Why do we get hung up on disappointments?
Most recently (two days ago) I attempted to make a jelly that I had never made before. Zesty watermelon and lemongrass jelly. With a watermelon (the last watermelon) that I had grown in the garden. My FIRST ever attempt at growing watermelons. I was super stoked. I mean, I had made jelly only 3 time previous to this and each batch turned out wonderfully. So I was relishing how awesome this new jelly was going to be. I was so caught up in how great it was going to turn out that I'm pretty sure I cut corners in the boiling process.
I still went through the whole canning process and found out hours after the jars had cooled that the jelly hadn't set.....it was still a liquid.... What the hell had I done wrong? I Googled and found my mistake in not bringing everything to a "boil you can't stir down". Damnit!
But, what luck! It was apparently fixable.....by adding more pectin? Really? Well...ok......
So, yesterday I emptied the contents of each jar into my trusty sauce pan, cleaned and sterilized all the jars again, brought the watermelon/lemongrass mixture to a boil, added more pectin, boiled HARD for the allotted time, took it off the heat, ladled the liquid into the jars and processed them all over again.
This morning, I checked them..........liquid still.....
So I'm bummed...and a little mopey. And that got me to thinking....why am I so bummed?
Of course it's all that work that I put into the project without a quality product to show for it that bothers me the most.....but then I have to stop myself and ask, "Didn't you learn something through all this?"
Well yeah....... "So, are you going to cut corners in the future?"
Well....no........ "So, what you're saying is, this all happened for a reason?"
Ok, stop patronizing me. Of course it happened for a reason and of course I learned something. There is something to say, though, about our fixation on that ONE little instance in life that doesn't go well.
I remember reading recently, someone's comment on Instagram, mentioning how they barely notice the new people "following" them but as soon as someone "unfollows" them they are ALL over it and trying to figure out why... Thus, taking the action of unfollowing like, super personally!
And we do that, we humans! We focus on that one instance of perceived failure and then take it SO personally! Whether it be a failed batch of jelly, an unfollow online, a missed connection, or even a miscommunication....it always becomes so personal.
Until you don't let it Be personal anymore....
Then you realize that something you thought was a failure...something you took personally......was actually just a situation you created to help You learn......and change....
It becomes an instance that jostles you around a bit saying "See! There's so much more out there than any of these 'mistakes'....you just need to open yourself up to the knowledge available in ALL life's situations and then...........GROW!"