Column - Our life is like popcornMy husband said something profound recently. As we enjoyed our first cup of coffee together in weeks, he agreed with me that it was a good idea to start making lists for our summer vacation.
By: By Greta Petrich, Staff Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
My husband said something profound recently. As we enjoyed our first cup of coffee together in weeks, he agreed with me that it was a good idea to start making lists for our summer vacation.
“Our life is like popcorn,” he said. “We wait and wait for a kernel to pop and suddenly every one starts popping and they keep coming out of the popper. It’s all we can do to catch every kernel.”
That made complete sense in a strange, salt-craving kind of way.
Everyone has their way of dealing with life.
Some micro-manage it with to-do lists, detailed schedules, pre-planned meals and knowing what will happen nearly every minute. If a surprise injury occurs, there’s no worry. Mom has a full first aid kit sitting next to the first aid manual along with the doctor’s phone number on speed dial. When the popcorn starts flying out, there are plenty of bowls within arm’s reach to catch every kernel.
Others live by deadlines. Every task is done at the last minute. They end up feeding the cat canned tuna fish because no one can remember to pick up a bag of cat food until a week after they run out. Life is a series of high-pressure situations that they attack head-on, yet the family thrives from the adrenaline that comes from always making it under the buzzer. Someone notices the sound of popping corn and races to the popper, collecting kernels in whatever’s available – maybe a bowl, maybe a flower vase or even the front of his or her shirt. Hollering for help brings extra forces to gobble up the kernels that quickly cover the counter.
Then there are those who live every day like it were the last. They wake up with excitement about what the day has in store. Every person in the house knows he or she is loved. They take on tasks with a smile and a song. Even laundry offers the opportunity to find some loose change.
For these people, popping popcorn is a momentuous occasion. They gather the children around the air popper, showing them the kernels, explaining the process. While the little ones scream with joy over each little burst kernel, the others revel in witnessing such delight. Popcorn is caught, dropped and tossed into the air.
Yes, I’ve lived each of these lives – or something in between – sometime or another and I agree that our life is a lot like popcorn. The kernels never pop when I’m ready. Some fly off the counter; some are caught by hungry little hands; some become toys for the cat. Sometimes we eat every kernel, sometimes half the bowl ends up between the couch cushions.
It’s not about what you do with the popcorn, it’s how much you get out of the popping.