This past weekend, I asked my husband if he’d like for me to make him some banana nut muffins to eat for breakfast throughout the week. He replied in the affirmative, accepting my offer of baked goods for breakfasts, like any sane man would. This was not a strange offer, since I spend a large portion of my free time happily puttering away in the kitchen, and it is an one that I extend frequently. I hate to let overripe bananas go to waste, and so whenever we have at least 3, I always try to turn out a loaf of bread or tray of muffins.
What made this offer one to note is this – I didn’t make the muffins.
This may seem like no big deal to you, if you do not know me intimately. However, those who know me well know that I do all the things. I am not boasting. If anything, this is one of my biggest flaws. I do all the things with such passion and intensity that I have forgotten how to stop doing things. For goodness sake, I learned to knit so that when I was sitting still, I would still be doing. It is a blessing, on occasion, this knack for getting things done. But trust me when I tell you that it is, more often than not, a curse. I am driven by an invisible force to DO. No satisfaction is quite like the one I get from crossing an item off of my to-do list. Sometimes… it is better than sex. See, I told you, it is a flaw!
Fault or asset, it is who I am. For now, at least. Living with my word of 2015, Linger, did help me to somewhat balance this need to always be doing, but it did not level the scales entirely. I am still doing, and enjoying it, much more than any human should.
This weekend however, I did not make the muffins. On Sunday, knowing that I had not yet delivered the muffins, I declared that, if he didn’t mind, I’d make them on Monday night. …I didn’t make the muffins on Monday night. Nor on Tuesday. Not on Wednesday. I do not plan to make the muffins tonight, either. My husband has been seemingly unaffected by it. He could not care less, or he at least has the good grace to imply that this is so. He has been eating cereal for breakfast each morning, with nary a word about the missing muffins. The promised muffins. The muffins of disappointment.
Before you laugh and say that I am far too hard on myself, let me explain to you why I didn’t make the muffins.
I didn’t make the muffins because I just can’t. I didn’t make the muffins because so far I have spent 2 evenings this week crying. One just a bit, quietly and to myself, the other a full on sob-fest to my husband. I didn’t make the muffins because I am tired. Not just long-day-at-work tired. I am tired in my soul. I didn’t make the muffins because the inside of my mind has felt the way a salad must, after being run through a spinner. I didn’t make the muffins because… Grief.
I’m not disappointed in myself for not making the muffins. I am not beating myself up about it. Instead, I am reminded. These days, months after our loss, the grief is not so visible as it once was. It is not so obvious to outsiders, and sometimes not even to myself. It manifests quietly and in the strangest of ways. Sometimes I feel like I might be okay. Like, really okay. Until the grief sneaks back in and there are muffins that seem like mountains which I just cannot climb. I am reminded of the place where the pain still lives.
Some days are better. Some days are even great. But some days, I cannot make the muffins.
To any of you out there who just cannot make the muffins – I see you, and it’s okay.
Peace and Love to you, friends.