Last night I sat on a bench with my daughter waiting on some take out. She desperately wanted to use my phone to occupy her mind while we waited, but I insisted that we talk instead, and boy did she take me to school.
She came along for the ride because I have the doors off of my Jeep. I know it’s not my winning personality and I’m okay with that. She likes loud music and wind in her hair, and if she can have both at the same time, she smiles. So, how could I possibly deny her the opportunity?
I’m not sure, but I would guess that her favorite thing about going to this particular restaurant is the fortune cookies. I always loved these as a kid, but as an adult, I’m a little less excited. Frankly, I think they usually taste similar to a lightly sugared piece of cardboard. I even have this practice where I don’t select the fortune cookie, just in case I don’t agree with the destiny typed out inside. I wait until everyone else has chosen their cookie, and then I take the last one. This way, I can still eat it because we all know that the prescribed premonition will come true if you eat the cookie.
She grabs a handful, one for each of the four of us. It’s going to be a bit of a wait, but you don’t want to forget dessert. As we are sitting and chatting, she accidentally drops one of them on the floor, and it breaks … tragedy.
All of a sudden, this cookie is no longer a viable dessert. It’s packaged, so it didn’t get dirty. The twenty-four inches between her hand and the floor did not alter the chemical make up of the treat. It tastes the exact same. The only alteration is a small fissure exposing the little piece of paper that lays out her absolute future.
How often does this happen to us? You open up that KitKat bar and accidentally break one of the bars along the length instead of the edge. Staring at that enormous round lollipop, nearly tasting it before you open the package, but it’s spoiled when it bangs against the counter and chips before you had a chance to eat it. And the absolute worst (at least for me) is opening a package of Pepperidge Farm Cookies, Geneva of course, and finding out they have been crushed by the milk on the ride home. Just thinking about it makes me die a little inside.
Why? That was my question for the little lady whose face had gone long looking at the fortune cookie sitting on the floor. “Don’t you think it will taste the same?” I asked. She replied, “Of course, but the experience will be different.” Yes, it will.
How many times have we set up an idea in our mind that things will work out a specific way, and we have inserted disappointment before we have even had the chance to have the experience we were planning? The experience will taste just as good, just a little different. This only becomes more important, the sweeter the experience. Man, I do this to myself all the freakin’ time.
Looking at my cute little life coach with dumbfounded realization, she giggles, picks up the cookie, and goes back to telling me about the kids on the playground. The cookie was eaten later that evening. The fortune was told and forgotten, and the experience was still as sweet.
So the next time I reach for a sweet treat in life, I’m going to enjoy it no matter what.