My 18 month old daughter has been learning how to use a fork. As often happens with anything new, she’s had a lot more failures than successes. One day at supper, she was especially focused on getting strawberries (which have the perfect texture for a little fork user), onto the fork and into her mouth. Both stages were challenging, but she handled it with ease: whenever the strawberry slipped away from under the tines, or fell off just as it reached her lips, she would laugh, and put her hands up in that classic “what happened? where did it go? I don’t know!” shrug.
The more she laughed and kept trying, the more I thought about where in my life I need to be less frustrated and a little more “I don’t know!” She wasn’t hard on herself. She wasn’t mad about the situation. She didn’t avoid it, and she didn’t lash out. She just lifted her hands, laughed, and tried again.
As students are coming to the end of finals and embarking on things that may be new, and therefore at times challenging or frustrating, this image has come back to me. How can we all be easy with what life gives us? How can we shift from being frustrated, avoidant, or self-deprecating, to confident, patient, and trusting that it will come?