By Sabrina Greer
A mentor of mine once said, “Business is like a pot of cooked spaghetti, you’ve got to throw it against the wall and see what sticks!” To the closed mind, this statement may seem juvenile or slightly comical. Imagine throwing food against a wall? The mess, the aftermath, it’s just absurd! Right? However, this expression STUCK with me (pardon the pun) and has become my motto. The analogy made sense to me.
I feel like my entire life is a pot of spaghetti lately. Parenting, business, friendships, heck even my mood and emotional state. Just a clusterf*#k of random attempts at life, like my very own version of Groundhog Day, The Pasta Rendition. Sometimes boiling over, other times raw and crunchy but mostly just a big ball of mush forgotten in the water, usually due to exhaustion and distraction (sleep training an infant, need I say more?) Between three boys, ages spanning a decade, everything is a gong-show.
The youngest wakes daily at 5 am, the other two to follow by 6 am. Lunch must be packed, homework and permission slip’s completed for the school-aged one. Baby naps 8 am-10 am (I would too if I woke at 5 oh wait, I did), then from 10-12, I must get these little humans out of the house. Packing and loading the stroller for this seems like as much effort as it used to take me to pack for month-long trips to Europe. Toddler naps 12-3, baby naps 1-3 giving me my only two sane hours a day with which I can write, study, work my three businesses, clean the house, do laundry and meal prep, ah so relaxing! Big guy gets home 3:30 and we try to stay calm but fun until
dinner, then it’s bath, bed and as you may have guessed, mama is spent and wine is usually on the menu!
Ugh. So simple yet so complex all at once. To the inexperienced, this rant may sound very whiney, (oh poor baby has to watch Paw Patrol, color and play at the park all day) yet there are so many variables that throw off the entire routine. Loud noises, illness, weather, bad dreams, the list is endless. This has been my struggle lately. Discovering what sticks AKA the journey for structure and balance, not only for myself but for 4 other humans.
Back to the spaghetti reference, sometimes the pieces that stick one day are on the floor all dried up the next. Sometimes we find a stage five clinger, a really good one you would need a knife to scrape off, suddenly feeling that major mom-win. Other days the entire pot falls to the ground because you failed miserably to cook it properly and if that weren’t enough it burns you on the way down.
We constantly tell our kids to “dream big, to reach for the sky, to push through self-limiting beliefs,” so why is it so bloody hard for us to do the same? Hypocrites, we are! Why must we beat ourselves up and see these failures as negative? Failure is an integral part of the journey, a stepping-stone towards success. This is true for all aspects of life, not just business and certainly not just parenting.
I read a wonderful blog the other day, written by a Nutritionist, about making lunch for her children. To paraphrase she essentially said; fed is better than food coming home and going in the garbage so the odd slice of processed meat, Ritz cracker or can of Alphaghetti (she didn’t say this but sticking with my pasta theme) will not end a life. This made me think, yes, we all just need to relax a little. When did being a mom involve so much pressure, so much guilt?
Throwing spaghetti against the wall is obviously messy, disorderly, anxiety-inducing especially for a Virgo, perfectionist, neat-freak like me. For the average human, life is messy, chaotic even. It is important to embrace this mess because this is life and regardless of your beliefs around reincarnation, you only get one, this one.
We’ve all heard the quote “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”? If we waste so much time trying to meticulously place that spaghetti on the wall in the pattern we desire, we will miss all the beauty that’s beyond the wall, the rest of that room, outside of the house, this gigantic magical universe. Life is too short to waste it on perfection. If all we focus on is the mess, the instant result of the throw and the need to immediately tidy it up then we are just wasting present time. The present time is the most valuable time. Living in the past is unproductive and waiting around for a #foodporn perfect bowl of pasta is equally as unproductive.
My point is, perhaps if we stop trying so hard to be perfect, stop going for the redo until it’s ideal, or stop spending so much time standing around waiting for water to boil. Detach from the immediate outcome and response and see that everything is ever changing, everything is just as it’s meant to be. This is the ultimate mom-win. Detach from perfection and be present in your beautiful chaos. Own that $#*t like a boss and see that the only one truly judging your perfection is you and let’s be real, you’ve got this!