The other day, I was sick with worry. I sat in front of my pc pondering the meaning of life, wondering where I’d be in the next few months (job-free) and sulking to my heart’s content. I went to a bad place, a very bad place. On the verge of tears and self-pity, good ole Carlos showed up and began talking up a storm: exasperated.
Carlos – “Babe, I’m almost finished with the closet. Do you want me to put those shelves up in the kitchen? Because I want what you want. Let me know if you like that idea. If not, let me know. Oh, and the painter’s finished the grout in the bathroom. Go check…”
Me – “Where is my life going? What’re we going to do?”
Carlos – “Relax, babe. Okay, listen…the painter wants to start on painting the bathroom and then we’ll lay down the floor tile…and…”
Me – (sigh) “I mean look at me, Carl. I’m thirty-two years old and about to lose my job–”
Carlos – “Babe, it’ll be alright.”
Me – “But how do you know that? We have so much to do in this apartment.”
Carlos – (looking pensive) “You know, we can put those two smaller cabinets in the corner and replace the water-cooler.”
Me – “Are you listening to me?”
Carlos – “Babe, but these are your decisions. I want this apartment to look the way you want.”
Me – “I trust your judgement.”
Carlos – “That’s not right, y’know? All of this stuff is what I said I was gonna do and I’m gonna do it. As for all that other stuff, you want me to do…what? Everything will be alright when I get this apartment fixed. I’m doing this for you, babe.”
Me – “I know. But I’m so worried…”
Carlos – “Don’t worry about those things. I’ll take care of it. So do you want those shelves that I showed you? C’mere…I put them in a corner in the kitchen.”
Carlos walks over and holds them up.
Carlos – “Do you like them?”
Me – (walking towards the kitchen) “They’re nice.”
Carlos – “…because if you don’t, I’ll get rid of ’em.”
Me – “No, no, that’s okay.”
Carlos – “Maybe you’ll help me put them up later?”
I mumbled something under my breath and I stopped listening to him for a minute. I was actually marvelling at Carlos’s inability to sink into depression. He just doesn’t worry about things like that. And as I mulled over the future and all of life’s uncertainties, I realized what I should be wasting my energies on. The only stuff that really matters is the day-to-day. Sometimes, you just have to worry about dinner or calling your mom just to see how she’s doing. It’s the little things that you take for granted. The little insignificant things that make the world go ’round. Maybe losing my job was God’s way of saying–slow down. We spend so much time worrying about where we are in the universe, that the dishes pile up in the sink. We focus on the inconvenience of our morning commutes without thinking that maybe we can take those extra moments to smell the roses. You can actually acknowledge the things that you’ve missed or overlooked. It’s all around you.
You may not be able to control your life, but hey, you can control grout. That’s what it’s all about.