My husband Tim never complains to me. In fact, I have no recollection of him ever saying anything unkind to me. And he makes few requests.
A few weeks ago, he said to me, “Quit moving my stuff.”
Wide-eyed, I looked at him and said, “Okay.”
So, I reigned in my urges to pick up his discarded socks, ipad, notes, charging cords, keys, books . . .. his few personal items. He lives very simply. I fought impulses to tidy his limited sacred space – his nightstand, desk, and dresser.
Over Christmas, we were blessed to have eleven family members stay with us. It was heaven on Earth for me – chatting, cooking, marveling at toy trains, exchanging gifts, snacking, doing puzzles, picking up, playing games, sharing stories – the things families do at Christmas.
Thoughout it all, I periodically searched for my perfectly shaped, 16-once, distinctly lined measuring cup with strategic pouring spot, my kitchen go-to for all recipes.
For four days, in the midst of loading the dishwasher, putting things away, reviewing ingredients, wiping the counter, opening cabinets, I’d think, “Now where did I put that cup? It’s not like me to not put it where it belongs.”
On Christmas Day, as we prepared to visit my mother, my conscientious youngest son Kevin brought his bedsheets to me. I thought to myself, “What a great kid. He’s so good about stripping the bed.” Then he said, “Oh, I just have to get the dishes out of my room.”
As I did a final walk-through before departing, I looked back to see Kevin place five random forms of drinkware on the counter – including that beloved measuring cup.
I’m no longer tempted to move Tim’s stuff.