Friday, March 8, 2013

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee

After a lot of tests and a lot of different doctors and a cabinet full of medicine, we seem to have finally discovered what's wrong and the doctors say I have something called Larytshrtjhfahreijlarijelir Disease... or something like that. Basically it means I have to take medicine for the next three months and eat a special diet forever, a very special diet, which excludes pretty much EVERYTHING including…coffee.


I know. It's so hard to believe that I could ever live without coffee. Days 1 and 2 were devastating. And let's just say, I wasn't the nicest person to live with. I felt like Brian Reagan in that skit where the doctor tells him to "lay off dairy" and "no more happiness!" Haha. But I've started to accept it.

This is my new breakfast… 

…mush...otherwise known as oatmeal... 

…and NOT coffee.

I'm trying to be positive and thankful that I don't have some incurable disease.

In the line of being positive, one of my students sent me this article which challenged me in the middle of my bad, no coffee/no happiness attitude, to pull it together and press on…it's called "A Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee", also known as foods I can no longer eat.

OK, so I'm still working on the positive attitude thing…give me a few more days.
A Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the daughter replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?  
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything—they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

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