Why did I give my blog this crazy title? Well, I thought that might be your first question. So, I’ve given it a lot of thought– about 10 minutes to be exact. It’s pretty easy to explain in just a few short phrases, or for me, some long analogies that usually only I get. But I’ll give it a try and hope that you all start to understand where I’m coming from and why Who Moved My Ottoman is absolutely the best possible title for the writing I hope you are going to quickly become addicted to.
Ottomans are critical. Other pieces of furniture are overrated in comparison. The couch can’t just up and move to the other side of the room. The TV cabinet stays where it’s put. The china cabinet is overloaded with the weight of dishes. Those pieces are where you put them unless you’ve got a lazy afternoon free to play “design.” Ottomans, on the other hand, are easily moved, yet much more important. In my house, we all have our own particular ottoman, or combination of seating and ottoman. Our house is tiny and the use of a coffee table was thrown out years ago when my daughter was an infant. Instead, now that we are older and really ready to relax when our butts hit the couch, there must be an ottoman for the oh-so-tired feet. However, the problem ensues when you have to walk through, find crap on the floor, play with the dog, vacuum, and so on. The ottomans get moved. The world as we know it turns upside down! The worst possible scenario occurs after a long day when you take your seat, begin to swing your legs up and find there is nothing there to place them on. Similarly, think sitting down on the toilet to find the last bozo didn’t replace the toilet paper roll. How often does this happen to me? Very, very frequently. Almost as frequently as change happens in my life.
CHANGE- that damn word that everyone just loves to throw around and warn you about as if you’re really listening and going to take heed to everything they say. Change happens, Change is the only constant, Change is the only thing we can count on in life. Oh please, do you think people are really listening when they are 8, 14, 22, or even 35 years old and some “adult” is trying to forewarn them about something that WILL occur in their future?
I remember multiple things from growing up that someone older than me said, and did I do anything about it when they told me? NO! For example, trying on swimsuits with my sisters and my mom when I was 9. I picked out this adorable, side cut-out suit with ties on each thigh. Yes, it was skimpy, but I was 9 and concerned only about how it had a cool design and ties that I could play with. It took one try-on and I was set. “Let’s go!” Seemed to take my 19 and 17-year-old sisters a lot longer. At that time, I couldn’t understand all the hemming and hawing over a simple, fun swimming suit. I distinctly remember my sisters telling me, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get fat someday.” Harsh right? Well… metabolism is a great thing when you are a kid eating Pringles and Lil Debbies, and it’s a killer when you are middle-aged. Why didn’t someone tell me? Oh yeah, they did…I just wasn’t ready to listen. Is there really any point in trying to forewarn the younger generation of all these things that are going to change? For one, there’s no frontal lobe development, right? They can’t really process the idea of time, the future, and how what you do now affects what happens to you later. But what about the 35-year-old, or the 51-year-old that’s not listening to the words of someone’s wisdom? Are they just adults and making adult choices at that point? Are they wrapped up in their individual lives, their car pools, their kids’ tennis matches and track meets, their new house?
Another great example, dental work. When I just get used to the stress of fillings, even learning that a good shot of whiskey can calm the nerves before the procedure begins , I’m told I need crowns! What?????? Are you kidding me? I sat in that chair like a 1st grader looking up at a very tall teacher, stunned to hear the dentist relay the process of the aging tooth- cavity, filling, replace filling, filling too big for tooth, needs a cap, replace cap, ROOT CANAL. With no hesitation I said, “It sounds like death.” The dentist and the hygienist both reared back, trying not to laugh and said, “I don’t think I’d go that far.” My next comment was, “Do I need to stop drinking red wine? Would that help?” “Oh no,” they said, “we’re not going to take your wine away from you.” Whewwww! What a relief. Again, I thought I had been on my way to dental hygiene recovery. I’d become a better brusher and flosser and my teeth were making a comeback- sort of like Brittany Spears in Vegas. Unfortunately, no one had told me about all the other players in this game- my age, my hormones, my DNA. But mainly, why hadn’t anyone told me about how if I had paid better attention to brushing and flossing as a kid, I could keep my teeth healthy, and ALIVE, much longer? Oh yeah, they did… I just wasn’t ready to listen.
You see, no matter how hard you try to keep that ottoman right where it’s supposed to be, to count on it, to instinctively know it will be there when you’re ready to settle in for a night of Downton Abbey, it’s inevitably always moving on you, even if you live alone. The trick is learning to anticipate that it may not be where you originally placed it and that’s OK.