What starts with S and is all over the house?

walmart white socks
Where are all the socks? Look on the floor at my house.

Socks. Dirty kids’ socks, to be precise. I swear they multiply like rabbits overnight. Maybe they have dirty sock conventions and a dirty sock attack force. I’m not sure where dirty socks live, but I have no idea how two little-ish girls can produce the volume of socks. Furthermore, how can it possibly be, after I’ve cleaned the house, that I inevitably find the ubiquitous dirty sock in or by the chair where a guest is seated?

For all my rants about dirty socks, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They are the some of the signs of life, along with half-finished artwork, notes to Mommy penned by small hands, and the shoes/backpacks/jackets that never quite seem to get “put away” anywhere.  I love these signs of happy children, however inconvenient…except maybe when I trip over one in the dark.

I think it all comes down to values: What is more important, a clean house or a happy child. For the record, I’m not saying that a house should stay cluttered and unclean for extended periods to keep a child happy. I do believe that the balance between cleanliness and happiness is important. As my grandma would have said, “A clean house cannot sit in your lap.” So true!

Thinking about other aspects of life, I also think it’s important to consider what we think we “should” do versus what we “want” to do. I know so many people who get caught up in the world of “should”: should go to school, should have a particular job/lifestyle/house, should act a certain way. These are the people who act one way in certain settings, for instance at work, and completely differently at home. Which version of them is the truth? Why do they need to change their behavior? It belies a lack of honesty somewhere.

What would it take to be yourself– the same self — in all situations? Is it a fear of judgment of un-acceptance that causes the divergent behavior?

The answer is simple: self-acceptance. By accepting who you are– every different facet, no matter how insignificant, including the ubiquitous dirty socks at home — you present an unshakable integrity to the world. Your self-acceptance engenders the same in the people you meet. And so on…and so on… and so on…

Maybe someday this idea will catch on. As for me, I will continue to live unflinchingly as the person I know I am.


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