Trina Machacek: It’s all right to be all wrong

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

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Twice a year. Thankfully, only twice a year I have to change my clocks. I am just one of untold millions who get to change clocks spring and fall. That time just passed. But. Yes, a tick-tocking “but.” But I was not looking forward to it this time.
You see last time I changed a little clock in my living room and then hung it back on the wall, it hung just a little askew. I have gotten used to that clock mocking me. Hanging there. With its bottom just a little right of center. When the time changes in a week or so I will never get it to hang wrong; just right again.
After a few weeks, last fall I gave thought to getting up and going all the way across the living room and straightening the clock. Then I had a discussion with myself. Self I said, because there was only me there. Self, why should that clock be such an important thing? I decided it really wasn’t about the crooked way it hung.
No, it was more about the fact that in all things, why do we feel things need to be set just so? Things up and down just so. Things left and right as to not look out of place. It was then that I took a stand and let my clock hang off center. Oh, don’t think for a second, I didn’t want to occasionally tell myself I should fix it. It would take such a small push of its wooden frame. Maybe even a good hard fffffft of a breath. I even walked up to it a few times and reached for it. I drew my hand back and looked at it like it was telling me it is alright to be all wrong.
In saying all that, I have learned it’s all right that I do not fix and reset the cushions on the couch every time I see one has become out of alignment.
Oh, and this one. We just got about a foot of snow, and I went out to shovel the deck off. Out there as I shoveled and threw snow up and over the deck railing, I decided to not shovel the entire deck. I stopped after I got from the back door down the steps to the walk-in garage door. It occurred to me that there was actually really no reason to be so fastidious about clearing every stinking flake of snow. Yep, again it was all right to be all wrong about how to shovel the snow.
Of course, I still appreciated my friend who cleared the snow from the yard and away from the roll up doors on the garage. Come on, I am not that crazy.
I know people who would go nuts-o if everything in their world wasn’t just so. I sometimes find myself in that mode. I am not saying it is right or wrong to be what I would call a nitpicker. It is sometimes needed to pick nits. But sometimes nits need to be left alone. Like some will think a wedding needs to be perfect. It really doesn’t. As long as the two center-of-attention people show up, say “I do,” oh and there is cake? The rest is fluff. Or cleaning a kitchen floor. I say as long as I don’t stick to the floor so I can slide as I dance, that’s good enough.
Getting sucked into all the perfectness of a perfect world becomes a lot of work. I’d rather play. Never being able to let things slide is not part of my wheelhouse. For instance, spring cleaning is approaching, so I took a closer look at it.
Seems that when families were huge and they were all closed up in the house throughout winter, when spring sprang up all the rugs needed to be taken out and beaten nearly to death. Walls needed to be scrubbed because the wood stove put smoke out and soot covered the walls. Beds needed to be laid outside to get freshened, and the winter “burnt” off the compressed mattresses covered with cold soaked ticking by the warmth of happy spring sunshine.
Well, all things considered I am glad I don’t have to deep clean that much. Especially the mattress. I am finally OK with being all right about being all wrong on the amount of spring cleaning I will do or not do this year.
Yes, I think I will take a few minutes each day to look at my little living room clock as it hangs just a little off center. Kinda like me.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book, “They Call Me Weener,” is available on or email her at to get a signed copy.


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