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Pinkies and Other Non-Essentials

I don’t know about you but when I look at these pink cupcakes, I want one (or two.)

They remind me of the Hostess Sno Balls my mom would tuck into my lunchbox way back when.

They remind me of my childhood when I had fewer cares and concerns.

They also remind me that while I can choose to make, bake, and then eat these culinary treats…they won’t be good for me.

I’m finding that when I’m tempted to indulge in something that isn’t good for me, it is almost always harder to hold back when that “something” reminds me of how I lived and grew up as a kid.

Disclaimer: My mom made wonderfully healthy meals and we always had an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in our house.

We also were known as the house to run to for snacks…of which we also always had an abundance.

Whether we (or our young friends) hankered for a treat in the sweet or salty variety, we had lots of options. None of them I realize today are healthy ones.

Which brings me to my lunch date yesterday with a good friend whom I hadn’t seen in months and the conversation we shared over salads.

As we caught up on life, both of us realized we’d been learning similar lessons about the relationships in our lives.

Both of us admitted that it’s so easy to fall into lifelong habits (even unhealthy ones we learned from childhood) of dealing with the people in our lives instead of forging a new and healthier path.

My friend has been fighting the horrendous battle against breast cancer and I’ve been battling my miniscule (by comparison) fight with ongoing shoulder problems.

As we talked, it dawned on me that just as my friend discovered crystal clear clarity about people/relationships/and what matters most — during her cancer/chemo/radiation treatments…that I similarly had discovered welcome clarity right before and directly after my shoulder surgeries.

What we realized was that when we feel weakest and most unable to cope with non-essentials (and this can include people who only want to use us) the essentials rise to the top (and this can include people who only desire the best for us.)

The tricky part, we both agreed, was remembering this life lesson long after we start feeling normal again (strong, independent, capable.)

We forget that the lessons we learned in the dark should be the ones we carry with us into the light (to help keep us focused on what/who is essential and what/who is not.)

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