I remember one day when we were in elementary school, I was sitting in my friend’s car as her mom was driving us to the mall. When we finally got there, she asked me some questions to start some conversation. I think I must have been really quiet to the point where it might have been difficult for a parent. I don’t remember what happened, but I do recall her saying this of out frustration,
“You’re a mute aren’t you?”
Small, curt, but most likely not intended to hurt so much. It happened in under a minute but I still remember how it made me feel more than a decade later. You never know which moments stick.
It doesn’t matter what we did or didn’t do. The only thing we remember is the way we make each other feel.
Like pushups. If you can only do 3 good ones, there’s no use in doing 30 in bad form.
Or projects. If the deadline is in an hour, then the hour is all you have.
Can you make a 5 star meal with only 2 ingredients?
The most you can do is all you can do.
Of course things could have been different only if, but it wasn’t and thats why we can’t sit on the should have’s.
The alternative is to bump the ceiling for the most you can do. Build up muscle strength, negotiate for an extension, buy more ingredients. How might it be possible to do more? And if you could, would it be worth it?
Because if the most you can do is all that you can do, then finding our limitations that can be stretched might be a good use of our time.
The other day when we nearly ran out of ice at the restaurant, we went to the neighbouring kitchen to see if we could borrow some as they do with us when they run out of things like rice or peanut butter.
To our surprise, instead of the hospitality and friendliness we were anticipating, we were met with apprehension and hastiness.
In the end we got the ice, but it came with a bitter taste.
So what does this mean?
It means that feelings can be passed on and remembered. If we’re not careful, we can send the wrong signals and pave the way for resentment rather than connection.