Recently, my team moved from the 4th to the 6th floor. They call this “The Penthouse” because it houses the execs. Not much differentiates the 6th floor from the 4th except the breakroom. Filled with snacks, and more free soda than anyone should have access to, I try to avoid the place. However, my recent challenge to drink more water has landed me in this mecca (and also the now conveniently located restroom) more than usual. Now you’re probably wondering why I’m blabbering so much about my corporate watering hole. After all, most people just go in there to flirt or spike their blood sugar. Well, it was at the sink of this very breakroom where I learned a valuable life lesson. So unexpectedly valuable that I rushed to my computer to write it down.
I filled a recyclable cup with ice to dump into my 32 oz water bottle because it is clear and the sensor wouldn’t recognize it. As I dumped the ice into my clear bottle, it splattered all over the floor. All. Over. Immediately I stop and think about all this crap I’m going to have to clean up. The fact that my pants are too tight so my underwear is probably going to be exposed. They weren’t even the cute kind that you sort of don’t mind exposing. I think about the fact that both of my ankles are sore so I don’t want to have to duck walk all over the breakroom. I think about the fact that the lady who hired me is probably going to walk by at any moment because I’ve seen her increasingly since we moved to the 6th floor. I think about how stupid I look to the girl getting her coffee right next to me when she turns around to see the mess I’ve made.
And all my usually charming self can think to say is, “Well, that was a stupid idea.”
I fully expected her to join in on my self-deprecation. Instead, she turned over her shoulder and smiled without showing her teeth and said in the most matronly, gentlest voice, “It’s just water.”
It’s just freaking water. I don’t remember ever responding to what she said. I don’t even remember her standing there anymore. I just remember those words piercing my thoughts. It’s just water. That eased my synapses. I was bugging about what I thought was a huge mess. I was creating these scenarios in my head based on what I thought other people would think about who they thought I was. So I chilled out, no pun intended, and took my time cleaning up that ice. That little bit of water that I had turned into a T-storm.
That’s how life is sometimes. We get ourselves into a mess. We make mistakes. We feel like we’re failing at life. We feel like our problems are significantly more problem-y than everyone else’s. We think God sent us to Trader Joe’s to buy Organic, Non GMO crap instead of the store brand. The truth of the matter is, it’s not that big of a deal, dude. It’s just water. Your stuff is not meant to break you, it’s meant to make you. Whatever it is, you can recover. Whatever it is, it will work out. You will get through it. You will not be defeated. It may take a while and some humility, but it ain’t over for you. Please believe, God is bigger than whatever mess you think you’re in.
Take a deep breath, start picking up the pieces one by one, and remember, it’s just water.