I’m trying to lighten up. Really I am. With the benefits of wisdom that comes with age (or sometimes just being too tired to care) I’ve realized the things that make me cranky really aren’t worth the energy or the angst. Live and let live, I say.
Except when it comes to grapes. Grapes still make me crazy.
Picture a bowl in the refrigerator filled with robust bunches of just-washed grapes. Tempting, right? Now, imagine how many times a refrigerator gets opened throughout the day in the house of a busy, hungry family of four.
Pour the morning coffee, open the fridge for half and half, grab a few grapes.
Butter for toast? Take a grape or two first.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks – grape, grape, grape, grape.
Open the fridge to put away leftovers from dinner – presumably, we’re full at this point – a lone grape still gets pilfered from the bowl.
By then end of the day, we’re left with a sad, scraggly collection of denuded stems — a Charlie Brown Christmas tree of the grape world. Yet no one ever had a bunch of grapes for a snack, it was simply something to chew on while staring into the refrigerator. A total waste of grapes.
I think I get so riled up about this because, oddly, I see my life in that bowl of half-stripped grape remains.
My day is parsed into tiny choppy blocks of time: kids, breakfast, school drop off, writing projects, laundry, groceries, school pick up, sports practice, homework, dinner. To make it worse, I also have one eye on my phone or laptop at all times, keeping track of details in the digital world. Grape, grape, grape grape. Nothing has my full attention. I never realize I’m eating grapes.
I’m attempting to remedy this situation with the Grape Protocol. If I’m going to eat grapes, I grab a pair of scissors, cut a big bunch and enjoy them. Similarly, I’m carving out bigger chunks of time and filling them with specific activities that get my full consideration. Kid stuff, house stuff, work stuff, fun stuff all have a place in my schedule and my undivided attention. I end my day not with 10 projects started, but with five projects completed, and it feels good. Not a scraggly stem in sight.