Have you ever wanted something so badly you tried to force it to happen?
How did that work out for you?
In the Summer of 2012 when my oldest daughter was 3, my husband and I spent an evening putting together her “big girl bed”.
Soon after unpacking the bed, I discovered it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was. In the excitement of buying it a few months prior, I hadn’t realized it was a platform bed and not a bed that was high above the ground.
“Oh well,” I said. “We’ll make it work.”
This should have been my first clue that something was off … instead, we went ahead with it anyway. After all, I was pregnant with our second daughter and she was coming soon. We didn’t have time to wait, I told myself. Besides, we had planned the whole evening and set ourselves up for success; we had the bed and the tools, and our daughter was staying at her grandparents’ house for the evening so we could work uninterrupted.
I really had it made; my husband said he didn’t even really need my help other than reading the directions.
“It’ll be fun. I don’t think it’ll take more than an hour,”
There was no way for him to know, but this project would take more than an hour. And that the dream bed we’d been planning on wouldn’t be there that day.
After unpacking all of the items from the box, we soon realized that we weren’t given an integral piece of hardware for the bed. Unfortunately, we had purchased the bed from Pottery Barn Kids outlet months before and they couldn’t give us much help.
“We don’t have any of those pieces in stock,” said the woman who answered the phone.
As the minutes passed and our patience ran thin, we tried harder and harder to make the project work.
“I’ll call one of the regular Pottery Barn Kids’ stores in the area and see if they have the piece,” I said brightly.
Unfortunately, they did not. I think the woman at Pottery Barn said that everything is run by sophisticated inventory software and they don’t have the ability to sell individual pieces, but I’m really not sure; I was so frustrated at that point that I didn’t totally hear her. This should’ve been another clue to stop for the night. But we didn’t. Never, never, never give up rang in my ears, along with “It has to happen tonight”. So we persisted. To no avail.
Two hours into the project, after trying to create our own pieces for the bed (neither of us are handy) and forcing Home Depot to stay open for us (they didn’t) my husband suggested we stop and he did. I kept going. Exhausted but convinced I could do it, I then tried to put the bed together without the missing pieces. It didn’t happen and I finally surrendered around midnight that night, after almost throwing the bed out onto the street. In the end, we decided the bed wasn’t worth our sanity; we donated it to a local charity and bought a different bed. It was some of the best money we’ve ever spent – especially the extra delivery fee we paid to have it set up for us 🙂
This story stands out in my mind not because it was a success story in putting a bed together, but because it helped me learn the concept “Easy Does It”. Learning this slogan and applying it in your life is 1 powerful way to keep your serenity, especially around the holidays.
Despite growing up hearing things like Winners Never Quit and Never, never, never give up, I’ve learned that surrendering is sometimes the best thing I can do for myself. It didn’t help anyone for us to keep trying with the bed. We both got upset and lost sight of what was important: our serenity. It also helped me develop trust and that even when things don’t appear like they are working out, there is always calm after the storm. Just like there was the day after the bed incident.
Where in your life could you benefit by practicing Easy Does It?
Where are you trying to force solutions when it may be best to surrender? Scroll down and leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you and I’ll answer every one!