I have been inspired by holidays lately (but then again, when am I not!?). Earth Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day…so many! But I would like to travel back to Easter (yes, I realize it was over a week ago!) and reflect.
When I was a little girl, my family would go out and hide colorful and usually poorly-decorated eggs in the backyard for my cousins and I to find. This holiday was one of the few, if not only, that I became a competitive person as a child–let’s face it, we’re suppose to be fighting for…food?! Uh, game: ON. As most of us do on Easter, I would run around looking under rocks, dig through bushes, and step lightly on the grass in fear of possibly crushing one of those precious eggs. Whether they were plastic eggs filled with candy (or quarters if we were lucky enough to find them!), hard boiled eggs that had been dyed a pretty pastel color the night before, or chocolate eggs bursting with a cream filling, there was never a second of hesitation to put them all in my decorated Easter basket.
Somehow throughout the years though, that tradition slowly slipped away. I don’t even remember how old I was when I stopped hunting for those oval-shaped treasures. It wasn’t until this last Easter when I saw my 3 year-old cousin run up to me with her basket of eggs that brought back all of those memories. As she held her yellow basket, filled to the brim with plastic eggs, she was beaming with happiness and showing off the amount she was able to find. And as I watched my cousin dig through her basket over and over again to admire them, I thought to myself: “She has ‘all of her eggs in one basket’. I guess she hasn’t realized that it’s unhealthy to do that in the so-called adult world!” Laughing at myself for judging this sweet, innocent little girl whose only goal was to eat as much candy as possible, I wondered: Wow, when did my basket of physical candy and plastic eggs that I once cherished so much turn into a nagging metaphor for my thoughts and decisions in life? When did “putting all my eggs in one basket” turn into a bad thing?
Somewhere between the age of 5 and 22, having all of my eggs in a basket wasn’t just a fun pass time anymore, and instead it’s become a haunting mindset that I constantly question and attempt to avoid. I think we’ve all learned this lesson while growing up at one point or another. The tricky thing about it is that we still somehow manage to put all our eggs in one basket at times without realizing how they got there in the first place. So what do you do when you realize that this has happened to you? Whether it be related to finance, a career, a hobby, a certain family member, a sole friend, a romantic partner or anything really, we must learn to take a step back and figure out how to better distribute our eggs because having them break all at once is something no one wants to experience. When this happens, our entire world feels like it’s crashing down because it didn’t go as planned, but we must open our eyes to everything else we are offered in life. We must discover (or re-discover) that it is possible to find our happiness elsewhere–we just have to seek it. Seek your happiness, and remember that it’s not all about one thing, one person, or all 12 eggs, but it’s about yourself. Somehow, growing up has taught me to not only eat things in moderation but to also make decisions about life in moderation. No single basket in the world is big enough to hold all our “eggs” but it’s refreshing to know that if our goals and happiness are dispersed among a variety of things, they still create an even stronger whole within ourselves. Many of us struggle, including myself, to find a balance between putting enough effort into something without becoming dependent on it. Where is that line? It’s where we allow ourselves to draw it. Sometimes it seems easier to wish that we could revert back to the times as a child where we could always fall back on our parents or expect others to push us through hard times, but we’re not playing with chocolate or hard-boiled eggs anymore. We’re faced with decisions instead–morals, time, money, standards, judgements–that only we can deal with. And we must remind ourselves that even though it’s so much more comfortable to throw everything into one basket at times, we miss out on all the other wonderful treats awaiting us in every other realm of life. So (with food and life) take chances, risk change, and reserve putting all your eggs in one basket for only one day out of the year: Easter Sunday. After all, what fun would an Easter egg hunt be if they were all hidden in one place anyway?
Happy Belated Holidays, Everyone!