You can’t do it to suit me

My grandmother turned 90 last month. She’s a rock in our family. Strong in all the ways that matter. But time crept up on her, and the family collectively decided that driving wasn’t the best option for her anymore. So she moved from her home of 47 years to an independent living community. She’s still not thrilled with the change, but she’s making the best of it.

I stopped by her new apartment recently and saw dishes needing to be washed. Wanting to help, I filled the kitchen sink with dish soap and got to work. As soon as she noticed what I was doing, she ordered me to stop.

“You can’t do it to suit me,” was her proclamation.

On another note, my in-laws came for a visit this week. (Bear with me – I promise these two stories are related!) Yesterday, as they were preparing to leave, my mother-in-law washed the sheets and put them back on the guest bed. Very nice gesture, but here’s the catch…

She didn’t make up the bed the way I like it.

What to do? What to do? I had two warring voices inside my head.

Voice 1: “Let it be. It looks fine.”

Voice 2: “Redo it. You have to live with it.”

Voice 2 won. I remade the bed.

That’s when it hit me. I had inherited my grandmother’s my-way-or-the-highway approach. My MIL made up the bed perfectly well. She just didn’t do it to suit me.

So that brings me to my point. Within reason, is it okay to be strong-willed about things that impact you directly? Is that how my grandma made it to 90 with spunk to spare?

Or is it better to allow a little give-and-take in your life, realizing that it’s okay if things aren’t always the way you prefer?


Let’s talk: How do you lean? Are you laid-back and easy-going when things aren’t exactly the way you want them? Or do you tend to like things a certain way? Is one approach better than the other?

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3 Responses to You can’t do it to suit me

  1. I am an extremely laid back person. My husband is not. We’ve been married for going on 27 years. In the early years (the first 20), the hardest part was that he want me to be like him. I think it’s fine for a person to like things a certain way. But we all have to be careful not to want those around us to feel about things the same way we do. Does that make sense? It’s early and I’ve only had one cup of coffee so far, so I could be totally rambling.

  2. Pingback: Always love | Sara Suderman

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