To be more healthy, I make a smoothie several times a week. Ingredients include blueberries, banana, spinach, kale, cinnamon, and ground flaxseed. After blending for a full minute, what crawls out is a dark green-brown sludge. It looks as appetizing as the Creature from the Black Lagoon spewing chocolate syrup. But the taste isn’t too bad due to the sweetness from the banana.

Usually, I gulp down the mixture and immediately clean the blender. Otherwise, bits of blueberry and spinach conspire to cement themselves to the inside of the blender, which makes it difficult to clean.

But two nights ago I got distracted.

Here’s what happened: As I finished the last of my concoction I heard a knock at the front door. I set the blender in the sink, opened the front door, and greeted two men with biceps about to burst from their sweaters.

My wife had arranged for these strapping gentlemen to visit us and walk us through our McGruff Safe Kits. (The kits help parents keep their kids safe from common threats.)

Long story short, I was distracted and didn’t return to the sink for several hours. And when I did finally rinse out the blender, it was too late. Traces of my smoothie had glued themselves to it. I knew this would require a royal scrubbing.

I stared at the blender for a long minute, put it back in the sink, and went to bed.


The next morning I walked into the kitchen and found that my wife, the amazing woman that she is, had cleaned the blender along with the rest of the dishes. As the dishwasher hummed through its rhythmic cycles, she casually mentioned that the blender had been grody and a pain to clean.

I explained how I had been distracted and thanked her for cleaning it. I also assured her that this was an exception, not a pattern. This is a common phrase in our household and a way to remind each other to be kind and understanding when unexpected things happen.

She nodded and said, We’re a team. We support each other. And that was that.

Patterns vs. Exceptions

When unexpected things happen, do your best to not freak out and unleash your rage on the culprit. Before you start yelling ask yourself, Is this a pattern or an exception?

95% of the time, it’s an exception, and no reprimands are necessary. Show compassion when unprecedented events occur and your life will improve.

Be well, my friend.