The Day I Lost a Sandwich

I was moving through my regular morning routine which includes making lunches for my two teenage boys to take to school. It all starts around 6am and I will admit that I tend to many different tasks between then and 8:15 when my younger son takes the bus. Except for school lunches there is breakfast being made for all of us, and depending on the day there is laundry, paper work, emails, accounting etc.

This particular morning, the week before my 48th birthday, was not unusual in any way except for the astonishing fact that about 7:45 I suddenly realized I had lost a sandwich. Yes, literally lost it, like in: I have no idea where it is!

It has been apparent for the last several months that there are changes taking place within me. I am not going to get into them in detail, but I have gradually understood that my sense of having the worst memory ever accompanied with other physical signs are common indications of my estrogen levels dropping. Over these past few months I have smiled at it most of the time, been frustrated once in a while, but overall it hasn’t meant much of anything.

I have come to understand though that I have lost a few phrases from my language. Like “You should have told me this earlier son!” or “I never said that!” The truth has been revealed, my son might have told me that just the day before, but I don’t remember it, and I might just have said that a while ago, but I don’t remember it. So I humbly do my best to stay away from those phrases….

But this sandwich thing really startled me. I clearly remembered making it. Pretty much sure I remembered putting into its container, but I had absolutely no memory at all of where I then had put it. Of course it doesn’t help that as I do these routine tasks I am having a conversation with my oldest son at the same time…….

When I realized the sandwich wasn’t  where it was supposed to be, in the lunch bag, I started looking in the most strange places. In the dishwasher, laundry basket, kitchen cabinets and in the sink. All the places I had been at that morning. Still no sandwich…… At this time I was in disbelief that this was actually happening. But decided that most likely it was in my older son’s school bag and that he was unknowingly carrying around his brothers lunch that day alongside his own. At the end of the day, this turned out to be true.  And the precious sandwich came back home in the afternoon.

By the time I had a few minutes to myself getting myself ready for my work day, I realized that losing a sandwich had brought me a sense of relief. I have known for a long time that I can’t get it all right at all times. Things and events don’t always work out the way I was hoping, but I still always put my best in, both as a mom, a teacher and a therapist, always striving to do my best in all I do. And sometimes, as I am sure you can relate to, I still get hard on myself when something doesn’t come through the way I wish it too. And it could be as simple as the rice I just cooked for dinner ended up a bit too soft….

But now, after losing a sandwich, I feel released from this pressure I put on myself to “get it right”. I obviously can’t all the time. And right there, that was freedom. Truly knowing I can’t, not just thinking it, but both knowing and accepting that I can’t. The lost sandwich brought a much higher degree of acceptance. And for that, well, how can I not be grateful……