Do you remember the old Polish tale called, “It Could Always be Worse”? You may have read it in grade school. A farmer lives in a house with his wife and children and the grandparents. It is so noisy and crowded that he thinks he will go crazy. The rabbi advises the farmer to bring his animals into his home, one by one. First chickens, then goats, then sheep, and finally the old milk cow and plow horse. The situation goes from bad to worse. It is so very crowded, and so very noisy. Everyone in the family is going crazy! Finally, the Rabbi suggests that the farmer take all the animals out of the house. When he does so, the farmer’s family finds the home roomy and very peaceful.
As a young reader, I enjoyed the story very much. It has stuck with me all these years. I suspect that I have experienced the moral of that story more than once in my life. Today in fact, I was reminded once again, “It could always be worse”; and that it’s all a matter of perspective.
Hubby and I have worked together toward our upcoming move to Minnesota. Being employed as a store clerk, it naturally became my duty to hoard all the boxes and bring them home. I threw them all into the garage to await future use. Hubby started filling those boxes. First we began packing and stacking in the back bedroom. No problem, it’s relatively out-of-the-way, and the stuff packed were non-essentials. But how quickly things can change!
Hubby started bringing up all the empty boxes from the garage and tossing them in a big pile in the apartment. Then he would start packing out of that pile. Now here we have a difference of opinion on how to pack. I think one should start in one area, say the bathroom, find appropriate boxes, then pack ALL the bathroom stuff together. Hubby starts with a box, then begins roaming the apartment for things to fill that box. And by ‘fill’, I mean literally fill every nook and cranny. I would come home from work to find half a dozen partially packed boxes scattered around the living room. I wanted to tape them shut and move them out. Hubby insisted he needed to finish filling them. (after all, everything has to fit into a 16-foot moving truck!) We must pack tight.
Ok, I can understand that. It’s LIVING with that concept that is bothering me. Everywhere I turn, there are boxes in my way. Objects and furniture are being dismantled, stacked, and waiting for packing. I feel like a deer following a single lane path through the forest! Have I mentioned that I am claustrophobic?
Like in the old Polish tale, my house is becoming very crowded and uncomfortable to live in. But I try to keep looking ahead to the outcome, when we have unpacked and put away everything into our new apartment. Our new place will feel spectacularly spacial – I just know it!