I remember sitting across from her at the coffee shop as she talked. It was something about her day.
It was something about her job.
It was something about…… I blinked. Crap. I must have missed the cues.
I took a sip of my latte in hopes to mask the look of tension I felt as I had just lost the conversation. Which didn’t seem to stop her because she kept talking. About the day/job/something that made her words fly fast out of her mouth. I threw in a few “mhhmms” and “yeah, totally” to keep the pace going.
And then, we looked at our phones, decided we, “better get back home”, and parted ways with a, “let’s do this again soon!”
I remember sitting in my car afterwords dumbfounded.
What went wrong? This was a friendship that I enjoyed once. This was a girl that I confided a couple different times over the years. Somewhere along the way the consistency of meeting lessened, we weren’t in each other’s lives as much, but that shouldn’t change much…should it?
As I was driving home, my mind raced with all the possibilities of missed opportunities to strengthen the friendship. I should have spent extra time with her. I should have showered her with extra words of affirmation. I should have given her all the baked goods when I had the chance. I should have done… more.
That was my immediate thought. I should have done more. Instead of seeing this as a friendship to let go of, I felt the need to work harder at it.
If we are all honest, I believe that there are many a women who have a problem with letting go. Somewhere, someone decided that this is the normal thing to do.That if we just move things around on our plate, we’ll be able to keep the thing that we probably should let go.
It reminds me of the thanksgiving plate.
You know what I’m talking about.
It’s Thanksgiving, family is all together, and there’s a large spread of food that’s been cooking all day. Finally it’s time to walk through the assembly line and grab portions before Uncle Earl takes it all.
So, of course you start with turkey. Then the potatoes. Then the other potatoes. Then the stuffing. Then the green beans. The fried okra wedged between the stuffing and green beans. Then the salad. Where’s the cornbread going? Have I enough room for grandma’s pecan pie?
Soon enough, your entire plate is not a plate anymore, but a mountain of food that is already three pounds. You walk through the assembly line thinking you have plenty of room, but then at the end all your portions are meshed together.
It’s a messy way of living.
Even though I am an extrovert by trade and a firework of a person, I have a middle/small plate that can only handle so much. Between being a wife and a mom, a housekeeper and a creative, my “yes” to coffee hangs and outings book me for the month. And in being a working busy bee over friendships I stress over not “doing enough” to cultivate the relationship. When in reality, sometimes I need to take an assessment of my plate and see what should come off it.
Crazy enough, we were not built to carry ourselves with a bent back.
And once we realize that and take an honest assessment of our plate size, I think we’ll be more equipped to do the things that God has called us to do.
As I am typing this, I realize that I am still working on it. I still fail miserably at it.
But I have said “no” to more things this year than I have said “yes” to, and that’s a start.
So what about you,Ladybird? What’s your plate size?
Are you a large plated person that can take on multiple things at a time and still feel calm?
Or are you a small saucer, where anything over three items stresses you out?
Whatever your plate size is, I hope today you get the chance to take inventory of the items on your plate. Maybe downsize a little, move things around, or take on a new side dish.
It’s your God-crafted plate. Use it well.