Ever been so uncomfortable that it got in the way accomplishing something you really wanted?
Like chocolate chip cookies, perhaps?
I was seven, maybe seven and a half. My mom had dropped me and my sibs off at a friend’s house for the night and would be back to pick us up in a few hours. After a while, my mom’s friend asked if we (all the kids) wanted to help make chocolate chip cookies.
Heck yeah, we want to make chocolate chip cookies – AND lick the salmonella infested spoon with the raw egg bits on it.
We all grabbed chairs and sidled up to the counter where we would begin combining the delectable ingredients that would soon be mixed and heated to glorious perfection, then eaten and washed down with 8 oz. of cold milk.
The anticipation was palpable.
There was only one thing was standing between me and those cookies.
A massive wedgie.
Unbeknownst to my seven year-old self, it was about to be the bane of my existence.
As we started measuring ingredients I became aware of an uncomfortable cotton obstruction. I reached around and gave my giant undies a nice firm tug – after all, I needed everything perfect and in order to measure exactly one cup of sugar. But, when I took that first tug at the obstacle, my mom’s friend curtly stated “wait a minute, you need to go wash your hands.”
Okay, well, I thought we already did that, but I guess I’ll do that again. Whatever it takes. Cookies are on the line here.
I hopped off the chair, hustled over to the bathroom and did a quick rinse of my already clean hands.
I quickly resumed my spot at the counter and although a step or two behind, I continued in my excitement with measuring exactly one cup of sugar. But all that running to and from the bathroom had lodged those undies back into their uncomfortable spot and so I reached around nonchalantly and gave another quick tug.
Not inconspicuous enough. Caught.
Off the chair, to the bathroom, soap, water, towel dry and back to the kitchen to resume my…
Wait, someone had poured MY cup of sugar into the mixing bowl. Arrgh!
Oh well, plenty of jobs still to do before the baking. I’ll just pick up one of those spoons over there and get ready to mix. They will need lots of mixers AND tasters.
But first, I have GOT to do something about this wedgie.
With my eyes still looking down so as not to draw attention, I scan the room for what I can now only assume are spies trying to sabotage my baking efforts. My search comes up void and I see that I’m safe. I slowly drag my hand around the side of my leg and into position.
“Priscilla, you need to go wash your hands again!!” said my mom’s friend, now with a look that I can only assume is disgust. Off the chair. Into the bathroom. Back to the kitchen.
I returned from my final hand-washing trip to find the pouring, combining and mixing all done. Every spoon in the sink and the smell of fresh-baked goodness coming from the oven and filling the room. I had missed my cookie baking experience all because of my preoccupation with a faulty undergarment.
I don’t really know what that all means except that sometimes we get uncomfortable in life.
Here’s the important part: Discomfort is not the same thing as pain. I’m not saying to ignore discomfort, but we don’t always get to make everything perfect or just so before we begin something.
See, the world or the project or the community or the cookie baking will keep on keeping on with our without us. Others have no problem moving one chair over to take our place on the assembly line or in the meeting.
Is it worth getting off the chair for? If so, run to the bathroom, wash your hands and get back to work. If not, keep that wedgie in place and soldier on!
Categories: All The Rest