Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Lima Beans

So are these the midnight mutterings of a mad woman? Or pearls of wisdom found on an unlikely shore? I guess it’s for the reader (providing anyone is vaguely curious enough to read this.) to decide. For me it is a whirlwind of love, ire, angst, and complacency all formed into one nasty spit wad and launched at the world.
So last week I had a birthday, my 24th. Nothing so spectacular about 24, right? I can already vote, smoke, drink, get into R rated movies, buy cough syrup; yet I'm not yet old enough for 35 cent coffee at McDonald s or to receive AARP flyers in the mail. But I realized something last week. I am old enough to look on my past with fondness, appreciation, and more than a little "WHAT WAS I THINKING!!" and a healthy dose of "OMG!!" However, I am still young enough to believe in fairy tales and enjoy a fall day at the park, even if the other parents do look at me funny when I slide down the slide ;-) and unfortunately young enough still to want to stomp my foot and get pissy when life doesn't go my way (maybe some things won't ever change). Maybe the maturity is in the "want to" without following through; but that is for another day. The experts say you write from what you know and what do I know best but childhood. Soooo here it is!
Life is like that pile of lima beans (insert your own childhood nemesis) your mom plops on your plate. You have pork chops, macaroni, carrots, peach cobbler for dessert, and last and definitely least on the tasty charts lima beans. An almost perfect setup, but here's the deal the cobbler is small and the diners many and not a mother so mean as yours in all the room; every other kid has half the lima beans you do and the rest well their moms are softies and will cave at the first moan. You have to eat them all and before the others so you can have the corner piece with the perfect blend of crunchy crust and sweet syrupy gooiness. Now wipe your mouth and let's get down to business.
This is your perfect example of life. The pork chop, macaroni, and carrots become childhood and adolescence, the cobbler obviously the golden years, and DING! DING! DING! You got it!! The lima beans are adulthood. So you go through childhood, maybe its tough- maybe a tad over seasoned; you have to work your way through. Or on the flip side maybe its all handed to you cut in bite sized pieces and seasoned to perfection. Or like mine, maybe you had to cut some pieces a little smaller and add a li'l salt here and a dash of pepper there, maybe some Tony's when noone was looking. So one way or another we plowed through- rushing at some points to get it over with and lingering at others to enjoy it to the last. Some giving the lima beans ahead a cautionary glance now and then, others ignoring them completely hoping the Good Mommy Fairy would make them all go away, and others still-where I fit- saw them coming and planned our attack accordingly. Step 1: separate into spoonfuls. Step 2: check for adequate fluids to cleanse the palate. Step 3: Do a complete run through to check for hang ups. Spoon to plate, under beans, lift to mouth, open, close-while returning the fork to the plate, chew twice, swallow, sip, and repeat. FLAWLESS!! Step 4: Commence!! And you begin just as planned, but wait!! There's a problem! A ripple in the fabric of life causes a bobble and the beans are airborne!!! The spoon too!! But this little incident isn't enough for your mom to let you throw in the towel and eat your dessert. With a secret smile under her stern demeanor- cause she knows it wasn't ALL an accident- she comes over to dry your tears and help you clean up your mess. Most all of your beans are back. Some hit the floor and are irreplaceable, but that’s ok because the ever efficient mother is right there with more to take their place. So you mix the old with the new and reorganize and compartmentalize; some limas that were slated for an early processing have been kicked back for later, some more far fetched limas (like motherhood) are brought to the frontlines. So you take a deep breath, look once again at the shrinking cobbler and the beans disappearing or being excused around you, close your eyes and dwell on the dinner that brought you here whether tough, mushy, or al dente...its what’s gonna get you through the minefield of the limas. Was your life so tough that now you're beat and don't have the appetite to finish. Cobbler be Damned!! Maybe you gnawed way through the early years and Damn if your gonna watch those spoon fed pricks eat your share too!! Or was it so mushy that you never learned to chew and now choke on the texture of life? Perhaps you learned to cut up your own meat and stomach the spice to earn what before you assumed was yours anyway. Or, in my case, start where I left off with the same plan, just a different map. But here's the funny thing, as I methodically munch my limas and watch my peers, I see a multitude of differences. Some are plowing through only to realize in the end they still have to wait, others are lollygagging about thinking there will always be the crumbs or someone who is dieting ;-) And lo and behold as I watch these others I realize; I have meandered about my plate not staying on the set path, my speed has varied. I've slowed for conversation and for moments when its seems that the more limas I eat, the more show up on my plate. I've overstuffed my mouth a time or two to fit in a stray bean or three lest I loose them to the ever waiting floor. Together these two factors have altered the size and shape of my pile of beans, these alone my path and my speed. Not the person next to me or across the room. Who knows what they started with or when and with what they'll finish; but me, I've found throughout the course of this meal that lima beans aren't really that bad...and that horrible mother who placed more beans on my plate also put back the corner piece- my favorite piece-to wait until I was ready to reap the rewards of a dinner well enjoyed. As for me, well that cobbler is still waiting and my beans are still out of order but I'm learning to enjoy their flavor and be ok with the hidden pieces of carrot or macaroni that jump out from time to time.
Maybe you got something from this, maybe you now find me officially certifiable, but either way, lima beans aren't that bad and no my mom never made me eat them cause she din't like them either!!! And I’m not sure when I became the main character of this rambling but here you have life, not in a nut shell, but a pile of lima beans! Goodnight!

Expert advice

If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
Several key behaviors stand out in order to help couples create a healthy relationship.
It seems like you can't do anything right.

Explore YourTango