“blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.” this was the mantra of a training i did for a bunch of missionaries last summer. what I’m learning is that it’s a good life rule to live by. you see, i’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed this, but women tend to like to control things. you’ll be shocked to know this is true of me and that I like order. gasp. who knew?
well, the main man in my life turned 29 this week and we had great celebration plans for the day of his birth which began with a weekend in northern california attending a few pro sports games and loving doing life with great friends.
i returned home and went straight to bed - exhausted from the bliss that was our weekend. the next morning i walked into the kitchen only to experience what may have been one of my saddest moments. i had planned ahead and saved some good steaks from my dad and a piece of recently-caught salmon from a friend and was intending on making the “perfect” surf and turf dinner for my guy’s birthday. it was gonna be awesome. i had bought a few things i’d need and was beyond excited to be able to celebrate him with our motley crew of friends on his actual birthday.
i walked into the kitchen and audibly gagged. the smell resembled a meat market in a third world country and the sight was tragic - salmon juice and meat blood on the tile floor. i was close to tears. i opened the freezer and by the pungent smell and the looks of things, the fridge had gone out about friday... it was now monday morning. what’s the first thing you do in the kitchen when you’re uncertain about something? call your mom of course. the worst was confirmed... surf and turf birthday dinner was doomed for the trash can. i plugged my nose and begrudgingly threw away the most beautiful slab of salmon and a few prime steaks. i texted the birthday guy and told him the sad news. It was then that my friend charlie’s mantra began to play in my head... and i remembered to be flexible. i told him that we would certainly celebrate him, even if it meant ordering pizza and it would be a good night.
it’s been almost 2 weeks since the incident and i’m finally not too traumatized to write about it. turns out his roommate came to the rescue and bbqued some ribs and everything else on the menu was do-able, even without a fridge. i was so grateful for lots of helping hands and friends to bail me out. but bigger than that, i think something happened in me. i was given permission to cry and to be sad and to grieve the loss of my “oh-so-perfect-birthday-dinner-for-my-guy.” okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but... i remembered the mantra and didn’t break down. instead i was flexible and i was not broken. for certain there are times when brokenness is appropriate and healthy, but this was once of those situations where I had a choice. so I chose flexibility over control. and we celebrated and he felt loved and we all went home with full tummies and overflowing hearts.
i’m grateful for charlie and his wisdom. it turns out that when I am flexible and willing to surrender control, i am not broken and i’m way more fun to be around. lesson one of many I’m sure.