Friday, November 15, 2013

Life is Like a Batch of Pancakes

With all due respect to Mr. Gump, I had a thought this week that life is actually more like a batch of pancakes.  Well, at least *my* life is. 

Both MVP and I had off from work on Monday for Veteran's Day.  I was up before he was (as usual) and thought it would be nice to head out to the kitchen and make breakfast for one of my favorite veterans.  Before you go thinking how sweet that is, let me tell you that he was up about 15 minutes later and I made him come into the kitchen to help me.  What a sucker, he shoulda stayed asleep!

If you are anything like me, that first pancake is almost a throwaway pancake.  It's always misshapen, burnt on the edges, undercooked in the middle....or if you are REALLY talented, all three! But as you keep going, the pancakes get better.  You figure out your timing a little more each time.  You get more comfortable.  You get more confident.

And that last pancake?  Well, it is usually the most perfect pancake you ever did see.

As true English major, I have a penchant for analogies.  I use them often at work, with friends, and obviously here on this little old blog. I couldn't deny the life lesson in that batch of pancakes the other morning. 

It's OK if things don't turn out perfectly the first time around because if you just take each thing as it comes and have faith, they will get better.  Sometimes it isn't just more time -- your whole version of "perfect" may even need to be readjusted.  MVP is my favorite example of that.

I have felt like that in volunteer friendships.  Frustrated that it wasn't "working" at that very moment, but not having the strength or wisdom at that time to just keep moving forward and just keep making pancakes.  

And with time, things get better.  You have enough professional misfires and missteps to see them coming a mile away now and are able to work around/through them with more grace and ease.  You have enough balance and perspective to not allow the bad volunteer day/project derail all the good you do simply by caring, showing up and being consistent.  You realize that friendships grow and change over time and come to understand that is not always a bad thing. 

Just keep making pancakes.  Because eventually - INEVITABLY - they will get better.