Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Refine--25 Years and Four Pieces

My word/resolution for 2014 is refine. For a little backstory on it, click here.

I haven't made time to fluff my nest in a long time. Family demands and my school's demands have overtaken many of the smaller joys in my life--setting a beautiful table, rearranging my furniture and tchotchkes, organizing a small corner of my world.

Dinner after Ben's farewell talk had to be different. I pulled out a big vase, cut a few branches off our tree, and arranged some miscellaneous stuff into a centerpiece.

Twenty-five years ago, Brad convinced me to use much of the money and store credit from our wedding to buy all of the serving pieces and twelve complete place settings of our china. Noritake Spectrum. Wrapped in tissue and packed between sheets of corrugated cardboard, all 88 pieces traveled with us from Utah to law school in Chicago then home permanently in Arizona. They hid in their protective boxes under beds and high on storage shelves until Lily was a baby and I finally had a cabinet where I could permanently unwrap them and use them. I've been paralyzed with fear every time we use them that someone will drop one precious piece and break it.

The someone who broke the first precious piece of my fine Noritake Spectrum china was me.
Where were the tears and the hysterics? Where was the heartbreaking sob--"Now the set is worthless! One piece is missing!"

Much to my surprise, these feelings never came. Much to my surprise, it was okay. I don't think we see the progress we make over months and years and decades because we are too entangled in the minutiae of moments and minutes and days.

I was okay.

I've been struggling each time I look in the mirror or try to find something to wear or get on the yoga mat or treadmill. My face is not what it used to be. My body isn't the same shape as it's always been, and I can't run as fast or stretch as far as I've been always been able to before. I beat myself up constantly that I'm not good enough or not thin enough or not _____________ enough.

It wasn't until I tried to reassemble the damaged plate and changed my perspective to a view from above that I could truly see. The pieces of that broken saucer brought me something I never imagined. Those pieces showed me how far I've come and how much I've grown and mellowed over the years.

They brought me a glimpse of peace.

If I can be okay with this catastrophe that's played out dozens of times in my mind over 25 years, then why can I not be okay with myself? If broken china doesn't really matter, then why can't I take the time to get above the commotion, above the snarled demands of the daily grind, above the failures that tend to overshadow everything else--to see myself as Heaven alone sees me?

Broken, imperfect, struggling.

And it's okay.

No tears. No hysterics. Just see what's broken and fix it if I can. If I can't, then accept it.

It's all okay.


  1. turn the picture upside down :) - another hint at the source of peace :)

  2. "No tears. No hysterics. Just see what's broken and fix it if I can. If I can't, then accept it."
    That is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you!

  3. oh my friend, I needed this today. Thanks

  4. so so so so great of a message.