I have a pretty sweet summer job. I mean it in both a literal and figurative sense – I work with chocolate, caramel, and ice cream all day long. Before you ask – yes, it’s totally awesome, but drinking the leftover milkshakes and munching on the brownie bits gets old really fast (thank goodness for my waistline).
Another reason it’s sweet is that it gives me a chance to unwind, at least mentally. It’s pretty fast-paced, which can at times be stressful, but it’s a chance to swing into autopilot when things get hectic. And I find that when I’m going through the motions, my crazy brain gets a little calmer and clearer. Paradoxical, this life we live.
I wanted to share one thought, which crystallized the other day. I was scooping ice cream for an order, and was seriously struggling. The ice cream was really frozen, since the freezer temperature tends to fluctuate quite a bit throughout the night. So my scoops were not nice and round and lovely, they were kind of stiff and piecemeal and blah. And then I scooped too hard and a whole scoop flew to the floor, which happens more often to me than I care to admit. But then a seriously deep metaphor (for ice cream, anyways) came to me:
I have very little control over the temperature of the ice cream or its texture. All I have control over are my skills, strength, and experience in scooping ice cream.
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only ice cream. But it was just so clear all of a sudden, that all I can do is try to build up my arm muscles and keep practicing, so that I can conquer that ice cream no matter what its temperature. And I’m sure you can see how this extends to life, in general. We have surprisingly little control over some the conditions we’ll be thrown into, the life events we’ll encounter, and the tough times we’ll all inevitably have to face. All we can do is work on building up our courage, strength and skillset, so that we can be ready for anything life throws our way.
A simple truth? Yes. But nevertheless an important one. Even though I’ve heard some iteration of this sentiment many times before, it only really hit home this time when I had a practical experience to back it up. I hope you can draw some inspiration from this idea as well.