There is something comforting and relaxing about making myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the early stillness of the morning. I’m pushing through an especially tiresome week at work, and being up at 5 AM isn’t something I actually want to do right now. But to make my life work, it’s needed. I’ve found I actually like the time alone, but today, my body said, “Oh come on! Just sleep.” No can do, body. At least I had my peanut butter and jelly sandwich routine.
I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich nearly every morning. When Catherine was in the NICU, I needed food I could eat on the go that didn’t require refrigeration – the PBJ! I’ve held to the practice, and folks at work talk about the jelly of the day some days like the weather. I like my PBJ because it tastes pretty good. It is reasonably nutritious – at least better than fast food. And I can easily eat it in a meeting or even walking down the hall at work on days when it’s that crazy (happens a lot, actually). It provides tremendous value in my day.
As I made my sandwich this morning, I realized life is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some parts are sweet and full of goodness and energy. And some parts are sticky and messy. Personally, if I had to have only one of those, I wouldn’t like my life as much. It’s when I put the bread together, and the sticky, gooey part merges with the sweet, delectable part that I feel like I have a good life. I wouldn’t want only the sweet. Does anyone, really? It’s the sticky part that makes the sweet so refreshing and appreciated.
Ironically, Catherine is deathly allergic to peanut butter. When we learned that, I chose to keep peanut butter in the house and make my sandwich carefully to take to work nearly every morning. Some might consider that irresponsible. If you understood her allergy, you might, actually. But for me, it’s part of the balancing routine that works. Or maybe, unknowingly until today, I kept it in the house so I could keep making the sandwiches and understand in this still moment – the glory of the peanut butter sandwich. Dare I say, the glory of life.