The donut, not the hole

My friend’s Aunt Helen is wise beyond her years. That is no small feat, given she is in her 80’s.

Helen has always been a single lady, full of life, occasionally the devil, and is saddened by time’s cruel trick of shrinking her social circle.  Her best friend passed away recently, leaving a large hole in her life. They were best friends since childhood, and had seen many of their set pass away one by one. Now she has to readjust to a more singular situation, as will we all eventually.

However, with that said she always finds time to ask about me, since we are sisters in grief. Recently she gave my friend some advice to pass along to help me, and amazingly it has helped. “As you go through life make this your goal. Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole.” I’m not ashamed to admit I had taken that a bit too literally of late, filling the tender aching hole where my heart was with foods of any kind. I know that is not the meaning, though.

Regardless of the situation we do tend to mourn over what we don’t have, instead of focusing on what we do – it is human nature and a cruel aspect of nature at that.

One of my favorite books is “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. It is chock full of good quotes and bad people.

“There’s a capacity for appetite,” Samuel said, “that a whole heaven and earth of cake can’t satisfy.”

That book quote above can certainly mean various things, but to me it points to our restless nature, to never quite feel we have enough. This is especially true when we suffer a trauma or loss, of course, and so is totally understood.  The trick is to eventually move on, and as Aunt Helen knows, appreciate the sweeter morsels of life put on our plates.

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