there's nothing wrong with being vanilla

Trying to figure out what others expect of you is exhausting. I ask myself almost every day, “How can I possibly live up to that?” My answer is simple…I can’t.  So what do I do?  Well, first I need to know what you want from me.  And by the way, the phrase “you should know,” is the most frustrating one of all. How can I possibly know every flavor of ice cream and which one might be your favorite? 

But I’m not really talking about ice cream, am I?  No, I’m talking about life.

It could be writing a query letter, disciplining your children, washing a dish, following a grocery list, or even the way you relay information.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it won’t be enough.  It won’t be the way someone wanted it done.  People will be unsatisfied.  It’s inevitable.

If you’re me, you find yourself struggling to please everyone.  Rewriting your query a million times (and maybe it needed to be done, but maybe not). Dancing over eggshells to avoid confrontation because your parenting methods don’t meet with everyone’s approval. Washing dishes by hand before putting them in the machine to be sure they are clean.  Going back to the store for the items you overlooked, because you didn’t think they were needed.  Trying to explain yourself three different ways for every single topic to be sure you are understood.  Taking steps to make every task is so much more difficult than it should be…just because someone else wanted it that way.

But today an old friend summed things up for me so perfectly that my frustration with the pressures of life suddenly faded away.   

He said, simple is best. 

And it’s true.  Sometimes life isn’t a banana split with chocolate, strawberry and pineapple toppings all slathered in whipped cream and topped with a cherry.  Sometimes life is just a chocolate and vanilla swirled cone. 

Sometimes simple is best.

And sometimes we have to please ourselves first to be worth anything to those around us.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a plain old ice cream cone.

Sometimes it’s the very thing you needed.

Until the next time…I’ll be making a quick trip to Dairy Queen.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on August 1, 2011 .