Sandy Sheets sounds like the name of a woman. “Hello, my name is Sandy Sheets. No, I am not in the porn industry and that question, I assure you, is getting old!” That mini monologue is a figment of my imagination…a segment from my non-existent stand up comedy routine. There is no such person, that I know of, called Sandy Sheets. Though I swear she was a visitor of mine this past week, for the other night when I crawled into bed after a long day, I felt an odd amount of sand under my hand. My hand happened to be near my pillow and my pillow was at the head of the bed…where it belongs. I thought, “hmmm…”. Yep, that was the best I could think, I was tired. I then adjusted my blankets and stretched my legs downward toward the foot only to discover more granules of sand; more than I cared to sleep with. My entire bed was sandy! What the heck? Was this revenge of the body scrub (being I had criticized the directions on the Skin Food product in my last post)? Now I racked my brain to try to remember what had occurred last in my bed chamber which brought part of the beach to my sheets, and since I couldn’t remember being the culprit, I realized “Sandy Sheets strikes again”! Though sandy she may be, I assure you she is no lady! “She” is actually my husband…a he. A surfer, surf-a-holic, he.
Be ye Not alarmed…this is not an ‘X’ rated post!
This post is actually about lines. Lines in the sand, if you will. Lines we draw and expect ourselves, and others, to NOT cross. Lines such as, “don’t bring sand into our bed.” In fact I began early on in our marriage with having specific lines. Brush your teeth with toothpaste, if you want to kiss me. Cheat on me and we are done (he had that one too, in fact it’s still quite definitive). Drunkenness is a no-no (a line he crossed early on, only to learn of what I call, “the wrath of Rivka”). But it isn’t just with marriage that I have lines. I have drawn lines with myself, my children, my mother, my employer, and probably a friend or two. Perhaps my siblings as well…they can better say. And just like the ‘no sand in bed’ line I had drawn a while back, my lines have been pretty solid for as long as life allowed me that luxury. As we amble through life together, inching every day closer to our impending finish line, we find our lines, once solidly striped, become blurry (if not non-existent altogether). Actually, I will keep to myself…my lines are blurred and some of them are disappeared, where once they were very much my gospel.
After discovering the condition of my bedding, my first reaction was irritation at the fact MY line had been crossed. Yet something within me stirred and asked, “so what?” And wouldn’t you know, with that simple question swirling around in my head, I decided to not let the sand bother me. After all, Brian and I have both had our plate quite full with other emotional and physical burdens. Yes it is true I could have called the less-than-desireable conditions to his attention (though I knew he would discover them soon enough), but in that moment I recognized it was a better choice to cut him some slack. Especially as our life, in this particular season (and I don’t mean winter, spring, summer, or autumn), is not. Wanna know something? Sleeping with sand is not as awful as I had thought. I’ll admit it is still not my favorite to share my bed with particles from the sea, but it didn’t kill me to ignore the grit and relax (FYI: there was too much sand to just scrape it off to the floor, I would have had to undo my bedding and re-make the bed…which I was too exhausted to tackle that particular night). And I am finding more and more that “lines”, or my lines anyway, aren’t so necessary for having a fulfilling life.
Another example, last night us ‘Fab Four’ were sitting on the couch when Brian discovered a long black marking on the sofa cushion. He quickly pointed out the streak and asked, while looking at our daughter Esther, “How did this get here?” To which she replied, “My pen exploded when I was writing on my pad, while laying on the couch.” They both looked at me as if a big problem were present amongst us. I just replied, “Well, there goes my museum!” Esther asked in confusion, “Museum?” To which I explained, “Yes, long ago I had to decide if I wanted a home or wanted a museum. So now, I guess what I have is a home.” And she nodded with a smile of recognition knowing I had erased that line I had drawn, to accommodate for a loving experience while in my house. (Though in truth I was reeling with elation that she had used the correct tense for the verb, lie). 😀
It isn’t an easy task, mind you. In fact today while sitting next to the defaced cushion I had a twinge of my old line resurface in my thoughts. My old line being the desires which are still within me to have something go the way I want it to go. Of course I don’t want to have a streak of black ink on my yellow cushion. Of course I don’t want to crawl into a bed visited by Sandy Sheets. Of course. But more and more I am allowing my lines to blur, or eradicate completely, because relationship is the trump card I wish to hold. And the funny thing about allowing myself to really take down some of my ‘neatly, put in place’ barriers, is I begin to reflect back to times where my desires (or lines drawn in the sand) were really the cause of much stress for me, and probably for others. And though this reflection helps keep me pointed in the direction I would like to go, I am still far from having arrived. I can say that at least I am done with the condescending thoughts toward the trespasser. Even so, one can still find me putting a coaster under a guests drinking glass if they happen to set it down upon a piece of wooden furniture. I can only promise to not consider my guest a neanderthal for their lack of good breeding. But watch out if they do it twice…all bets are off and the wrath of Rivka most likely shall emerge. I am on the path, not quite at the destination! 😉