The oatmeal is always greener

I’m serving clients this week, receiving and crafting their stories, so my mind is a little preoccupied when it comes to writing my own. So…

I pulled this one from the archive of my first blog… The one I shared with only six people.

You might think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. For three years I blogged for the benefit of six people. I guess you could say, I’ve come a long way. 😉

Anyway, I wrote this when Aidan was only a few months old. Still feels poignant.

I hope you enjoy…

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It’s amazing how early it starts.

The other day, Aidan was sitting with me on the couch. He had access to three of his favorite toys; a clear, plastic cup; all the other toys inside his toy bag; the toy bag itself; two favorite books; a frozen teether; and a dish towel… All treasured play objects.

So what did he do?

Over and over and over, he tried to clamber past me to get to a bowl of oatmeal on the table next to me. A bowl of oatmeal I wouldn’t let him have.

Isn’t that just so typical?

I don’t mean of babies. I mean of humans! With a couch full of wonderful things we love, and can have, we choose instead to clamber for the thing we can’t.

What is that about?

You know what I’m talking about…

The really great guy/girl we’re ignoring because we want the one who doesn’t know we’re alive. The good job that barely registers because it isn’t what we thought we’d be doing. The satisfying life that goes unappreciated because so-and-so has such-and-such and we don’t, or because something isn’t what or how we imagine it should be.

The grass is always greener, right?

I remember being up in the tree in Charmlee Park, minutes before I fell, having climbed to a spot that looked really appealing, only to spy another spot, a bit below me that looked even better somehow. I clambered down (must have that spot), got myself situated, discovered that I felt no different than I had in the previous spot, and then the branch broke.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to better ourselves and our lives. I’m all for self-improvement and conscious evolution. It just seems like, sometimes, we waste a lot of good chasing what might be better.

It reminds me a little of the first years I was injured.

I was pretty focused on recovery, trying all different kinds of therapies, trying to get my head in the right place. And it wasn’t a useless effort, even if it didn’t lead to walking. But if I had kept it up, I might have missed out on a really wonderful life, the one that was readily available just waiting for me to live it.

Now, that might have been a different story if I LOVED the recovery effort, if that was the path of my joy. But it wasn’t. I was chasing what I used to have, how I thought it should be.

I don’t fault myself for doing that, of course. And I’ll be mighty happy if what I’ve lost ever comes back. But there was SO MUCH goodness right where I was, right where I am. And once I stopped chasing, I was able not only to appreciate what I already had, but to dive in and relish it, to feed it and make the most of it.

One of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

I tried to tell Aidan, every time I scooped him up mid-clamber and re-deposited him on the other side of the couch, that he’d be a lot happier if he learned to enjoy the things around him instead of coveting what he can’t have. Didn’t work. And I don’t expect it will for awhile. What’s the toddlers’ motto? MINE!

But someday, I hope he’ll get it. I hope he’ll learn to take a look around and see what’s already there for what it’s really worth… and treasure it.

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