roll.

These two instances may not seem like a big deal to you, but I've NEVER been a believer in the 5 second rule. I'm a bit of a clean freak - although I've gotten better (having gotten worse first) since Deirdre. Yes - I'm the mom that would wipe down the table, high chair and anything else at a restaurant that Deirdre might possibly come into contact with (although this no longer happens - at least not with the same intensity.) And yes, I'm the person who throws away anything edible if it drops on the floor, no matter how short of a time it's there. But the tide seems to be changing. And I think I like it.

I realize that being flexible, and laid back, and, perhaps the best word would be "tolerant", is a great thing. Why can't we be a little more tolerant with ourselves - and apply the 5-second rule to our lives with lupus?

So what if the need for perfection (at work, at home, in social circles) has to give a little?
Let it. Just this once.

So what if our desire to accomplish EVERYTHING on our to do list (that's way too long anyway) has to be dampened?
Just do it. Even if it's painful (at first.)

So what if our drive to be all and do all simply can't happen, given our limitations with lupus?
Be okay with it. For real.

I can't tell you how good it felt to just let go of my clean freakishness for once - and to give myself a break. Keeping my cool, not freaking out, and letting a little imperfection into my life was refreshing. Wanna try it?

2 comments:

maureen said...

Your husband was raised on the "5 second rule" and look how great he is! By the time I got to #5 it became the "30 second rule"!

Lea Sapsford said...

This is a great piece of advice...I hope I will be able to apply it to myself too!