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Just a Boy & His Subaru

On a Journey to Find Themselves

Tag Archives: dignity

My mother was always weird about certain things when I was growing up. My father was too, but his was a very angry angle while mother’s was more of a neurotic angle.

As a child, I naturally rebelled against the obvious routine my parents had set in motion for me.

Now would be a good time to point out that these things are normal, everyday things that people do, it’s just that my parents were particular.

For example, every morning before leaving the house, all of the beds were made. Many of my other peers talk about having to do this too, but not one person I’ve met has had to tuck sheets and fold back a perfect crease; not one person I’ve met has come home to a pile of blankets and sheets in the middle of the floor because their bed wasn’t made correctly.

My parents were very subtle about the delivery of their messages.

Anyway, that’s just a taste of the intrinsic thoroughness my parents’ military background brought to the table. Like every night before bed, the dishes were to be done and the kitchen was put back to it’s original, pre-chaos state. No one went to bed until it was done.

Before family vacation or extended trips, the house was cleaned from top to bottom, left to right, you get the idea. “GI parties,” my mother would call them. They happened every Saturday as part of the weekend routine, as well.

The same went for the arrival of guests; everything was to be spotless and perfect.

What these routines taught me, and what I’m eventually going to get to, is that there will always be a, “best way” to do something. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other, “right” ways, just that there will always be a, “best way.”

What makes a, “best way?” Respect.

And a little bit of pride, but mostly respect.

As an adult, I find that I’m still practicing the routines my parents enforced in the household. I’ve never really strayed from them. The number of times someone has tried to call me out on them or get me to abandon them is innumerable; I’ll have these routines until the day I die.

Why?

Because they make since.

They’re the best way to do things because they factor in respect. Not just respect for the household or your significant other, but respect for yourself.

Waking up to a clean kitchen is magical.

Knowing that my bed is made and waiting for me at home is sometimes the one thing that carries me through the day.

Preparing for the final leg of my trip home after vacation, remembering that my house is clean and everything is in its place, gives me an inner peace.

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