Here is a little story about awareness, and yet another moment when I realized it was ok to let go of struggle, no matter how tiny or insignificant.
I was doing some cooking on Sunday and had to chop two onions. I took out my handcrafted Canadian-made chopping board and started chopping away. I was making one of my faves, a simple Harvest Vegetable Stew from a Chatelaine Quickies cookbook - just in case you are a foodie and care lol.
I was almost through the process when it dawned on me.
I hate my chopping board.
Now, this came as a shock to me. The board is gorgeous. I bought it at the One of a Kind Show a couple years ago and it is smooth and dark, with a rich walnut colour and quirky stripe, and a nice little hole in it so it hangs easily. I remember falling in love with it when I bought it.
I also remember that there was a board I loved even MORE. It was more interesting with a checkerboard pattern, a thicker wood, and most importantly, larger. It was probably twice the size. It was a chopping oasis.
I really wanted the bigger board. But I decided to compromise and settle for the smaller board which was still a teeny - but not insignificant - investment of $100. The larger board was $150. I hummed and hahhed and decided that I could live with the cheaper of the two. I made my purchase confidently. Well, maybe not confidently. Because I do remember feeling guilty about shopping for myself when I was at a craft show aimed at gifts for loved ones, and worrying that maybe a new chopping board wasn't a necessity (even though I cook often and passionately believe in supporting local artists and small businesses).
For some reason, I remember distinctly deciding I should settle. I can still FEEL the decision to choose small, compromise and be 'responsible'. Like saving $50 was being 'responsible'? WTF. A warped moment in judgment, y'all. Oh, the issues we humans have!
That tiny decision to buy the less expensive board means that EVERY time I cook I get annoyed. Like really annoyed. And trust me, my annoyed self is not very pretty - or polite.
I don't have enough room to chop veggies efficiently. I struggle to keep the food on the board. I twist and turn myself into weird angles to accommodate my limiting surface. The bottom line is, I find myself in a state of struggle. This crappy state of struggle only adds negative energy to my life. No bueno.
I know it seems like such a small thing, and there are some of you that want to scream 'Suck it up, buttercup! You have a nice chopping board!" And I get that. But I challenge you to look at some of the tiny things that annoy you in your life, or cause you frustration, and ask yourself:
Could I have avoided this?
If the answer is yes, ask yourself why you decided not to avoid the pitfall. Why did you embrace the struggle? Do you do this often?
Chances are you are choosing small ways to PROVE to yourself that you are not worthy of amazingness 24/7. That was the case for me. I definitely know that now.
A few months ago I wrote about my big purge of stuff which was inspired by the Marie Kondo book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The main takeaway from the book is to only keep things that spark joy. Another way to look at this is to release things that create struggle. In some ways, I think this is an easier perspective. Maybe because we recognize pain easier than joy? Not sure. But what I do know is that in every area of our lives we must make a habit of letting go of shit that weighs us down. Ditch the struggle. Toss the pain.
Oh - and buy the bigger chopping board. I plan on doing that at the upcoming One of Kind Show. The time has come and I know it will be a beauty that brings me joy for years to come.
To your brave success,