The cupboard, the counter & the hand.
We all have problems. So many problems these days. We hear on the news ever day that anxiety and depression are on the rise. Covid haunts our every step, whether we choose to be vaccinated or not. It overwhelms our day-to-day lives and for some, stops us in our tracks.
So, what do we do with all of these problems, fears, and never ending list of “have to do’s”?
I’ll not share with you just yet the trials of my life lately. I will get there. Just not yet. But let’s just say, the dark cloud has not yet lifted. It’s growing and every once in a while, a glimmer of sun appears and then just as quickly goes away.
When I am feeling this overwhelmed and lost, I like to run. Sometimes it’s a light escape to clear my head. Other times I imagine that I am pounding in the heads of the people or problems that are challenging my every move.
The other day was different. I was sad. I was stressed. I was overwhelmed and emotional. I prayed outloud to God, in the middle of a field surrounded by cows and elk. Yep, true story.
What did I ask for? Clarity. Guidance. A ‘knock me over the head’ type of understanding for what I need to do next.
And for once, I got it.
Here’s what got me through that day, what I have shared with my family, and what I now want to share with you.
The cupboard, the counter and the hand.
If we think about when we go to the grocery store, you know, for just a few things. Then we end up wishing we would have grabbed a cart or basket for all the things we are trying to carry and juggle in our hands? Those are our problems. Too many to carry, but we have to take them with us.
So, what do we do when we get home with those groceries? Do we just drop them on the ground before us so that we can step on them, trip over them, FALL over them?
No. We put them away.
Some we put in the cupboard for later.
Some we put on the counter for a quick grab or easy access, when we are ready.
And some, we hold in our hand. For immediate use or consumption.
That’s how we need to sort through our problems.
See, the problems just don’t magically go away if we put them on the counter or in the cupboard. They are still there, waiting for us to handle them. When we are ready.
My immediate problems, like a burnt dinner or late for picking up the kids, are the ones that I hold in my hand. I have to deal with these issues now.
My semi-urgent problems - moving, finding a new home, the piles of laundry that need to done are put on the counter. I see them. I know I will eventually pick them up and put them in my hand for an immediate solve, but for right now, I need to focus on the urgent, most important, most demanding of my challenges.
My problems that swirl in my head and keep me awake at night - my kids well-being, Covid, bills, my dad’s health. Those go in the cupboard. To be clear, I am not ignoring these problems. They are still there. They are real and need to be dealt with in due time. Yet, in order for me to accomplish something effectively and clearly, they need to be put aside. I have to temporarily put them down or something will drop or fall. They will soon be the problems that I hold in my hand and deal with but for now, I will focus on the immediate.
But wait…before I go back to the counter or the cupboard, I will take a deep breath. A moment for me. A moment for reflection, of thankfulness or to pray to God again for strength. Whatever I need in that next moment to get me through.
I am old enough and wise enough to know that my cupboard, my counter and my hands will never be empty. But that just means that I’m not done living yet. It means there are more lessons to be learned, more hearts to be healed, more love and support to give.
I hope this, in some way, helps you if and when you are feeling overwhelmed.
The cupboard, the counter, and the hand.
Thanks for crossing this bridge with me.
Till next time -