I needed to go to the grocery store in a big way. We were low on lots of things and I didn’t have the full ingredients to make much except peanut butter and jelly.
Even though it didn’t sound all that good, I broke down on Tuesday and decided that’s what I would eat. I even had a brand-new jar of peanut butter.
Unfortunately, when I opened it I realized I made a mistake. It was crunchy peanut butter and I don’t like crunchy peanut butter. But it was open now so what are you going to do?
I started thinking about what a first-world problem that is.
It’s silly, really. I like peanuts. I like peanut butter. What matters if it’s crunchy or creamy?
The real issue is I prefer creamy. Crunchy peanut butter doesn’t taste different, it simply has a different texture.
I have been going through a period where life doesn’t seem to be going my way. But while pondering this crunchy/creamy phenomenon it forced me to be real. Do I have actual problems or are my preferences not being met?
I love to run and to train and I can’t right now. But is that really a problem? Likely, no.
I wonder how many things I define as a problem that are more accurately a preference not being met. I have a preference for an unending number of things. I prefer to sleep with a blanket than without. I prefer not to drink black coffee. I prefer unsweetened to sweetened tea.
I prefer jeans and a T-shirt to a dress. I prefer simple to complicated.
The truth is I can sleep without a blanket, drink black coffee, drink sweet tea, wear a cocktail dress and deal with complications and none of it will kill me — not even close.
How much of my frustration and suffering are akin to crunchy peanut butter problems instead of real, honest-to-God challenges? I am embarrassed to say most, and some days, maybe all. The other side of that embarrassed coin is that I am blessed beyond measure if my litany of difficulties amount to crunchy peanut butter when I wanted creamy.
My life issues do not involve anaphylaxis. They are not life-threatening. So what am I doing wasting all this time on what amounts to drama?
It’s shocking really because I fancy myself someone who loathes drama. I consider myself to be a simple woman who enjoys simple things and yet I am realizing even as these words are piling up from my keyboard that all these CPBPs (crunchy peanut butter problems, I know it now has an acronym) are unnecessary drama. I am essentially a toddler throwing a tantrum.
My reality has been checked and, frankly, I am appalled at myself.
I can eat an 8-ounce jar of crunchy peanut butter and the Earth will continue to turn on its axis. And I have the luxury to choose creamy peanut butter next time because it’s my preference. But not getting all our preferences met is only purgatory if we let it. Maybe we need to not have our preferences met more often.
I watch people freak out over parking places and yoga mat spaces and I am sure I have my own list as well. We are all full of crap. That’s right. Unless your freak out is over where your next meal is coming from, how you are going to get your child his/her medicine, or who can help you out of an abusive situation, you need to stop.
It hurts doesn’t it? It hurts to see that you are your own tormentor. It’s painful to realize you are creating hell out of what could be heaven just because the toilet paper is on the roll the “wrong” way. I’ve got your number and it seems you’ve got mine. We have the same affliction. We can’t wait, compromise, share, listen, bend, agree or hear anything that we don’t want to. How soft have we become? How fragile have we made ourselves?
Right now, I am seeming tissue-paper thin to myself. And my crunchy peanut butter problem is looking like child’s play.
Now help me get down off this soap box, I have a crunchy PB&J sandwich to eat.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G