Finding Sweetness Again

I spent so much time buying a new bathmat.

The one I chose is baking soda white, a shade that won’t last long.

It’s got good squish. I poked it, squeezed it, squashed it. It rose back up in the slow, reliable way that foam does.

I looked at other bathmats; shaggy ones the color of pomegranate, Turkish ones the color of coconut shell, contoured ones the color of fire hydrants.

They ranged from itchy to fine. But I didn’t want fine. I wanted superlative - Most Likely to Leave Feet Blissful, the yearbook would have read. I wanted that because it was something I could give myself.

I’ve felt a bit unanchored this past month. I moved. A relationship blindsided me. I had a mess of unexpected dental appointments after a surprise discovery under a root canal. I traveled every other week. Taxes.

Nothing catastrophic. But a string of little upheavals in constants that I depend on. When that happens, I usually start spinning, trying to grab at things I can control, and avoiding upheaval’s discomfort by going faster, faster, faster. I am not sweet with others or with myself.

This time, though, I gave myself permission to be slow. It happened that my new apartment needed a bathmat. So, I took myself to a bedding store. I gave myself all the time I needed to find a foamy rectangle that will be paradise under my feet. The experience was soothing, like honey on an aching throat.

And when we are out of sorts, when we are inclined to race and run from unease, it is kindness to decelerate and give ourselves time to get to sweetness again. Which sometimes comes in bathmat form.

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