We buy our milk from a farmer in 2L wide-mouth jars. To pour some milk into a glass from a full 2L jar, there is always spillage. 2 years ago, when we first started buying this milk, we spilt the milk often and a lot. I would, literally, cry over the spilt milk. Buying 12-14L of milk, straight from the farm, is not cheap.
The other day, everyone held their breath as I attempted to pour from the full jug. No one said a word. They seem to think that even an exhalation may cause my arm to jolt, sending me into fits of despair. They applauded and shouted in delight as the milk flowed neatly from jug to glass. No spill. Phew. I poured 7 glasses of milk with ease and with no need for clean-up. I sauntered to the fridge to put the milk away and I hear, “Oh no!” “Oops!” “Ugh!” Someone has knocked their cup over and the milk has been spilt.
Of course. Such is my life. Life with kids involves messy spills. Just when I think I have a handle and all the various parts of my life fit neatly into compartments, there is always spillage. Overflow. Involuntary overflow. In 2014, instead of fighting against the accidental spill, I will accept it and even make some intentional ones starting with writing for a new project. My article on resolutions is the very first post on this new writing endeavour, Sense of Story. Thoughts on words are spilling out of me over there while I am bubbling over with anxiety over here. What was I thinking, spilling myself open like that? My inner critic and my own worst enemy is saying, “Clean that up! Stuff that back in. There is no need to share your cluttered thoughts.” Right. Where’s the mop? Where’s the delete button? Where’s the blanket to hide under?
But no. It’s 2014. A new beginning. A new intention. Leave the messes and the ugly truths wide open. Release the past and the inner demons. Spill forth and be vulnerable. Be unconfined and uncontained. Stop fretting over the spilt milk and keep pouring and pouring and pouring. Spill out and give myself up, believing in the abundance of all things.
As I sighed the weariest of sighs and dragged my feet to clean up the just-spilt milk, I see the kids have already cleaned the spill. For a brief moment, as I had wallowed in the woe-is-me-I-have-to-clean-up-yet-another-spill moment, I had forgotten that they can clean up their own spills and messes now. I had forgotten that in our lives there is truly less anxiety of spilling beads, milk, food, lego, etc., because the kids are older and they know that I won’t clean it up for them anymore.
Now I can worry about my own spills, my own mishaps and missteps.
Here’s to 2014…the year of the spill.
And since most things in my life happen serendipitously, I am not surprised when, of course, just hours after I decide on “spill” as my 2014 word, I find an old book in a box that I bought when I was 25 and I read this quote:
“I am afraid to show you who I really am, because if I show you who I really am, you might not like it–and that’s all I got.”
–Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself by Sabrina Ward Harrison.
So I will let you in this year but I warn you, there will definitely be some spillage.
And if you don’t like it, well, that’s all I’ve got.
Do you have any chosen words to focus your intentions this year?