Mama taught all of us girls the basics of laundry. We learned how to use the washing machine, the proper way to hang clothes on the line, and when we were blessed with an automatic dryer, how to use it. Once everything was cleaned, she taught us how to iron, then fold items and put them away. And yes, she even taught us how to fold fitted sheets.

 

 

Fitted sheets are the bane of our existence. No matter how hard we try, they just don’t fold well. Fold in half, tuck the fitted corners together, fold again. Tuck in the flap. It looked easy. It sounded easy when Mama explained. After quite a bit of trial and error, I managed. And then, the manufacturers’ came out with elastic corners. I went back to Folding Fitted Sheets 101 all over again.

Several years ago, I saw a website that exclaimed there was no real reason to even go through the effort. Don’t Fold Them! Don’t Stress Yourself! It was a war cry. It seemed that women everywhere were tired of having to deal with the uneven, mussed look to a folded fitted sheet. So, why try? Here’s my answer:

 

Because you can.

 

 

 

It’s a Hassle

 

The hassle of folding fitted sheets is really just a metaphor for the struggles we face in life. Our lives don’t always have even sides. Our fitted corners may be elasticized or not. And in the process of being ‘folded’, we may appear mussed, wrinkled and wadded up. But the bottom line is that we are trying. We are trying to get our gardens to grow. Trying to raise well-adjusted children, and be a good wife. We juggle to balance work, home, church, family and self. And keeping it all together is just as difficult as folding a fitted sheet.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

 

But with practice comes ability. There is no way we can be faced with a new task and perfect it within seconds. Instead, we have to attempt it the first time. We study what went wrong, and try again. The next time we do a little better, but see another place that needs improvement. We throw our attempts back into the wash, hang them out to dry, iron them, then step back and view our progress. A small stain here, a wrinkle there. We can see our progress, and try harder the next time.

Before you know it, that difficult task becomes easier. The stains are gone. The iron didn’t scorch. And the elastic corners smoothed down. The fitted sheet is folded neatly. The struggles are behind us, and we are ready to move on to the next challenge.

 

 

Whether it is fold sheets, a messy house or a life that is threatening to become so unbalanced we fall flat on our face, all of Life is a challenge. It is these challenges that make us who we are: Strong. Resilient. Determined. Confident. And it is through those struggles that we find joy, happiness and contentment.

Do your fitted sheets still not fold right? Don’t worry. In reality, it doesn’t matter if your sheets are folded neatly. The real question is, can you back down that easily from the challenges of Life?

I still struggle with those blasted fitted sheets. But I will learn how, the same way I can learn to overcome any challenge Life throws at me.

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Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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