The Plates Of Our Lives

“A vision flashes through me. Plates. I see plates representing various aspects of my life on poles. Ceramic, porcelain, plastic, paper. Colorful and plain. Some broken, shattered, perfect, cracked, and whole. Some carefully spin with perfect balance and others teeter on the verge of their demise. This is my life these days, or so it seems. “

It’s 5:30Am.

The echo of my heels clicking as I walk through the chilled parking garage rattle the birds and they greet me with chirps of hello. The ice in my iced coffee swishes back and forth against my cup and sings a tune of hope. Caffeine will awaken me soon.

I’m. So. Tired.

The building I reside 40-plus hours a week begins to tower over me as I get closer to the doors, and then I hear it…

Crash.

The sound of a plate shattering… but just one.

Plates.

A vision flashes through me. Plates. I see plates representing various aspects of my life on poles. Ceramic, porcelain, plastic, paper. Colorful and plain.

Some broken, shattered, perfect, cracked, and whole. Some carefully spin with perfect balance and others teeter on the verge of their demise.

This is my life these days, or so it seems.

You may have just imagined this vision and summed it up as disaster, but this is not the case. It’s BEAUTIFUL, but complicated. Isn’t that the way it goes? I’m so thankful for my life and all the blessings I’ve been gifted with, all the way down to the dog poo that I mis-stepped in. A souvenir from the day the clouds parted long enough to be outside. So what if I may have stepped in some poo along the way? It’s a badge of honor from my walk with Blue, the dog I take care of. He’s the closest form resembling a boyfriend in my life these days and in his defense, it was not his poo that I had stepped in.

Thankful, yes, but tired nonetheless.

I got 99 problems and prioritizing ain’t one… until now. When did my life become so FULL?

I go to work. I go to the gym. I shower. I have dinner. I meet with a friend. I come home and spend time with the family I live with. I get five hours of sleep and then I do it again. Monday through Thursday. You’re thinkin, “What’s this woman whining about? Three day weekend, pffft.” This is not a war of, “My list is longer than your list.” This is a moment of, “All of our individual stressors and concerns are relevant.” You broke a nail? Girl! Imma empathize with you.

So how does it work? How do we keep them spinning, when do we decide to take them down and why do they crash? Decisions. Seasons. What was in store for yesterday is not always the forecast for tomorrow. I’ve learned that we become very comfortable with what we have filled our lives with. Sometimes saying no to the familiar can be excruciating, but necessary. Through trial and error, or rather, success, I have learned that where we have let go of one thing, a task perhaps, room is made for another vibrant gift to land in its place.

I’m a firm believer in letting my yes mean yes and my no mean no, and with that I’m even more of a believer in the fact that communication is key and that seasons change. If the commitment I had made was for a season, when that season is over its time to re-evaluate before saying yes again. And that is where I am at.

My lease with my roommate was up. Four years of saying yes to the same home and now, time to say no. Transition, growth, and a big poof to my comfort zone. Five years of the same job… and now, time to pray about a change. Time to reevaluate. We must make room for what life brings us. We choose what will stay and what it will consist of. If you have an obligation, you allowed it there. As E-40 raps, “Errybody got choices.”

So what happens if we fill it up too full? What if we have more plates on poles than limbs to balance them?

Imperfection.

Did you cringe?

All of you fellow perfectionists out there… Let. Them. Fall. Or at least just set them down before they tumble.

I set mine down recently… This past week I found myself with knots in every part of my body. STRESS. Real life, colossal, adulting stress. I lost it. Honestly, I was not graceful and as everything in my world felt unstable and every plate wobbled I realized I needed to put some things down and take a step back. My brain and my schedule were too full to allow room for re-prioritizing. I cancelled my plans, thinned my routines, and I reevaluated. I slowly started to pick the plates up, one by one.

I started with my “God” time. In my mind, a porcelain plate. It’s my alone time to reflect and it is priceless. I followed with parts of my self-care routine. Things like SLEEP (novel concept) and going to the gym. I made a choice to apply myself fully at work. I even picked up a little tea plate that resembled dinner with a friend. A mighty colorful plate I might add. I can handle these right now, but all the sides to my entrée of life must wait. The plates sit safely while I gain strength and make room for them.

Is it time for you to take a moment to get your wobbly plates balanced? What plates have you kept just for the sake of keeping them? Is it time to take them down and maybe start utilizing the fine china in your life instead? For me, the porcelain. My friend, I would encourage you that it may be time to reevaluate what’s filling your schedule and what occupies your time.

Lastly, if you feel like some of your plates have already fallen and shattered… I want to encourage you that it’s never too late. Some of my most beautiful, colorful, and fruitful relationships have resulted because at one time they shattered. When they were put back together they did not resemble the old. They became new, healthy, and unique. If you’re discouraged that something in your life is to the point of no return, shattered beyond repair perhaps, let’s take this opportunity to humble ourselves. Let’s get on our knees as we scale the floor to find every last piece and let’s make a mosaic from the remnants.

Our brokenness, broken hearts… and broken plates can be made into the most glorious of masterpieces. Nothing is ever too far gone. Sometimes we just need a different perspective and a little break. I urge you to give yourself permission to take a moment and set some plates down while you gain the strength and space to bring them back into your life. One by One.

Xoxo, Jess

One thought on “The Plates Of Our Lives

  1. Yet another great piece!
    I love to see who you are and where you’re at through your writing! Glad to hear you are doing better<3

    Like

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