Can dirty socks bring joy?
Being married to someone really takes love and dedication. It’s taking two lives that made it many years on Earth apart and sticking them in a confined space together to figure it out. It’s finding out the other folds towels different (and wrong). It’s learning each other’s routine and strange habits, like flossing their teeth on the couch (that one was me, what’s the big deal?) It’s deciding on where to put things and how to use money and what to eat for dinner each night. It’s seeing them at their best and worst day-to-day and loving them the same. No, loving them more.
Thankfully, we didn’t have a lot of obstacles after we got married. We did learn we’d been using the same toothbrush (gross) but turns out that wasn’t the only time that would occur. We had some disagreements about where dirty dishes should live. I voted in the dishwasher, he voted on the counter right next to it. Annoying, yes. Major issue, no.
The one constant thing that has perplexed me from day one though… drumroll…dirty socks. Yep, I find them somewhere in the house every single day. Rolled up on the couch, on the bedroom floor, in a chair, on the floor right next to the hamper. Let me repeat, right next to the hamper. Early on, I would actually be upset over this.
We talked about it a few times, so when it happened again I assumed he was doing it on purpose. He wasn’t at all. (If he lived alone, I truly think he’d just buy new ones each week and live amongst the sock village.) Even now, it sounds completely silly to be so worried over socks, but I was.
One day I was begrudgingly picking up the latest pesky pair off the floor and I had a feeling rush over me. Not one of anger, but gratefulness. These crumbled socks belong to my guy. My love. The one that makes my heart beat funny and releases the tummy butterflies every time I see him. They’re his.
I fully know that each day is a gift and is not promised, but I don’t always remember it. I imagined a day without finding those socks on the floor.
I didn’t like it.
Then I thought about all the hard work he does each day wearing those very socks. I saw it as an opportunity to remind myself (and him if he’s nearby) of how much I appreciate him. To say thank you husband for using your brilliant mind all day at work. I appreciate you for coming home to greet our babies and be an amazing father to them. I love you for greeting me with a big hug and helping for the rest of the night. Thank you for making me laugh even when it turns into tears and for holding me through it all.
I also think about the stress he feels in those socks to solely provide for us. To keep us safe, fed and clothed. I think about the songs he plays for us to dance to in those socks when everyone is asleep. I think about all the messes (mostly mine) he’s fixed in those socks. I think about and appreciate him.
This may all sound silly to put so much thought into something so small, but it goes way beyond the fabric. It’s what they represent. They’re now the love socks and I’m glad to find joy and thankfulness each time I see them.
I encourage each of you to find that thing about your spouse that you tend to see as annoying. Flip it around. Make an effort to make it into something positive, or a way to recognize them in a good way. It might surprise you how much joy it can actually bring!
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