Monday, November 16, 2009

Waiting for the Dried Crusty Stuff to Fall Off

I have a lot of big fuzzy sweatshirts. I practically live in them full time when I’m working at home. I like the temperature around me to be somewhat cool and I enjoy the process of bundling up. I sleep under heavy blankets, and I like warm, fuzzy clothes.

One day last spring, I was wearing one of my favorite dark blue sweatshirts as I worked on a project to clean out my garage. At some point, I somehow rubbed against a large sticky label, and it affixed itself to my sweatshirt. This thing was big – like 4 x 6 inches and bright yellow! It was sort of on my side, so I didn’t see it right away. In fact, I didn’t see it before I took the sweatshirt off. As I took the sweatshirt off, I turned it inside out in the process. I still hadn’t seen the label. The sweatshirt went into the washer and then the dryer, without me realizing this label was stuck to it!

Once I got the sweatshirt out of the dryer, I turned it right side out to fold it, and there it was - the giant bright yellow label.

I tried to pull the label off of my sweatshirt and it would not come off! It had baked onto the sweatshirt in the dryer! When I tried to pull it off, tiny pieces, and I mean TINY, would break off. It would have taken many, many hours to peel it off this way! I gave up fairly quickly. I didn’t have time for that!

It being one of my favorite sweatshirts and all, I have continued to wear it. Not publically, of course, but in the privacy of my own home. Each time I wash and dry it, a few more pieces of the label come off in the process.

I was noticing the other day that the pieces that are still stuck are coming off much easier. I can pick at it with my finger nails and the pieces of label, which have become hard and brittle now, break and fall off! I could probably sit down and remove all the remaining yellow bits in about an hour!

It’s taken 7 months to get to this point!

It reminded me of how some experiences in our life take time to get through and get over. We can’t rush the process. We might be able to make it happen a bit faster, but it would take drastic measures (like sitting down to pick off pieces of label for many, many hours). Instead, time can help us take care of a lot of things – if we just allow it to. My sweatshirt still isn’t ready for prime time, but it is getting there. Similarly, sometimes when we are going through something tough, we can’t conduct all our business as usual. Sometimes we need to make allowances for reduced productivity and lower our expectations a bit.

The dried, crusty bits of the past will eventually fall off – if we let them. Acceptance and allowing are the keys, with a healthy dose of patience thrown in!

Got any dried crusty bits clinging to you? Just keep living your life, and allow them to fall off in due season.