Pondering Beets: What’s On Your Plate?
Everyone has heard, and probably spoken, the phrase “I have too much on my plate right now.” I know I’ve said it hundreds of times in my life, but for some reason it’s really resonated with me lately. I was talking with a friend about the concept a few weeks ago and that conversation helped me finally understand what it means. Ever since this conversation with my friend, I’ve been evaluating what exactly is on my plate right now because I know for sure it’s completely full. I’m talking no room for even one scrawny string bean.
So, I started thinking about all of these things on my plate, hoping that I could find some wiggle room: kids, husband, job, the organization I’ve been building this year: Raising Little Heroes, marathon training, friends, household chores…Grey’s Anatomy (sort of kidding) and before I could finish the inventory, I started feeling overwhelmed because I realized that not one of these things is something I want to or can get a smaller helping of. They are all vital to my happiness in this moment. I felt frustrated because while I know all of these things are important to me, I couldn’t help thinking about the beets growing in my garden….
…our community garden is doing really well this year. I feel proud of it because over the last 3 years of experimenting I finally feel like I have a handle on it enough to eat the stuff I’m growing. My beets were particularly strong from the start. They were one of the first things to start sprouting and I watered them, weeded around them and watched them grow and grow. The greens were lush and they were fun to pick, but they also kind of stressed me out. I know you can eat the greens but I didn’t have time to experiment with different ways to prepare them. I wanted time to think on it…to ponder…to lovingly soak and wash them three times like one website I came across suggested…but I couldn’t find the head space to do it.
The beets have become a symbol of why I am stressed out about how full my plate is. I started thinking to myself: “I just want to find room on the plate for the beets!!” I visualized walking over to the garbage, scraping my plate clean, washing it and putting things back on one by one. Thinking about each one, contemplating…before adding the next thing.
Life is hard. I get that. It’s hard for everyone and thinking about this stuff isn’t going to give me a bigger plate (a.k.a.: more hours in the day) but I’m hoping it will at least help me create more head space. I’m starting with one beet on an empty, clean plate……I want to see how that feels before figuring out what to add next.
What would you put on your plate first?
Sarah Stith lives in Boulder with her husband and 2 children (2.5 and 5.5) while her husband attends grad school. Before moving to Colorado, the family lived in Brooklyn, NY where Sarah worked as a dresser at The Lion King on Broadway. She now works from home and manages to find time between diaper changes to build her organization, “Raising Little Heroes” (http://raisinglittleheroes.