Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Unboxing a moment of odd clarity on the nature of inaction.
The Vitamix box sits on the counter.
"Twenty years," I think back, an audible breath of realization escaping my clenched lips. Twenty years since I visited my friend at the Ventura County fair who was working the Vitamix booth. Being a health-focused twenty-something, I instantly loved the blender-to-end-all-blenders and imagined all the healthy smoothies, juices, and tomato ice cream (really?) I could create.
Not sure why in all those twenty years I never got one. I could have. I bought cars and houses and brought babies into the world and got married and took vacations, few as they might have been. And yet today at the end of the decade in 2019, finally, the Vitamix sits on my counter.
Waiting for me.
You see, I bought it yesterday. As I am sitting here this morning, the ground and roads frozen over in a layer of ice, I sip my coffee, wondering why I am not as excited as I should be for my new Vitamix, the one I wanted since 1999.
My husband leans over to kiss me as he is about to leave for work. "Do you want me to make you a smoothie?" I ask.
"No, I just want to get going. It might be a long drive with the ice."
And so the Vitamix sits on the counter, and I sip my coffee.
As I am sitting here this morning, the ground and roads frozen over in a layer of ice. I sip my coffee, wondering why I am not as excited as I should be for my new Vitamix, the one I wanted since 1999.
Inaction, covered up
As I look back on the last year and the last decade and now the last twenty years, I see how easy it is to let time pass, how inaction has a way of being covered up. And then, unknowingly, how scared we are of being disappointed. We become frozen, paralyzed by the fear of disappointment. Aware of our own ever-increasing expectations, we fear promises not fulfilled, the threat of a breakdown. All the what-ifs and anticipated regret swirl like falling snow. Sometime we are aware of these forces at play; other times, it masks itself as delay, more research to do, more distractions to create, avoidance, or even simply choosing something else.
For me, it is this Vitamix. But it might just as well be a career change, a kitchen remodel, or a remarriage. No choice will be perfect, no choice without flaws. Change is inevitable. Repair is necessary.
I look at the counter. Twenty years passed? Before we know it, twenty years pass. The box is on my counter. Awaiting.
But how did this happen? How do these things ever happen? Our moment of choice turns frozen with indecision, and then the flurries of life begin to cover it flake by flake. Weeks turn to months turn to twenty years and parts of us and our desires are buried. "It's not needed," we think. "What I have is good enough. Let's save that money instead. After all, the kids could use new beds." Year by year, we deny our own preferences for the practical.
Author and child development specialist Joseph Chilton Pearce said, "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Certainly, my kids would have opened the Vitamix by now. They would not be still staring at the unopened box sitting the counter. In a flurry of activity Christmas morning, they immediately tear open their gifts, joy-filled smiles on their faces, playing with their beloved holiday wishes just as soon as they can. Granted, a week later, the toy might be forgotten or broken or lost. Parents know the reality. Perhaps that is what we fear. We've been burned too many times before.
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Joseph Chilton Pearce
Nevertheless, German poet Friedrich Schiller wrote,"who reflects too much will accomplish little." It is after all a new decade. Grace leads the way to new possibilities worth the risk of being wrong. It might not live up to all I have dreamed. I mean, tomato ice cream? Really? Let's find out.
So today, I unbox my Vitamix.