I made cupcakes this weekend. Two dozen, delicious yellow cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Homemade from scratch… they were not… but you can’t fault a girl for using boxed cake mix and Pillsbury frosting in a pinch.
I like baking. The combining of ingredients, swirl of egg yolks, whipping of a fork does something for my anxiety, my overactive mind. The end result is always delightful and fun. Cupcakes deserve sprinkles on top. So after frosting the little morsels, I turned each one upside down, and dipped the frosting in a mixture of colorful sprinkles. Yellow and pink pearls graced the top of each little treat, casting a shiny glow across the glass baking pan they rested in.
I eagerly set the little cakes out for my ‘Galentine’s’ Day Party which I hosted on Saturday night. Not one gal ate them. Between a mixture of gluten intolerant and health conscious friends, all of the cupcakes sat untouched.
I had to convince these ladies’ husbands to eat the cakes when they came to pick up their wives. Both my husband and another guy took a bite of the pearly cake and said, “Those little balls on top are too crunchy. These things are hurting my teeth.”
The pretty decor was literally causing discomfort when being ingested.
I wasn’t offended at the lack of consumption; more cake for me and my co-workers at work this week. However, I was just struck by the fact that although the sprinkles were displayed beautifully, no one cared to take a bite.
Rewind just a little further and stop on Saturday morning. The sun was shining and it was in the 60s as I sat a local coffee shop and shared a warm drink with one of my oldest friends with whom I’ve recently reconnected. Think kindergarten (OK WHO KNEW KINDERGARTEN WAS SPELLED WITH A T?) old, we shared lots of time together giggling and dreaming about boys and our futures. Years after high school and college drew us apart. She lived in New York. I stayed here. Both of us lost our fathers along the way.
And as I sat there, with a warm feeling only old friends can create in your heart, this beautiful woman said to me, “Our experiences have given us grit that other’s don’t yet know how to relate to. We can sink into that grit, and let it move us forward. Even when moving forward feels like crawling, and the grit and persistence feels more like sand that is digging into our knees.”
If someone asked me if I wanted sand on my cupcake, I would immediately say no. Glimmering sugar is much more preferred.
But in life, it can be easy to pass on the sprinkles. We are drawn into the beauty and then push aside the glimmer as shiny little orbs that kinda hurt.
Grit, true grit, shapes us into who we are meant to be, giving strength in the most unexpected of places. This abrasive sand is fairly unavoidable. And those who remind us to keep crawling just are so beautiful.
So here it is this week. The list of beauty: cake, friends, Galentine’s Day, husbands who whine at your baking, the reminder to keep crawling, saying thank you to the painful experiences that give you grit, persistence, and blessed cream cheese frosting.
P.S. Don’t forget – I want to hear about your Valentine’s Day expressions of love. Don’t forget about the “Where Your Heart is Challenge.” Write a love note or a poem. Send me an email about it. I’ll post it here.