I broke a plate today. It slipped out of my hand and crashed onto the floor, shattering into several large shreds and a few smaller pieces. Thankfully the four-footed one wasn’t interested in the new mess I made or I would have had more than just a broken plate to clean up.
I confess I was a little upset about this event. Now my world will not end because I broke a plate. Rest assured the plate is not a family heirloom or anything of that nature. It was just a plate. A plate I’ve used countless times. As a matter of fact, this plate was chipped and the color was slightly faded.
I was upset because breaking the plate meant having to clean the mess up. It meant acknowledging that something routine and easy for most to do, for a moment in my life was a bit of a challenge. And as I cleaned up the broke plate, I was reminded that I am a bit like this plate.
Obviously, being chronically ill, helps make me feel broken at times. But no one remains wholly intact in life. We live, we love, we hurt and we laugh and through it all tiny pieces of us break off. We become a bit faded and sometimes, sometimes we fall and break. Now and then when we break we get put back together, jagged pieces adhered again and yet not the same as they were before.
And broken, chipped or faded doesn’t make us any less. In fact we are more than for these experiences which have brought us to this state have filled us with new ideas, thoughts and learnings. Some of us just seem to crumble or break more easily.
I think I missed something on this journey known as my life. I don’t recall seeing any of the mileage signs or even a “welcome to this stage of your life” type of sign. No, this journey of mine seems to be full of twists and turns and most incredible scenery, but at no point have I seen any signs or indications I’m on a particular path. I just keep going along as I see fit.
Granted those magical markers are only magical if we put that emphasis on them. If we fail to see moments or milestones as being monumental is there really a need to mark it? Do we need checkpoints as we rush headlong into this stuff known as living?
Some of you might suggest a mirror would indicate certain mileage markers. Other would tell me that the acquiring of stuff shows where I have come on my journey as well as things I have passed by. Those of you with incredible memories would no doubt point to memories made while on the journey as sure signs of mileage covered already.
See the thing is, in life, you don’t get these lovely signs that say, “now entering the state of full responsibility and accountability, aka Adulthood”. It just happens. And somehow, I never got the t-shirt from the trip of teenage rebellion (that might be because I’m still in that stage if you were to check with Beloved). I did not collect kitsch items as I skidded through those glory days of college, nor did I the bumper stickers announcing accomplishments and such.
If, and that’s a big if, those things exist for the stages of our lives, I’ve clearly missed them as I’ve been too preoccupied with what’s going on around me or getting to the next big thing. (Funny now that I’m at the “big thing” aka adulthood I’m not so sure I really want it all. Sure, it’s awesome to follow my own rules and such, but it sure would be nice if someone else took care of things like the bills and the leaky roof. Oh, and the spiders that need to be evicted from the house.)
While I feel a bit cheated if these things do exist and I’ve just failed to grab them when they were present in my life, I also don’t feel empty for not having them. I have what I need, well other than someone to carry my heavy bags on this journey, and I’m somewhat okay without a bit less.
A bit of water, a handful of barley, some peeled and thinly sliced apples along with a dash of cream. A bit of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. He stirred and left it all to cool before calling it just complete. It was, he promised me, far more delicious all pulled together than it sounded.
Of course he added heavy cream, a splash of whiskey and a dash of cinnamon before serving me any of this creation. It was, as he put it, a simple and humble treat that was slightly jazzed up. He said it reminded him of his childhood, slightly altered to a more adult set of tastes.
The four-footed one was pager to give it a try, but neither of us were inclined to share with her. She settled for homemade dog bone while I tried his childhood flavors minus the whiskey. It was, I must say, surprisingly good considering what was in it.
Beloved occasionally makes flavors from his childhood, ways with a warning about how humble or simple it will be. As if I need a reminder or even care that it’s of simple ingredients. What I do are care about, is that he chooses to share it with me. That he takes the time to make it for me. Because how else can you share your childhood with another when you’ve grown up in different circumstances in different countries?
Just a little bit, surely that won’t hurt. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Perhaps you’ve told yourself this very thing when it comes to food for example. I know I’ve done it. More than once.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that sometimes a little bit does hurt. Sometimes it isn’t worth it, be it a small piece of cake or a little extra tasty adult beverage in my glass. Because that little bit, over time, adds up. Especially when you have a few little bits added together and it amounts to a large bit than you thought you had.
We are human, stuff happens. Soemtimes you make mistakes, sometimes we can’t resist that little bit. It’s okay. We just need to dust ourselves off and get back with whatever it is we were setting as limits before.
Sometimes though, the little bit is not what we wanted or asked for. It just comes into our lives and we must make a choice. Do we deal with it as best we can or do we sit in despair that this little bit is too much for us to handle?
sometimes that little bit does hurt, for a period of time. When we look back though, once we’ve dealt with that little bit extra, we realize we got through it. We usually do, it’s just that sometimes we need a reminder of how strong and resilient we are.
Isn’t it amazing how the smallest of things can create the biggest issues for you? A tiny fly gets near you and if you are like me you must treat it as though an entire flock of Pterodactyls are buzzing at your head. (For the record, I don’t know if Pterodactyls ever flew in flocks or anything of that nature.)
I had the world’s tiniest speck of rock in my shoe, almost invisible is how I’d describe this rock in my shoe. And although I walk with the four-footed one on an almost daily basis, I wouldn’t say I’m a serious walker so the rock would be an annoyance at best.
So I ask you, dear friends, to help me understand how this tiny little even rock, this almost non-existent thing created a blister that covers the entire bottom of my foot? It is surely one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. Or as Beloved likes to say, something that could only ever happen to me and must be documented to prove it even happened.
I confess it’s a rather challenging place to have a blister as just standing makes the thing hurt, however if this is the extent of my silly wound I am sure I shall be fine. Especially since suddenly people are wanting to do things for me to keep me from being on my foot!
Some days no matter what you do, you will drop your ice cream cone. Sometimes it just cannot be helped, either because of weather or improperly prepared cones. It is, as they say, just how the cookie crumbles or the ice cream drips and slips!
Today was one of those days where despite his best efforts, Beloved had his ice cream fall out of the cone and onto the ground. He had to do a quick swipe to clean it up before the four-footed on came to help him. When she cleans up it involves her tongue and it ends up in her tummy, even when it’s not good for her. Unfortunately for us, when she does help the output of those results is the most unpleasant stuff you’ve ever encountered. So we try to avoid those moments because a hose can only do so much!
Now Beloved dropped his favorite flavor ice cream which is just insult to the injury. And it was a nice day, a warm day too so that didn’t help matters either. So there is Beloved sitting there with an empty ice cream cone, his favorite flavor of ice cream now in the garbage and a nice day and he looks over at me and says “it’s only ice cream, somewhere someone has lost something far more serious and important.” Because now and then Beloved puts it all into perspective, and because he saw that I had gotten him a refill of his ice cream!
The soundtrack to the days of my misspent youth filled the air as I sliced and measured. The four-footed one danced back and forth near my feet. It wasn’t so much the music that had her dancing as the hope of something good falling down to her level. We had spent a few hours enjoying the music, the weather and creating in the kitchen when Beloved came in.
He wrinkled his brow at my taste in music and politely asked that I turn it down. He mumbled something about aliens from the next galaxy being able to hear the music, but I promise you it really wasn’t that loud. It’s more a case of Beloved and I enjoying different things including the type of music we enjoy.
Pits moments like these, when he comes home from something very serious and formal that I am reminded of the gap in our age as well as the different childhoods we had. Where I associate the music of my misspent youth to innocence and fun, Beloved associates the same type of music to a more serious time in his life. His early teenage years were jot spent visiting amusement parks, beaches and such. Instead he worked to help bring home money or so he could eat more than one meal a day.
His memories, associated with this soundtrack are so different from mine, so filled with more serious and real issues. Alas the music of his early years is stuff I have only ever heard on the radio that played “easy listening” stuff. In other words the stuff my parent so out do site now on even though Beloved is nowhere near their age.
When he came back into the kitchen, looking less formal and adult, I turned off the music while he put on some swing music. That way we could dance, sort of, together in the tiny kitchen while we finished pulling the meal together. It’s our compromise, he that we do a million times over in the small space. We turn off our individual soundtracks and found one that pleases both of us!