Monday, April 12, 2010

The parable of the floorboards

In our religion we have something called Family Home Evening. It's one night a week (traditionally Monday) where we gather as a family at home and have kind of a little family meeting. We sometimes do things like play a game, have a religious discussion with the kids, talk about family business and just spend some quality family time together. It's nothing fancy, it's just fun and informal and a chance to regroup as a family and teach our children.

We get busy and we're not always great about doing it, but I'm trying to do better. Tonight for Family Home Evening we had Korean food (our favorite!!) and I gave the kids a little lesson (OK, I gave one of those "mom" speeches, lol) about not sweating the small things.

And because I have nothing else to blog about today, here's what we discussed. It was brought on by something I've been thinking about today.

This morning I was cleaning the kitchen and I was walking through the kitchen looking at the floor and I noticed the one floorboard in our kitchen that is skinnier than the others. It brought back a memory and gave me something to think about all day.

Three or four years ago we remodeled our kitchen. Half of our kitchen had carpet on the floor and the other half of it was vinyl. I wasn't a fan of either so we pulled it all out and had hardwood floors installed and did some other changes in our kitchen. The wood floor project was supposed to be simple and it ended up being a ginormous headache that went on for a month. After they tore the old floor out they realized that they had brought the wrong kind of wood and then had some problems getting the right kind (it had to match wood that was already in our entryway), so our kitchen ended up being torn up for several weeks.

When it was finally finished we were really happy and enjoyed our floor for a few months...and then our dishwasher broke and the water damage ruined the new hardwood in part of the kitchen. We had to pull up the cabinets and about an 8-10 foot section of wood between the wall cabinets and the island had to be pulled out and replaced.

After already having gone through a disaster with that floor a few months before I was NOT happy. We had to tear the kitchen up again, we actually had to live in a hotel for a week while they had huge loud fans drying out the subflooring and then they had to replace the wood and restain it.

When they went to replace the wood there was some sort of an issue about matching up the boards for some reason. Honestly, I can't remember what the problem was anymore exactly, but because they were only replacing one section they were having a hard time getting it to match back up with the exsisting flooring where it lined up with the end of the cabinets. I forget now what the problem was, but it was a big problem. They kept getting more and more flooring guys to come out and look at the floor while they tried to figure out how to fix it and in the meantime we were still living in a hotel.

They finally decided that one floorboard was going to have to be skinnier than the others in order to make it fit. The kind of had to put in half a floorboard to fill the gap correctly. I kind of lost it at that point. I was tired of the floors being torn up, the stress of living in a hotel while they figured out the problem was getting to me and I wasn't happy that our expensive new floor was going to have a flaw in it. I lost sleep and shed tears over that stupid skinny floorboard.

They eventually put the floor back together, we moved back into our house and life continued.

Fast foward three or four years to today and as I was cleaning the kitchen I saw the skinny floorboard. I walk over that floor a million times a day, I mop it, I sweep it, and honestly I had totally forgotten about the skinny floorboard until today. It's not noticable unless you point it out and I just never think about it anymore.

So that got me thinking about life and the stupid things we stress over. I'm actually embarrassed to admit that my biggest problem in life at that time was a skinny floorboard and that I actually thought it was a problem! Of all the stupid things in life to have a fit over, that's probably the stupidest. There are a lot of people in the world who would be thrilled to live in ANY house and I was unhappy that my floorboards didn't match. Someone should have slapped me upside the head and given me a reality check.

In our lives there are so many things that we think are huge problems that in the grand scheme of things really aren't. Those problems will now be referred to in our family as skinny floorboard problems.

We had a good discussion with the kids tonight about not letting little problems seem like big problems. The vast majority of things in our lives that we think are huge problems end up being completely forgotten after a while. Time passes, problems work themselves out and later you look back and laugh at the silly thing you stressed out about.

So from now on, when we find ourselves all worked up about something we're going to ask ourselves if it's a REAL problem or just a skinny floorboard problem. Is it something that is really going to impact our lives or is it something petty that is going to blow over and be forgotten? If it's petty, let it go. Skinny floorboard problems aren't worth the stress. Sometimes you just have to accept that life isn't always going to be perfect and move on.

So there you go, the parable of the floorboards. Life is too short to worry about skinny floorboards.

1 comment:

MommysBreakTime said...

Thank you so much Wendy! That is exactly what I needed to hear today!