November 2, 2015

I lost a knob.

One of the knobs fell off my dresser. This is the story of how that simple occurrence had a profound effect on my way of thinking.

The irony of it is that the dresser itself cost $15 (purchased from a college student moving out of his apartment). It's mahogany, but I wasted no time slapping a coat of chalk paint on it in English yellow.

The knobs, made of delicate pink glass and bought from Anthropologie, brought the dresser's total cost to over $100. How is it possible that the knobs cost more than the whole darn piece of furniture?

Anyway, one of the knobs fell off about a year ago. The part that is bolted through the drawer is still there, but the glass pull popped out of its housing. All it would take is some strong glue and that thing'd be good as new.

Except it isn't. I've learned to live with the missing knob, working around it in a myriad of different ways. Usually, I leave the drawer ajar slightly so I can reach in and open it without disturbing the knob (which will come off at the slightest touch). Other times, I forget and yank on it only to have it come off in my hand.

The other day, nearly a full year after the knob first came loose, I had an epiphany....why not switch the drawer with the loose knob (the second from the top which happens to house my socks and other unmentionables) with the bottom drawer that I hardly ever open? (It's filled with odd papers, out of season pajamas, and miscellaneous bric-a-brac).

I sat back for a moment overwhelmed by my own level of genius at this brilliant idea.

Then I realized it wouldn't really fix anything. It was yet another work-around for a problem I can't or won't solve.

How often is this a pattern I follow in other areas of life. Do you adhere to this particular flavor of coping? It goes a little something like this: Things don't go quite right, but in the midst of being caught up in it all, you never seem to do the simplest thing that would make life a lot easier.

And then each time you're reminded of the original problem, you beat yourself up for not fixing it. And then the fact that you've let it go this long makes you feel like a huge failure and even less capable of fixing it. Thus the wheel keeps spinning and you ride til you puke.

Avoidance seems easy for awhile. It feeds you a lie that is oh so easy to believe. The problem will go away. Just don't think about it. Do something else for awhile. Take your mind off things, with more things. 

But then, the next thing you know, it's just you in the quiet of the night, alone, except for your thoughts and those 8 or so hours between this moment and the moment the alarm clock will ring. Not a pretty sight.

The other day my husband and I were talking about the apocalypse. One of my favorite quotes of his, which never fails to make me smile is this: "Not all apocalypse scenarios are zombie driven."

It seems like such a crazy thing to happen, some sort of Mad Max, Walking Dead situation. I asked my husband why he thought people were so caught up in the world of zombies and apocalyptic scenarios in the first place. He said it might have something to do with starting over. Like, even if things were awful, it was sort of a clean more bank records, no more debt, no more paper trail following you around.

How sad it made me feel that the prospect of that seemed appealing but for just one second. Like a huge do-over, with no more anything that tied you to what was before.

But then I quickly realized how awful that would be. I want to be tied to what was before. Even mistakes I've made and things I wish were different. If it takes me ten years to fix that knob, on the very first day of the eleventh year, I can still hope for possibility of fixing it. I can still hope that things will turn around and be better.

If you're still here, there's still hope for you.