Friday, June 6, 2008

Ode to Being a Medium


Years ago, when my good friend Jessica had a new baby I was visiting her. Now, Jessica, by all appearances, is very tidy. And when I went into her kitchen I noticed cereal bowls, milk cups, and an eggy frying pan on the counter. I remember thinking, she must feel really swamped if she hasn't done the dishes. So I being the fabulous friend that I am washed her dishes. Many months later, at a party Jess and I were catering together, she offered to wash the dishes. Well, that was something I couldn't refuse. As she was washing, she commented, "That time when you visited the baby and me...and you washed the dishes...", My ears perked up because I just knew she was going to tell me what a great friend I am...."well," she continued, "I found out that your kind of a 'medium" at washing dishes." Medium...I thought....what does she mean...I am a clairvoyant when I wash dishes....that doesn't make ant sense. She finished by saying, "yea, they were a little dirty still, but I was happy to know you are a medium at something." Oh My Gosh...she meant that I did an average job...not so good...What?!...What kind of friend calls her friend a MEDIUM? I forced a smile and laughed, trying not to show the hurt I felt. But she saw it and quickly apologized for insulting me. Poor Jess, little did she know that I am the proverbial Anne of Green Gables at holding a grudge.
A few years have passed and I must admit that every time I was the dishes, I think of that moment. The moment that it became painfully aware that my self professed perfectionism was lacking. It seems that every time I have seen Jessica, the subject has come up somehow. I believe that is because of me...and my ego...and my want to be something better than average at all times.
So why do I share this moment with you? Well, happily enough, I have had a moment of clarity on the subject. Like I said, ever time I wash the dishes, I think of being a medium. And I believe that since that fateful day, I have been a much better dish washer. So is being a medium all that bad...I think not. It gives us the room to strive to be better and grow. It also gives others the opportunity to shine. I think secretly, I don't want Jessica to see what a better dishwasher I have become, because she won't be so likely to offer to wash the dishes in the future.
So the moral of today is to celebrate the things you are above average at doing, and embrace being a medium at all the other stuff....because lucky you...you get to grow.

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