During the last week both of us have encountered a comment about folding fitted sheets. I saw posts by several people on FaceBook about how to fold a fitted sheet. Bob saw a book titled “Life is too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets.” The method proposed is the one my mother taught me and I’ve used as long as we’ve been married. I have never followed the thought of rolling up fitted sheets and shoving them in the closet. It doesn’t fit with my need for organization. I don’t spend a lot of time in the task. The title of the book made me think about how many things in our life we actually waste time on. Several years ago we first gave a presentation on Aging Joyfully Together. One of the things we talked about is amount of time wasted with petty quarrels and not reconciling differences, not only in a marriage, but with all our relationships.
In a marriage it is of utmost importance. Irreconciled differences is one of the major reasons couples divorce. Even among couples who stay together but not really happy differences that are not reconciled are observable in the lack of physical contact, in words exchanged and snide comments made about the other when s/he is not present. Too much time is wasted keeping score, holding the other accountable for petty actions, taken or not taken, that have little significance. Focusing on pettiness instead of encouraging, supporting, or praising the other is a bigger waste of time than folding fitted sheets. I often wonder how much time we have wasted not listening to each other, not being fully attentive to each other or holding on to words that the other said and we interpreted as unkind. How much time have we wasted on the edges of our bed rather than cuddling together in the middle. The list could go on, but we invite you to think about the time you have wasted in your relationship.
Beyond our relationship but affecting it are the times we waste not reconciling with others or holding on to petty disagreements. We were at a family funeral recently and I was aware of the petty differences that some hold on to. It is in all the comments that are made behind some one’s back or the avoidance of conversation. It is not just in our family. In some ways it is less in our family than in many I have seen. I’ve seen it when parents and children no longer speak or see one another. There is great heartache when persons speak of the fact that they have grandchildren they have never seen. Brothers and sisters sometimes don’t speak or don’t come to family gatherings. While not directly in a couple’s relationship even these things detract from the marriage relationship because hearts are affected.
As the holiday season once again approaches, family squabbles often rear their ugly heads in all relationships. We encourage you to take some time to look at where you are wasting time in your marriage and all your relationships. You might be more thankful this holiday season and reconnect in ways you haven’t in a while. You might even fold fitted sheets while you do it.
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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.