We had an assignment in one of my college classes about how we handle adversity.  Read the story and see where you are...I added my essay at the end.  Thanks for reading.

 

A Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee Essay

 

            A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

            Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water and placed each on a hot stove burner.  Soon the pots came to a boil.  In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.  She let them sit and boil without saying a word.
 
            In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.  She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.  Then she ladled the coffee out and put it into a cup.

            Turning to her daughter she asked, "Tell me what you see."

            "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

            Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft.  The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.  The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. 

            The daughter then asked, "What does it mean?"
 
            Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity or hardship – boiling water.  Each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.  The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior.  After being in the boiling water, its inside became hardened.  The ground coffee beans were unique, however.  After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
 
            "Which are you?" she asked her daughter.  "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot, an egg, or a cup of coffee?

 

 

 

 

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For some reason it did not like me adding my essay to the post, so here it is...

Striving to be a Cup of Coffee
I always felt oblivious to adversity. As arrogant as that may sound, I was blessed to be happy and lived every little girl’s fairytale. Certainly, there were disappointments as a young child when I did not get the special doll I really wanted or when I learned there was no Santa Clause, but I was lucky to never have a major hardship. When others felt pain I sympathized, but honestly, I could not truly relate. One day all of that changed. I faced the biggest heartbreak I could have possibly faced, my husband and best friend for over 25 years, Tom, died unexpectedly. I went from considering myself a cup of coffee to becoming a combination of a carrot and an egg and working my way back to that cup of coffee.
While spending 11 days in the hospital with Tom, after his snowmobile accident, I maintained my cup of coffee attitude. Because the medical professionals were very reassuring, I never once considered any other outcome other than Tom would heal from his injuries and come home so that we could get back to the life we loved. I was very mistaken. In an instant our lives were changed; the man that supported me, loved me, and cared for me was gone. In that very instant, I became a carrot. I went from being strong and independent to weak and insecure. I had no control over anything and I relied on many people to help me make decisions that I did not want to make on my own. No matter how many people told me how strong I was being, inside I was crumbling. I know that I consciously tried to maintain the cup of coffee image with my children. I did not want them to worry about me; they needed me to be their rock and their support. They did see me cry, but with every cry came an affirmation of “we will get through this and we will be okay”. I could not let them down, but when they were not looking, I was very fragile.
At some point, there was a shift in me. I went from being a carrot to being an egg. Other people began to annoy me. When a divorce was compared to my situation, I was less than pleasant with my reply. Ultimately, there is no comparison. When others complained of a bad hair day, or they did not get their way, I had no patience. Try living a bad hair day, every day. I had become hard and felt a harshness in me that I had never felt. Again, with my children I kept the cup of coffee image going. Living life like a hardboiled egg is exhausting and it takes a lot of energy to continue that type of anger. There needed to be a change.
Again, further down the road, there was another shift within me or better yet, there is a shift continuing to happen in me even as I write this. I do not want to be the soft, weak carrot, nor do I want to be the hard, bitter egg. I prefer to be the catalyst of change and become the sweet fragrance of the cup of coffee. There was nothing I could do to change the outcome of Tom’s accident, but I can do something about the change in me. I choose to become the cup of coffee. It is a conscious effort to find something positive each day to be happy about. With each little slice of happiness, there comes a glimmer of hope. There are still days I have carrot tendencies or the egg attitude slips back in, but each day I strive to become a warm cup of coffee. I am a work in progress.
Marlena, Wow that is just a great way for things to be put into perspective. I was the same way, I'm at the same crossroads, life is way to short to let it slip away. When we can decide where we want to go from here and can concieve it can be what we choose it to be if we just choose to put in the effert life can be good again. I'm not saying we have to forget we will never be able to do that but we can choose what we do with the life we have to live because untill we are called, we have to go on living. How is up to us. Thanks, great topic.
Hi Marlena
Thanks for the post, it does help to put things into perspective. I strive every day to be that warm comforting cup of coffee but some days still turn into mashed carrots. I had a bout this fall with the egg. If you were a shrub in my yard this fall, you had to watch that I did not trim you into oblivion. For a week straight I went out into the yard every day and took my anger out on the hedges and shrubs. They had to be trimmed but some got a severe cut back. I didn't realize how angry I was until someone said I am glad I am not a shrub in your yard. Life goes on and how we choose to handle it depends on us. Today I want to be a strong black cup of steaming coffee but I do feel a little mushy on the side, maybe I dunked my cookie too much. LOL. Take care and big hugs to all.
Marlene you essay was perfect for that is my life right now. I was able to be that coffee because of the man that loved me and made me want to be that better person. But some times being the eggs, it takes a lot of energy but it is easier than being gracious. The carrot is the one that i hate the most because it doesn't allow me to be the strong women i was before Joe left me. I was the problem solver of the family no matter what was wrong everyone came to me, now my selfconfiendce is not there any more. Thank you Marlene Joe would want me to be the coffee in my life again.

Marlena said:
For some reason it did not like me adding my essay to the post, so here it is...

Striving to be a Cup of Coffee
I always felt oblivious to adversity. As arrogant as that may sound, I was blessed to be happy and lived every little girl’s fairytale. Certainly, there were disappointments as a young child when I did not get the special doll I really wanted or when I learned there was no Santa Clause, but I was lucky to never have a major hardship. When others felt pain I sympathized, but honestly, I could not truly relate. One day all of that changed. I faced the biggest heartbreak I could have possibly faced, my husband and best friend for over 25 years, Tom, died unexpectedly. I went from considering myself a cup of coffee to becoming a combination of a carrot and an egg and working my way back to that cup of coffee.
While spending 11 days in the hospital with Tom, after his snowmobile accident, I maintained my cup of coffee attitude. Because the medical professionals were very reassuring, I never once considered any other outcome other than Tom would heal from his injuries and come home so that we could get back to the life we loved. I was very mistaken. In an instant our lives were changed; the man that supported me, loved me, and cared for me was gone. In that very instant, I became a carrot. I went from being strong and independent to weak and insecure. I had no control over anything and I relied on many people to help me make decisions that I did not want to make on my own. No matter how many people told me how strong I was being, inside I was crumbling. I know that I consciously tried to maintain the cup of coffee image with my children. I did not want them to worry about me; they needed me to be their rock and their support. They did see me cry, but with every cry came an affirmation of “we will get through this and we will be okay”. I could not let them down, but when they were not looking, I was very fragile.
At some point, there was a shift in me. I went from being a carrot to being an egg. Other people began to annoy me. When a divorce was compared to my situation, I was less than pleasant with my reply. Ultimately, there is no comparison. When others complained of a bad hair day, or they did not get their way, I had no patience. Try living a bad hair day, every day. I had become hard and felt a harshness in me that I had never felt. Again, with my children I kept the cup of coffee image going. Living life like a hardboiled egg is exhausting and it takes a lot of energy to continue that type of anger. There needed to be a change.
Again, further down the road, there was another shift within me or better yet, there is a shift continuing to happen in me even as I write this. I do not want to be the soft, weak carrot, nor do I want to be the hard, bitter egg. I prefer to be the catalyst of change and become the sweet fragrance of the cup of coffee. There was nothing I could do to change the outcome of Tom’s accident, but I can do something about the change in me. I choose to become the cup of coffee. It is a conscious effort to find something positive each day to be happy about. With each little slice of happiness, there comes a glimmer of hope. There are still days I have carrot tendencies or the egg attitude slips back in, but each day I strive to become a warm cup of coffee. I am a work in progress.

LOL Yvonne that was funny
Yvonne said:
Hi Marlena
Thanks for the post, it does help to put things into perspective. I strive every day to be that warm comforting cup of coffee but some days still turn into mashed carrots. I had a bout this fall with the egg. If you were a shrub in my yard this fall, you had to watch that I did not trim you into oblivion. For a week straight I went out into the yard every day and took my anger out on the hedges and shrubs. They had to be trimmed but some got a severe cut back. I didn't realize how angry I was until someone said I am glad I am not a shrub in your yard. Life goes on and how we choose to handle it depends on us. Today I want to be a strong black cup of steaming coffee but I do feel a little mushy on the side, maybe I dunked my cookie too much. LOL. Take care and big hugs to all.
This is truely amazing, thank you Marlena for posting this. I believe we are all, in many ways, just as you describe. Some of us take longer to get to, and go through each stage. It is a metamorphsis, a regrowth. A finding ourself all over again.
I don't think you sounded arrogant by being blessed to be happy and live a fairytale. A lot of us do but we just don't realize it. I think I had my fairytale also, I just wanted my happy ever after to last a lot longer. To find your true love and soulmate and know it is the most amazing thing and a blessing beyond measure. And I was blessed and I know it. The down side of having had it all, is the loneliness that goes on and on and on. But this too will ease with time, but I will never stop missing him. Thanks again, I loved it.
This is a good way of looking at things, usually I can read something and live my life by it, but being in my slump I can't do it this time. This is the first time since Brad left that I can't seem to see the positive things. I am getting upset over little things, and saying things that are hurtful to others, I don't mean to, but I'm just angry, upset, lonely and I don't like myself very much right now. My daughter is putting her life on hold because she doesn't want me to be alone and that makes me feel bad, I told her to go and follow her dreams, that I have to get used to this life and don't want to hold her back.
I don't know, I guess I just don't know what I'm feeling and why I have to feel like I fell off the roller coaster. I may stay off of here for awhile until I get my feelings together, I don't want to drag everyone else down with my moods. Good luck to everyone!
Mary said:
This is truely amazing, thank you Marlena for posting this. I believe we are all, in many ways, just as you describe. Some of us take longer to get to, and go through each stage. It is a metamorphsis, a regrowth. A finding ourself all over again.
I don't think you sounded arrogant by being blessed to be happy and live a fairytale. A lot of us do but we just don't realize it. I think I had my fairytale also, I just wanted my happy ever after to last a lot longer. To find your true love and soulmate and know it is the most amazing thing and a blessing beyond measure. And I was blessed and I know it. The down side of having had it all, is the loneliness that goes on and on and on. But this too will ease with time, but I will never stop missing him. Thanks again, I loved it.
Marlena, Thanks for your posting. I will try to remember that everyday while I am on this journey. I have always been the caregiver in my life, always the strong one. Now that I lost Jim -- I don't know who I am.Thank you again. Jim always loved coffee, I'm pretty sure he would want me to be that cup of coffee.
Marlena, this was wonderful. I had to smile over Yvonnes answer regarding her shrubs. I have wanted to get out and attack mine too but lucky for them, my son-in-law took pitty on them and trimmed all my bushes and hedges back yesterday and today. They are making me rest up for my surgery so took over the yard work this weekend and everything looks so nice. I probably would have chopped mine down like Yvonne. Guess we have to take our anger out on something. This too shall pass. I would love a cup of coffee right now but am settling for a relaxing cup of herb tea to sooth my soul. Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts on Marlena's story.
Barb I am sorry you are feeling so down, I am not a doctor and I dont play one on TV, but you may need to check with your doctor about depression. I know, when I lost my mom 12 years ago, I thought something was really wrong with me, I would verbally attack people for the slightest annoyence. I went for a check up and was treated for depression. It may not hurt to look into it, we need to take care of ourselves especially now, because we don't care so much anymore. Please excuse my comments if you find them offensive, it is just out of concern that I make the suggestion. God be with you, hope you find peace soon.

Barb said:
This is a good way of looking at things, usually I can read something and live my life by it, but being in my slump I can't do it this time. This is the first time since Brad left that I can't seem to see the positive things. I am getting upset over little things, and saying things that are hurtful to others, I don't mean to, but I'm just angry, upset, lonely and I don't like myself very much right now. My daughter is putting her life on hold because she doesn't want me to be alone and that makes me feel bad, I told her to go and follow her dreams, that I have to get used to this life and don't want to hold her back.
I don't know, I guess I just don't know what I'm feeling and why I have to feel like I fell off the roller coaster. I may stay off of here for awhile until I get my feelings together, I don't want to drag everyone else down with my moods. Good luck to everyone!
Mary said:
This is truely amazing, thank you Marlena for posting this. I believe we are all, in many ways, just as you describe. Some of us take longer to get to, and go through each stage. It is a metamorphsis, a regrowth. A finding ourself all over again.
I don't think you sounded arrogant by being blessed to be happy and live a fairytale. A lot of us do but we just don't realize it. I think I had my fairytale also, I just wanted my happy ever after to last a lot longer. To find your true love and soulmate and know it is the most amazing thing and a blessing beyond measure. And I was blessed and I know it. The down side of having had it all, is the loneliness that goes on and on and on. But this too will ease with time, but I will never stop missing him. Thanks again, I loved it.
Thank you Marlene for posting this. I want so much to be that Cup of Coffee. The first few weeks I was definitely the carrot, and I really haven't been the egg yet. Not to say that it won't happen just not yet. Slowly I am moving toward the cup of coffee. I was strong for many years while Waymon was sick so I know the strength is there somewhere I just need to find it again. I know that is what he would want also so I am going to work everyday at becoming the cup of coffee. Thanks again for sharing this. It does help put the way we feel in perspective. Hope you have a good day and as always you and everyone on here are in my prayers.
This is a good topic. I have been and still a carrot(mush brain) sitting here posting this as an egg having my cup of coffee. So, thats me. Hugs to you all.Hugs are good.

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