Sometimes the juice ain’t worth the squeeze

DSCN4829Don’t you just love that title?  I wish I’d thought of it. I really do.  Credit goes to Jen Hatmaker for posting it on her blog, and also to the person who put it on her Facebook page.

Perhaps it spoke to me because I work out a lot of things while I’m cooking.  Whether I tried to sort out writing details or think through some very difficult decisions I had to make this year, I  often came back to those words. Well, sometimes I came back to them for shallower reasons too, like when I chose frozen pineapple over coring and dicing a fresh one simply because I could.

Sometimes the juice ain’t worth the squeeze.

Oh the hours I’ve spent pounding spices, cutting vegetables and yes, squeezing citrus fruits while thinking through things. I’ve wondered why friends get sick, worried about loved ones, worked out plot scenarios, prayed for dear ones who are struggling, thought through negotiation strategies, and sorted out where my new life is taking me. There have been days when I’ve pounded on myself as though I was the pork tenderloin on the board. And there were moments where I wondered if the decisions I’ve made have been the right ones.

But then, the words came back to me.  Sometimes, Crystal, the juice ain’t worth the squeeze. And you can only do the best that you can do.

After a year of working and crying and trying again and crying and taking a different approach and crying more, I finally said, “Baby, some things are precious and worth the work it takes to keep them alive. Plenty of good things require hard work. But some things are too hard, and it’s time to cut bait.”

There is a tipping point when the work becomes exhausting beyond measure, useless. You can’t pour antidote into a vat of poison forever and expect it to transform into something safe, something healthy.In some cases, poison is poison, and the only sane answer is to move on.

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