This article was first published on gratitudeandtrust.com. You can view it here as well.
I’m having a really tough time right now. It’s my day off and laundry is on my list of things to do. Yet when i went out to put in a load in the washing machine I found someone else’s clothes sitting in there. Wet having gone through a cycle.
Yeah. I live in a apartment complex. Community washer and dryer. Don’t like it. I used to live in a place that had it’s own right in the apartment. Talk about heaven. Why on earth did I ever give that up. But I did. And now i’m here. Onward.
So yeah. Wet clothes sitting in the washing machine. I don’t like the idea of someone taking my clothes out of the washer so it’s the last thing I want to do to someone else, but come on, I have laundry to do.
Maybe I should wait. 20 minutes. I’ll give them 20 minutes and if their clothes are still in there then I’ll take them out. Start timer now. Pepper in a little extra grace period. 40 minutes later. Clothes still there. Argh!
Sorry to whomever you are. I touched your clothes. Didn’t want to but you left me no choice. Hope you’re cool with it. I did it. Moving on.
Moving on for me is easier said then done. The thought of said person finding their clothes sitting on top of the dryer is driving me crazy. Why? Because I’m a codependent and I worry about how other people are going to react.
Here’s my process. First I picture how the other person is going to react. “Damn whoever did this to me!” Then I assume that it’s not going to be pleasant. “I’ll get them back!” Lastly I picture the other person getting pissed off and doing something in return to my clothes. “I’ll just open the lid and put their wet clothes on the ground.
Wow. Talk about assumption. Huge pool of it. Swimming laps if I’m not careful.
Bottom line. I’m powerless over how the other person is going to react. Tough one for me to admit. I want to control everything and everyone around me. And I can’t.
Years past I would have kept walking out to the laundry room every 10 minutes to check and see if said person took care of their clothes. Years past had they not I would have built/grown a deeper stronger resentment against said person for inconveniencing me. For making me worry. I’d blame them for how I was feeling. Years past.
Truth is I live in my head way too much. Don’t we all from time to time? We assume how someone is going to react and more often than not we assume that it wont be pleasant. In the end isn’t US that made the mountain out of a mole hill?
More often than not it is. Constantly worrying about someone else does us no good. Us. We have to first take care of ourselves. Then someone else. Flight attendant doesn’t say in case of an emergency put on everyone else’s oxygen masks first then your own. No. They say put yours on first then take care of those near you. Simple advice yet easy for us to forget.
Side note. I just went out and put my clothes in the dryer. Other person’s stuff was still sitting there where I left it. Is this person even home? How much time would I have wasted thinking they might return any moment to finish their laundry?
Probably a lot. Instead I took care of myself. And I was polite about it. I gave them ample time to take care of their stuff then did what I had to do.
So as I finish up this post I’d like to ask all of you this one simple question. How much time do you waste worrying about how the other person is going to react? Isn’t that their problem to worry about? Isn’t that heir laundry to deal with?
Okay so it was a couple of questions. I’m not going to worry. Worrying does me no good.