Butter-side Up

by justine

Today the toast landed butter-side up… on the floor.

I was making my absolute favorite meal. I’ve been making this for weeks now, having consumed a dozen-and-a-half eggs in the process. It’s two pieces of chewy bread, toasted with butter, two sunny-side up eggs (yolks runny as possible) and fresh spinach nuked with some cheese on top. We’re in need of groceries, so today didn’t include the spinach. Just eggs + toast. Oh, and tea. Lipton black with soy milk and enough sugar to make your grandmother faint.

There I was, buttering the toast, trying to ignore the oddness of my day, the stains on the counter, my dog longingly begging for either a bite or a trip to the park, and somehow the pressure on the plate shifted and the whole thing started to tip off the counter. I caught the plate against the counter’s edge, pinning one slice of toast between my hand and the plate. The other, though, hit the floor.

There are so many ways this story can go: The dog eats the toast. The dog eats the toast and then pukes it up later. The eggs burn while saving the toast. In trying to save the toast, the plate smashes into pieces. The plate smashes into pieces and my elbow also clips the mug of tea, sending that to its linoleum floor demise.

None of that happened. Today, my delicious slice of chewy toast landed butter-side up. To add to my luck, my dog comprehended “Leave it!” and didn’t make a dynamic lunge for the morsel.

But why share this with you? 

Well, I could feel a surge of frustration course through me as I realized that my perfect meal may be ruined. I was mad at myself for placing everything precariously on the counter, for not making enough space, for being distracted… for whatever… who knows? Being angry at myself for not being perfect.

It made me think, this is some type of analogy. Something went wrong, something was not perfect, my high expectations were not reached, but in the end I had a delicious meal, the toast was saved and everything was fine. This is life.

I seem to forget that life is like that – up & down, messy, not perfect – and more importantly, I beat myself up for not being able to “roll with it”. I’m too busy trying to live perfectly to avoid this discomfort. But if I expect the punches, the peaks and valleys, and I’m not so caught off guard by them, then I can adapt that much quicker. I can let.it.go. And I can enjoy myself in the process.

So, yes, the toast fell on the floor. I had a bit of a mess to clean up, but the toast landed butter-side up, meaning by my rules, it was still consumable and after a quick check for major issues, went right back on my plate. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan but that doesn’t mean the world is ending. I’m beginning to live with that.