I made my sandwich yesterday morning like I make my sandwich every morning.
It’s a routine…get the bread, get a clean Tupperware container and a knife from the drawers, stir the peanut butter a little, dig enough for a sandwich from the bottom of the almost empty container, lay it out on one of the pieces of bread, and then put the “clean” piece of bread on top of the slice with the peanut butter.
VOILA. I’m finished with my lunch…after I put the sandwich I just made into the Tupperware container…and then put the sandwich container into my lunchbox.
This is a lot more exciting than it sounds.
Yesterday, though, we had a new loaf of bread.
Fresh, fragrant…perfect for sandwiches or even, if I had a wild hair and decided to really step out of the box, a really excellent piece of toast.
If I decided to make toast, I would take a piece of bread, gently drop it into the toaster, then….
Just kidding, I don’t need to tell you how I make toast. That would be a waste of both of our time.
This bread was nice bread. It was dying to be made into a sandwich.
We had one slice left in the old bread bag, though.
Actually, it was 3 slices, but I never count the heels as a legitimate slice. I don’t consider them real slices of bread. They’re just what keeps the good bread fresh, in my opinion.
They aren’t bread…they’re just a freshness barrier.
I looked at this lone slice and realized that I couldn’t waste it. I knew what using that semi-stale piece of bread meant, but I thought that I should be able to handle eating a sandwich that was a little less than what it should be.
Out on the route, as I ate my sandwich, it reminded me of the consequences of compromise…and what it means to have a divided mind.
All from eating a schizophrenic peanut butter sandwich made with one fresh and one stale piece of bread. That’s a pretty amazing leap…but what do I have to think about out on the route? Should I only think about delivering the mail, staying safe on the roads, and all the pretty leaves that are falling?
I don’t think so…I have bigger fish to fry than just thinking only about my job…although, for the record, my job is my primary preoccupation.
This sandwich wasn’t really bad. It was edible. The stale bread wasn’t really stale…it was only a little dried out.
It just wasn’t as good as it could have been.
Of course, one side of the sandwich was delicious…but try as I might to flip it into a favorable position, I couldn’t help but involve the stale side of the sandwich in my eating experience.
It wasn’t a matter of the sandwich being only half as good as a sandwich made with two fresh pieces of bread, either.
The whole sandwich tasted stale.
I couldn’t make the separation in my mind between the two different experiences. The fresh side didn’t help to make the stale side taste any better.
No mind game or positive affirmation was going to make that sandwich something that it could never be.
I’d compromised and I couldn’t go back.
I do that with some frequency…compromise in some way, and then suppose that with the right countermeasure that I can make it all better.
It just ends up being a mistake with a veneer of renewed good intention.
It’s still a sandwich that’s kind of stale.
Almost right never gets right, somehow, no matter how much shimming or sugar I add.
A sandwich is just a sandwich…it doesn’t have to be some kind of metaphor for something deeper. It doesn’t have to be a lasting reminder of why being thrifty and using everything up doesn’t always pay off.
It can just be a less than memorable eating experience.
Eat the sandwich and move on.
For heavens sake!
Just move on, already.
Compromises sure do have a bigger impact than you think they’d have, though.