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Even though the longer path may seem more difficult, it’s probably going to far less painful in the end.

I’m having a rough day. It is so bad it’s actually almost comical. My friend sent me a link to the song Faith by Shawn Mullins because it made her think of me. I’m so grateful to her because it was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it.

The entire house is sick and has been for days now. So needless to say, the house is a mess and the kitchen is piled with dishes. True to form, I decided it would be a good idea to make chicken noodle soup. With towers of dishes cluttering my every work space. Total brainiac move there…

I got to work. Cooked the chicken, made the broth, sliced and diced carrots and potatoes. We even somehow had egg noodles. My favorite! I was excited. We don’t have much to cook with and I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off something appetizing. Somehow it turned out amazing. I even managed not to burn those Brown ‘N Serve rolls. Score!

As I was washing bowls and silverware, some stacked up pans toppled knocking over the entire pot of soup. It felt like slow motion as I watched my delicious smelling creation waterfalling off the stove. Slow motion and yet I found myself incapable of even a simple ninja-like move. As I tried to lessen the damage of the soup waterfall and hailstorm of pots and pans, my right arm was scalded with that amazing soup. Awesome. Just awesome. At least I was burned by something yummy – probably would have hurt worse if it didn’t at least taste good.

So down the entire pot dumped onto my already cluttered kitchen floor. Fabulous. I was in tears. The pain of the burn. The sadness of all that wasted food. That was supposed to be lunch for the girls today and maybe two more meals that I could reasonably expect them to eat before they got sick of it. And whatever was left would have been good meals for me until it ran out or went bad. Devastated. I’m embarrassed to say I was sobbing.

So I started to clean. Patrick offered to help, but as he’s dealing with his own illness related issues, I declined. Patience saw me crying and immediately wanted to help. Bless her little caring heart. I love that little girl so much. She came out and asked what she could do and got right to work. Together we made a sizable dent in the cleanup. I knew the girls were hungry so rather than finish the job, I decided to get them eating and then come back and clean up the mess alone.

Well the trouble with not finishing first was the big puddle of soup with chicken, noodles, carrots and potatoes floating around, in the middle of the kitchen. No worries, this proved to be a side-steppable obstacle. Because of course it makes sense to step AROUND the mess rather than cleaning it up; in a kitchen with limited walk space and giant cupboard doors that I frequently forget to close. Well I managed to step around the chunks and avoid the lake of soup with careful attention to detail. So careful in fact that I failed to realize that damn cupboard door until it was already making a deep thud against my dome. Perfect. A concussion to match a burnt dominant arm. Why wouldn’t that happen?

So what lesson did I learn? Not to be lazy. Do the whole job first. Don’t cook with piled up pans on the stove. Cats love spilled chicken noodle soup. Don’t try to take soup from cats. Cats do swat at an offensive wrist. Swatted burns are surprisingly painful.

I hope my next lesson isn’t quite so painful…

2015 Update:

Written: 01/03/2014

Excerpt: Not crying over spilled milk is difficult when that milk is worth it’s weight in gold, platinum, and cold hard cash. But sometimes when something seems catastrophic you have to just look at the finer details to see things aren’t as bad as they could be. Gentle offers of help can make even the darkest of tragedies seem minor in the light of love being offered.

Thoughts: I look back at this story and I laugh. Patrick and I now have a running joke when chaotic events happen, we now both go “Of course”. Because no matter what happens, we couldn’t have done anything differently to change the outcome. The past happened in addition to the choices made and the resulting consequences. The most important thing I have found is to find the lesson in all the darkness, remember the good parts of the story, and share the comedy of the situation to lighten someone else’s shadows. I am finding it lessens the amount of baggage I have to carry around with me and even provides a sort of buoy for future predicaments I find myself in.

Hope: I hope when others find themselves lost in a sea of overwhelming darkness, they are able to see the glittering lifesaver that is a loved one reaching out in earnest or to pull themselves to safety with the lifeline that is learning the lessons thrown in our paths.

Moral: All is not lost when you think you have spilled all the beans. Beans have a way turning themselves into nuggets of knowledge and a wealth of wisdom, just sprinkle with the the truth of the situation, bask in the light of insight and watch all become found.