Let me read it to you…

postscript to peanut butter

by | Jun 3, 2017


It’s funny how things are lost. The losing part seems to happen in secret, a prelude to the realization that something has gone missing.

My job for instance. I didn’t exactly lose it, I gave it up. But because I hadn’t given much thought to what I might do next, it felt like a loss. It felt sudden, even though, in reality, it was gradual. Gradual is such a nice word for it. Maybe it was more insidious like how a heart attack is preceded by years of plaque buttering the arteries. Or possibly surprising is the right word, like how you just start getting to the soul of things when your therapist says, “Time’s up.” It’s surprising when you realize it’s just business and you have to go home now.

I knew it was the right decision. Nonetheless, I sat in my underwear on the kitchen floor eating peanut butter out the jar wondering if I would ever work again. I wondered if I ever COULD, feeling as one does after a breakup….sort of ruined for all others. What have I done? Who will ever want me?

That same day, a crew of workers was tearing the roof from my house and preparing to accept a ten thousand dollar check with my signature on it. It was clear that I needed to put some pants on, put the peanut butter away and start assembling a plan.

And that’s how resilience happens. Also in secret, as a postscript to realizing that missing thing is not ever coming back.

There’s a kind of reckoning with the reality that whether you choose to suffer or not suffer, the world keeps turning. You’re entitled to your feelings about it, you have time to grieve, but you still have to share that time with eating and showering and opening the mail and feeding the cat.

Somehow, you have to muster the courage to pour the cat food into the bowl every day. And that very simple act feels like a fucking miracle, a noteworthy accomplishment you write two paragraphs about in your journal. Which leads you to write another paragraph about another small miracle like how you got out of bed a little earlier or became reacquainted with dental floss.

This doesn’t at all seem like progress or recovery. And yet, the breadcrumbs of miracles is what leads you along. That’s the way with miracles – when you pick one up, you see the next one just ahead.


Copyright Cynthia Berg 2017


  1. Susan Searing

    My heart ached while reading your experience. Then my heart softened as I learned of your process and progress. AMAZING YOU CAN DO AMAZING THINGS. Just wish some weren’t so painful.

    • Cyn

      This is why I am not a mother. I don’t have the stomach to watch my child struggle. You are a strong mama. Learning that even pain has beauty. xoxo

      • Karen

        I will say motherhood has forced me to look at myself deeper and more honestly. I see him pick up on my strengths and weaknesses and sometimes feel he sees me better than I do. But yet he has his own gifts and struggles. The challenge is helping him learn his own way and I find myself growing along with him.

        • Cyn

          Beautiful. xoxo

  2. Melissa Lombard

    You have an exquisite gift for putting the difficult moments of life into words we can all relate to and bringing light to the dark, secret crevices most of us would prefer to forget while basking in the afterglow that comes from getting to the other side. Thank you for sharing your gift!

    • Cyn

      That means so much – thank you! xoxo


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