What the dog did wrong–He ate a hole in my mattress.
What I did wrong–maxi-pad failure, too busy to clean it up on a busy morning, and this wouldn’t have happened if I walked him more. (Despite our abilities to shower and show up, there is so much slippage in our efforts to live normal lives. The dog found the opportunity between the cracks.)
What I didn’t do wrong–This mattress wasn’t cheap. It was a carefully-thought out purchase that was delivered the week my husband died. He slept on it two nights. This mattress has always been fraught, and the hole invited me to see it as a symbol of how crappy my life is, and how futile my efforts at improvement have been, but I didn’t take the bait. I didn’t freak out. It is a very good mattress, and the hole isn’t really that big. When I have the wherewithal, I’ll fill it with foam and patch it up. In the meantime, I flipped the mattress over.
What surprised me–After I flipped the mattress, it fit nice and snug with the headboard. There’s been a gap between the mattress and headboard recently, and that’s bothered me. It’s much better now for sitting up.
What was apt–In the process of flipping the mattress, I spied a book under my bed–Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart by the Buddhist psychotherapist Mark Epstein. (It must have fallen into said gap.) I knew I had two books by him! Luckily, I’ve been reading the other one, so I already knew that I was doing well with the hole in the mattress by not being “reactive.”
But finding a book by a Harvard-educated Buddhist psychotherapist while accepting that your dog bit a hole in your Room and Board mattress? Priceless.
(The title of this post comes from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem. I wasn’t sure whether to title this one about cracks or about the middle-class journey to acceptance.)