A few days ago a large, glass Moccona jar fell out of my kitchen pantry and landed on my foot. It made this awful loud thump as it hit and the pain was excruciating…a definite twenty out of ten. I was pretty convinced something was broken but these jars are tough. They might not bounce but they don’t shatter. I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have tiles!
My foot was sort of fine too eventually …after two Panadols and an ice pack!
Well you might ask why that jar fell out of the pantry but I’m sure you already know. After all, I’m only human! I was simply doing what most of us mere mortals do…struggling to squeeze just one more tiny little thing into an already over-stocked pantry. Hence I was doing some kind of juggling act holding back a row of Moccona jars while trying to quickly and very deftly slam the door shut before the avalanche hit.While using those big Moccona jars seemed like a great idea for storage, they don’t stack and they’re not square and they certainly don’t breathe in and squeeze into tight places. Instead, they jump out and do nasty, nasty things to your feet. Believe me! I would just love it if our pantry was all stacked and ordered like something out of a Tupperware catalogue but who am I kidding? I’m just not some domestic goddess. I’m somehow beyond the flow. That’s all. Sorting out the pantry just doesn’t seem to make it to the top of my to-do list. It’s one of those killer jobs I keep putting off.
Well, you would think that after that jar fell on my foot that I would suddenly find the motivation to get on with it. See it as a sign or perhaps an act of God? After all, what am I waiting for? A jar to land on my other foot or perhaps for all of those jars to jump off in unison like 10 green bottles standing on the wall? That would definitely be a trip to Emergency if not a ride in an ambulance.
As I said, I would dearly love my pantry to be neatly stacked and organised just like something out of a Tupperware catalogue so why don’t I just do it?
What will it take for me to act?
We all know this goes way beyond just sorting out my pantry.
That the pantry is a metaphor… a symbol. Or in my case, perhaps it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For some reason most of us are creatures of chronic inertia…even when it involves changing something which really matters.
You could quite possibly call it “Tomorrowitis”. It’s a serious almost incurable disease and you can be assured that if you do actually manage to cross a few things off your “Gunnado List” (this lingo might be Australian but let me assure you it’s a universal disease!!!), you’ll never get to the end. That’s just the way it is.
Such light bulb moments have changed the world even if they haven’t changed me.
Archimedes who was a Greek mathematician, engineer, inventor, and astronomer had a legendary “Eureka!” moment some 2,200 years ago when he realised the principle of buoyancy while taking a bath. He was reportedly so excited that he immediately jumped out of the bath and ran onto the streets naked shouting ‘Eureka!’ ‘Eureka!’ (You can read the whole story here. It’s an awesome story http://www.itsnotmagicitsscience.com/science.asp?newsid=381)
Perhaps, you’ll be thankful I haven’t seen the light after all. The sight of me running through the streets naked isn’t what it used to be!
An apple fell on Isaac Newton’s head and he came up with the Principle of Universal Gravitation.
Meanwhile, a jar hits yours truly on the foot and what do I do?
Absolutely nothing. Nothing at all!
Well, I did do something. I wrote about it instead.
However, after writing about this all day, I have finally reached that elusive state of acceptance. You see, everybody has their own set of priorities and we can’t possibly get everything done. I went for my swim this morning… all 10 laps and it was a small pool but you can only do what you can do. That’s all. It’s taken me a long hard day slogging away on this post to reach this state of acceptance but I’m finally there and it feels like such a release.
I have finally accepted that I don’t have to conform to what someone else considers important or be able to do what they can do. I just need to be me. That is good enough.
Now, I finally “get” the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
PS: After I reached this lovely point of acceptance, I was flicking through Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and found this advice, which just turned all my acceptance on it’s head:
Keep filling your bowl
and it will spill over.
Keep sharpening your knife,
and it will blunt.
Keep hoarding gold in your house,
and you will be robbed.
Keep seeking approval
and you will be chained.
The great integrity leads to actualization
I will get to the pantry. I will….
How have some of your light bulb moments turned out?