I had a major wrestling match in the shower.
(Mom, you can keep reading. It’s not that kind of story.)
I was wrestling with my shampoo. It was one of those single serving tetra packs – the kind you get as a free sample at a trade show or drug store.
You’re supposed to tear the shampoo pack open at the little slit at the top. This never works. You end up having to cut it open with scissors. But you can’t cut it open with scissors because you’re traveling, and what kind of person travels with scissors? So you have to gnaw the damn thing open with your teeth, which is harder than you’d think because it’s already wet and slippery from the shower.
My hair was soaking wet and I had an important client meeting in 45 minutes. The goddamn shampoo pack wouldn’t cooperate, so I did what any rationally-minded professional would have done in my situation: I threw a full-blown hissy fit right there in the shower, not unlike the kind you’ve seen a three-year-old do in the middle of a toy store aisle, with saggy knees, flailing arms and dramatically drawn-out one-syllable words. But whyyyyyyy? Come onnnnnnn!
At the height of my single-serving shampoo dance of frustration, I paired a bone crushing chomp with a raging head thrash, lacerating the tiny plastic envelope open.
Victory! I felt like a badass jungle cat, wild-eyed and savage.
I greedily squeezed at the envelope, hellbound on getting all of the shampoo out.
In a death grip squeeze choke, I forced every last drop from that tetra pak, working it up the package until it oozed out the top – like one of those Hail Mary attempts to get enough toothpaste from the tube when there’s nothing left and you’re late for work. (You know you’ve done it.)
So focused on the task, I lost track of the shampoo that had accumulated in my hand. It glopped onto the shower floor and slurped down the drain. All of it.
Put yourself in my (shower) shoes for a minute.
There you are with wet hair and no shampoo, when five seconds ago you had more than enough, but you didn’t notice because you were too busy squeezing out every last drop.
Of course, I’m not just talking about shampoo.
I’m talking about being a frenzied striver, when you’re so preoccupied with getting more that you don’t even appreciate all of the good stuff you’ve got right in the palm of your hand.
If you’re a frenzied striver (and lord knows I have lots of experience in this department), you struggle and push and rage to get more, but before you take a moment to appreciate what you have, it’s on to the next thing. Better. Higher. More accomplishments. More stuff. More accolades. More (insert your personal fix here). More, more, more.
You scrape and claw and grasp for more, but hardly notice when you finally get it. You’re already thinking about The Next Big Thing.
The constant grasping, striving, pushing, proving…it’s exhausting. Enough, already.
Who knows, there may come a day when it slips through your fingers. Enjoy it while you can.