A few weeks ago, Rolf received a text from the eldest, grown daughter of our good friends Ruben and Marit explaining that due to an online ordering mix-up, we would be receiving a shipment of Charmin toilet paper intended for her family. 🙂 Rolf offered to send it back and help them get their money refunded to which Sarah said not to bother and to consider it a gift! So sweet!! Rolf told me about his text exchange with Sarah and was surprised by my reaction. He couldn’t understand why I was so giddy over toilet paper…to which I replied, “Honey, you don’t get it. Our entire life together I’ve purchased Kirkland brand TP, this is CHARMIN! There’s a difference.” Completely unaware and unconvinced, Rolf rolled his eyes and chuckled at my enthusiasm. Not long after, Marit (Sarah’s mom) texted Rolf about an unrelated subject and Rolf relayed the TP story to her. Marit responded, “Wow, she (Sarah) really loves the Geylings!!…not just TP, but Charmin!”. Ha! Rolf finally decided there must be something to it but has yet to experience it…we haven’t opened the case of Charmin. I want to use up all our Kirkland TP first because there may not be any going back once that box is opened. We could very well be entering a new era in the Geyling household. 😉
The funny text threads with our friends and the shipment of Charmin that followed made me laugh out loud as well as got me thinking…it got me thinking about the hundreds of decisions I’ve made in the management of our household over the years that the family was never really aware of or cared too much about…decisions which led to my systems of organizing and procedures for daily living that made perfect sense to me at the time but could very well be questioned now as I slowly fade from the scene and new systems are adopted. Many of the decisions I made in the management of our family weren’t particularly important or life altering (i.e. the choice to use economy vs. brand name TP) but they were ALL deliberate…there was ALWAYS a well thought out reason for the things I did – a method to my madness, so to speak – and I now have a strong desire to replay the tape of our family’s life together, if I could, and explain it all so my kids can be assured of my brilliance long after I’m gone. Ha, Ha!
Instead, I put together a little autobiographical photo book for my family for Christmas and in the introduction, I wrote this…”I used to think that when I came to the end of my life, being remembered would be really important to me. I’m realizing I was wrong about that. Even if I were to live a long, full life, I’d be lucky if the memory of me carried on for another generation. What I’m finding to be of greater value over being remembered is being understood by the people I love.” The value I place on understanding myself and, in turn, being understood is high which explains why I appreciate processing through this blog so much or why I fear Rolf and the kids regularly asking “I wonder why Mom (fill in the blank)?” as they comb through the cupboards of our lives together or switch up the systems to meet their needs. Although my mind is occupied with this crazy train of thought and it’s where my heart is now, the good news is that I’m pretty sure whatever legacy I do end up leaving behind will be bigger than the silly questions left in my absence. 😉
On a practical level, I’m actually pretty proud of how gracefully I’m letting go of things that are no longer in my control…I think the emotion and unrest for me simply comes down to grieving the part of me that is lost in the letting go.