Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Checking the List

Today marks a month since I started writing for Lent. Yesterday I wrote five posts and didn't publish any of them. And this month, I've learned two things about myself:

1) Sometimes I have something to say, and
2) Sometimes I don't.

When I don't, it's impossible to pretend I do - just like my normal pattern of conversation. I either say everything, or I say nothing. This afternoon I talked to a dear friend, and it was a say-everything kind of day. But she knows how I am; she's an expert listener and talker both. 

I told her my kids were frustrating me today, bickering about everything. When they helped me dry dishes, they literally fought over who would get to dry which dish. My friend mentioned at least they were helping, and she was right. It could've been worse. Soon enough they'll be running away before I can ask for help (if they take after me, anyway). 

While they were working today, Princess asked Little Man to hand her a dinner plate. He said the dish was too heavy, and she fired back, "I know what I can do!" So he handed her the plate, but he muttered, "Yeah, but do you know what you can't do?" 

Thinking about it now, I'm not sure which of those lists is harder to write - what we can do, or what we can't. We all have things we're capable of doing. But the list of things we're not? I don't know about yours, but mine is a mile long. 

And I write that list in ink - yellow for things I'm afraid of (um, holding snakes), red for things I thought I could do but found I couldn't (hello, crocheting). Green for things other people can do but I can't (oh, jealousy). And black for things I'm just sure would kill me (like touching a bug).

As Princess leaned that plate on the counter and scrubbed it dry, I thought about my long, long list. I considered the things I'll never be able to do, like walking a tightrope or wrestling a bear. But then they aren't things I want to do, so they don't bother me much.

It's those "can'ts" I want to do that make me wonder:
Where am I saying, "I can't," when I really mean, "I won't"?

And if that little sprout found a way to dry her plate, what makes me so determined not to push myself?

With just a splash of water, colored ink dries into a prism of color. 
Checking that list twice

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