There’s no manuscript for adulting but, boy, do I wish there was! Tonight, I had a plan: come home from work, cook a dinner of pork chops and veggies, and go to bed. My plan was fool-proof—almost.
As I was cutting my freshly cooked and perfectly seasoned pork chops, the unthinkable happened: my plate tumbled off the counter and onto the floor, pork chops face down! I wanted to cry.
My schedule makes for a long day so when I say I’m tired, I mean it. I felt, in that moment, that I had failed at the most basic thing an adult could do: prepare dinner for one’s self.
In the midst of my mishap, I realized I had a choice in the matter: I could cry and feel defeated, while throwing away my cooked food, and settle for eating cereal as my last meal of the night, or I could do my best to salvage the situation. I chose the latter. And in doing so, creativity ensued and I now have lunch for tomorrow.
Sometimes, plans fail. Life happens. You get your heart broken or lose a job. Or, like me, you drop your food on the kitchen floor. What happens next? Will you sulk in defeat and give up, or will you try again and/or come up with a new plan?
It’s nearing the end of the first day of 2019 and everything that could distract me is vying for my attention: my random thoughts, both good and bad, the book of Dr. Maya Angelou’s poetry I have open on my desk, even my current shuffled iTunes playlist. Last year I was so focused on operating in survival mode because that’s what I thought I had to do to get through the year in one piece. In some ways, when necessary, it helped. Most of the time, however, it proved a hinderance to my growth (gotta love hindsight!). Today, I want to focus on rising from the ashes and being present. That includes being present in my friendships and family relationships, my relationship with God, of course, and also of great importance, my relationship with myself. I don’t want to say “for the rest of the year I’m going to focus on this…” I intend to take this year one day at a time, practicing intentionality throughout, but not rushing or forcing myself to fit some impossible or unrealistic standard of what the entire year or even next six months should look like.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of the tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
(1st and 3rd stanzas of “Still I Rise” by Dr. Maya Angelou)