Hot chocolate, anyone?


A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups -porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said, “Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each others cups. Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate The Creator has provided us. The Creator makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have.”

This story was emailed to me by my quilting friend, Patti. It was exactly what I needed to hear as I have been struggling with all the things I want to do with my business this year. I want to design more quilts, work with more fabric companies and new collections, design more patterns, write my book on scrap quilts, be a vendor at more quilt shows, revamp my website, and exhibit at quilt market. Lots of exciting things to think about and plan, but I’ve been obsessing about it. I’m not moving forward as quickly as I would like to even in mid-January! I did decide to put teaching and lecturing on the back burner at this moment though so that’s a good thing! Can’t do it all at once. I need to concentrate on actually sitting down daily to create – sew – piece – and quilt! One would think that’s all a quilt designer does, but the “business part” takes a lot of time, too! And, it’s hard for me to delegate. I need to concentrate on quilting – my hot chocolate – that brings me the most pleasure; and not worry about “the cup”.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate!