My brother tells a story that I love. He was working in his tennis shop he owned at the time (just one of his three jobs-no wonder he got cancer) and a graceful gray haired southern belle, her hair pulled back in a bun and a double strand of pearls around her neck, walked into his store. As he did with many customers, he struck up a conversation with her. Somehow she found out that he had been through cancer treatment and she divulged that she too had been treated for cancer. As he rang up the items she had purchased at the cash register, she spoke these words of wisdom in a quiet voice.
“You know,” she began in her lovely southern drawl. “At the end of the day everyone’s plate is full.”
My brother called me and told me this story when I was going through my cancer treatment and it is one of my favorites. I think of it often as my plate fills up and I am completely overwhelmed. Lately my plate has been quite full of worry and sadness, not because of my cancer, but just the day to day challenges that my life is bringing to me now. Some days I have been on the verge of tears and feel like getting back in bed and never getting up. It is at that point that I remember this story and I think to myself, “Yes, your plate is full, but so is everyone else’s.”
Whether it is sickness, a parent dying, financial difficulties, or parenting issues, we all face the same obstacles and we must muddle our way through as best we can. So I continue to press on, knowing that life is going to have ups and downs reminding myself that it is just a part of life to have a very full plate.