Monday, January 6, 2014

The nicest patch of carpet in my house...

This is how I feel about my carpet sometimes
It's a new year and like waking up on my 13th or 16th or 21st birthday I think I should somehow feel different, yet life is much the same as it was seven days ago. That's the real lie Hollywood sells us. It isn't that someday your prince will come (I got that) or that the nerdy girl can become beautiful (it's pretty easy to change your hairstyle). It's that somehow special days arrive and you feel different right on cue. That just doesn't happen. I still think that 10 years ago was the 90's. Everyone around me grows up but I feel much the same as I did the day after I got married. Though sometimes I look in the mirror and say to myself "Tula, you look so . . . .old." Then wonder, how did that happen?

It's like the nicest patch of carpet in my house. Did you know you have to visit my closet to see it? Everywhere else my carpet definitely shows it age. Occasionally I sit in the living room and stare at my slightly matted, very worn sea green carpet and wonder whatever possessed me to choose this color that makes picking paint and furniture extremely difficult. I usually remind myself, hardly ever out loud, this carpet is great with kids. Stains don't stick out and when I chose it, I knew I could always change it later and when the kids made messes I could tell myself it isn't my forever carpet, but I like it for now.

But the carpet in my closet makes me happy. Every time I sit inside to dry my hair (don't ask - I'm sure you do quirky things too), I can run my hands along its soft surface and remember why I really picked this color. It's unique and makes my heart a little bit happier. Do you know why my nicest patch of carpet is in the closet? Because it is frequently so covered with stuff. When the stuff becomes so overwhelming that we can no longer walk into the walk-in closet we clean it up. The suitcases (no longer needed to hide Christmas toys) go back to their home in the laundry room. The towels and sheets get put back into the big green chest. Shoes are sorted and stacked neatly. And so on and so forth.

You may be asking yourself, "Okay she loves her weird green carpet what does that have to do with anything?" That patch of carpet, it's kind of like my soul. It hasn't aged much and is probably why I still feel much younger than I am. Most of the time it's hidden behind the self I present to the world. It holds all the pieces of myself that are unique and make my heart just a little bit happier. That young piece of my soul gives me strength to

  • Fall in love with someone else's child while I chase them around the nursery room for two hours every Sunday. You might not believe me, but nursery is one of the best callings in the church. 
  • Have my twins baptized one week early, despite the many obstacles. Just so our far away cousins could be there. 
  • Not freak out when my girls come downstairs having applied "real" makeup for the first time and now look like a cross between circus clowns and French whores. Then after much facial cleanser, try to explain how to apply it the "right" way.
  • Allow several spinning toys to fly around the house at the same time. And each time they hit something or someone being glad we had not purchased "The ninja knives of death."
  • Not burst into tears that I screwed up and my oldest figured out the truth about Santa. For realsies this time. 
  • And lastly - to try to things. 
When I stop and think about it, I do feel different than that girl I used to be. I've got four kids, adult friends, and I've learned so much. This year might not feel much different than seven days ago but it's a lifetime away from where I was last January. That is the real lesson of my hidden patch of carpet: Hope. When my house was filled with beautiful new carpet I was three weeks away from becoming a mother. I had no idea what that journey would mean to me. But I knew what I hoped it would be. I'm glad I spent the last twelve months relearning how to be hopeful. It is a marvelous blessing.

PS - It's also helpful when the sun shines and medication helps you find that missing bit of carpet again.   

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