The season for back to school is upon us. Kids of all ages are getting back into routines, making new friends and rekindling old ones. There is also a brave group of kids who are embarking on a journey that will affect them for the rest of their lives….they are entering college.
College can teach you way more than anything in a textbook. In my case, I learned something in my first year of college that has stayed with me through everything I’ve been through since. This lesson has helped form who I am and helped strengthen my marriage.
My freshman year of college, I lived with another young woman from the midwest. We quickly realized that, while we got along, there were some things we’d do that would annoy the other person. For me it was when she’d leave the room and leave the radio blasting. My annoying trait was the inability to pick up my dirty clothes from the floor. This would cause my roommate to regularly pile my dirty clothes on top of my bed. I’d then have to figure out what to do with them so I could sleep at night. I usually just put them back on the floor. It was a vicious cycle.
But one day everything changed. I woke up that morning and my roommate was not in her bed. I got ready for class and on my way, my Resident Director stopped me and told me that my roommate was in crisis. She was in the hospital after a suicide attempt the night before. She had been struggling with some personal issues and made a devastating choice-but she was gonna survive. I was in shock. The next few days were a blur. The first time I went back into our dorm room after I was told, I noticed the silence. It was deafening. In that moment the only thing I wanted was to hear music blasting from the radio.
My roommate returned a few weeks later. The first time I walked into our room after her return, the music was blasting from the radio. And I couldn’t have been happier or more relieved.
I’ve taken this lesson with me ever since: no matter how annoyed I am with someone’s quirks, at the end of the day, if that person were to suddenly leave, I know those annoying quirks would cease to be burdensome and I’d crave them.
My husband and I are working through year 3 of our marriage and this lesson has carried over and has helped to shape my attitude towards my husband and some of his quirky habits. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if anything happened to him I’d miss many things. I’ve even miss his heavy metal music and the way he piles his socks on the floor.
So next time your spouse or roommate leaves clothes on the floor or dirty dishes in the sink, before you get bent out of shape, take a moment and think about how you’d feel if they weren’t around to make those dirty dishes or leave clothes on the floor. And be grateful they are in your life.
**I couldn’t find a good meme to add to this post, so I left some room for you to draw whatever you wanted! You’re welcome! 😀