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Twelve years ago, when my husband and I moved to San Diego, we bought a California king bed for our new apartment. Six months ago, my father-in-law sold his condominium and offered us his almost new king-sized bed. When my husband measured the two beds to make sure that the new one would fit in our room, he noticed that something was wrong. They were different sizes. He guessed that his fathers was a standard king and that is why it was different than ours, but his father’s bed was longer than ours. When he investigated further he discovered, our bed was a standard king, and his fathers was a California king.

For twelve years we had struggled to make the bed. We never found a set of sheets that fit correctly and after a year or so they would end up ripping at the corners. It was a constant battle to keep the fitted edges tucked in, and almost every night the sheet would pop off on mine or my husband’s side (usually mine because I toss and turn more in my sleep) — twelve years of battles.

Last week we received a Target gift card and went to the store and bought a set of red stripped flannel sheets in a standard king size. We washed them, then made the bed, and they fit perfectly. There was no pulling, tugging and stretching the corners to get the fitted edges over the side. Making the bed has become a breeze, and we no longer have to lift the mattress and stretch the elastic over the corner each morning when we wake up. We received another Target gift card a couple of days ago and went and bought two more sets of standard king-sized sheets and we boxed up all of our old linens to donate to Goodwill (I doubt they take bedding, but we will try).

I thought the story of our bed was a perfect metaphor for so many things in life that destroy our well being, damage our relationships and chip away at our self-esteem. Have you ever thought something about a person and struggled to make them fit your idea? Have you ever thought something was good, or right and wrestled to make yourself fit the mold? Have you ever wanted to be two to three sizes smaller and dieted and worked out, but never fit into the clothes you were dreaming about?

Twelve years of struggling to make the bed combined with dozens of torn sheets – throw out the assumptions and expectations and measure the darn bed! In other words, toss the assumptions, check the facts, and if they don’t match up, go to Target and remedy the situation.