I was raised by an industrious grandmother. I bend my back, plant and weed, prune and when the orchard of life bows under the weight of fruitfulness, I pluck the ripe prize and....
Do I take a greedy bite? Do I store it to bake pies later?
None of the above.
What? Well, that's just wrong, you say. And you're right. After all that work, I should receive some of the fruit. Why don't I?
Because I give it all away. Not so much as a bird pecked pear do I keep for myself. That's crazy!
I've lived under the delusion that keeping anything was selfish. Aversion to selfishness has been trained from my birth.
Sadly, I'm not alone in this disease.
Many women suffer and it becomes most apparent during the holidays.
That's why I'm addressing this early in an effort to inoculate those who could fall to the illness.
It reminds me of the tale of The Little Red Hen. She grows the grain, grinds it, and bakes the bread. No one is willing to help, though she asks. They all have excuses. When the plumb loaves emerge from the oven, wafting their yeasty goodness, those too busy to assist in their production come to consume. They are denied. Yep, the hen eats it herself.
If I'm the little red hen, I do it all, as many of you do too. But then I hand over all the warm bread. Every crusty loaf and leave not so much as a crumb for myself. Don't want to be greedy or selfish, after all.
This selfless hen lies in a heap in her field dying from starvation.
I'm not the only demented hen out there. Many women are living this twisted version of a good story.
There's nothing wrong with balance. It's okay to keep some of the bread. That's not selfish, it's survival.
If the hen goes chicken feet up, no one eats, except the vultures looking to pick her clean.
Starting now, take time to enjoy what you work to create. Sit down and slice off a thick piece of bread, slather on fresh butter, and watch it melt as you breathe in the luscious aroma. Take a bite and savor your labors. Feed yourself.
It's okay to enjoy your blessings.
You aren't truly grateful if you refuse those good things.
This month, I'm showing my gratitude by enjoying what I've been given, and what I've worked to create.
"For what we have received, let us be truly, grateful."