Standing in Puddles

What would you call the story of your life?

Perhaps ‘The Expedition’ – a huge adventure that you may not survive?

Or maybe your version of ‘Only Fools and Horses’ , where life is a constant quest to win the lotto and resisting the urge to tell your boss to stick it and escape to a desert island with no Wi-Fi!

My memoir? I’d call it ‘Standing in Puddles’; a metaphor for the minor inconveniences that build up – none of them very serious, but the last straw is coming…

So, you forgot to charge your phone and it went dead during the night…and now you are late! The laptop goes down without saving your document. Then you pop a button on your shirt – in just the wrong place. You forgot about your son’s field trip today and the school have been on the phone re-iterating the fact that you are the worst mother in the world (or you know that’s what they are thinking !)

At the end of a long day, you run to the car in the rain, and there is the last straw! Its right there – in front of you! Watch out! Ah, too late …. You ran right through that huge puddle …. feet drenched, shoes ruined – a squelchy, noisy walk of angry shame awaits….
First world problems, I know, but daily struggles are just that – struggles! Some days you laugh and it morphs into a great story to share over a glass of Pink gin on Friday night with the girls.

But what about the other days, when you just stand in that puddle and want to burst into tears, wishing you could go back home to your old room with your New Kids on the Block posters, when all you had to worry about was that pimple on your chin and would it be gone in time for the school disco at the weekend!

I certainly don’t mind admitting that my life has often felt like an episode of ‘Bake Off’ … you know in week one when the disastrous candidates are eliminated?

You know that contestant that painstakingly places their cake in the oven, sits on the floor and watches it rise, afraid to breathe? Then, she carefully reaches to take it out – and things take that ironic turn as it slips from her hands in slow motion and hit the floor!
How she manages the next ten minutes will say a lot about her character…. Will she fall in a lump beside it, gently rocking back and forth wailing that her life is a mess and she wants to go home?

Or does she carefully gather up the bits and place it on the counter, shaping and salvaging it back into something like a cake, icing over the cracks, creating the best bloody masterpiece she can and hoping to god that no one cuts into it and see the mess inside, the confusion of layers….and a bit of floor dirt thrown in for good measure…

Let’s be thankful that when we drop the cake, or find ourselves standing in puddles with a trembling lip, that we have loved ones ready to help laugh it off, share their cake and puddle stories and help us keep going.

Eva Hartigan