The Joy of an Empty Waffle Space

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Have you heard of the book “Men are like Waffles –Women are like Spaghetti“?

The Amazon.com description reads “Bill and Pam Farrel explain why a man is like a waffle (each element of his life is in a separate box), why a woman is life spaghetti (everything in her life touches everything else), and what these differences mean. Then they show readers how to achieve more satisfying relationships.”

We’ve been married for almost 13 years and, like all relationships, we have been through a lot of ups and downs.  The Farrels’ concept of “waffles” and “spaghetti” has been one of the most helpful insights for us.  A specific story that stands out is during a time when I was feeling personally attacked and unsupported at work.  I was having a really hard time trying to sort through my feelings and still have the focus and strength to do my job well.  I was so jealous that my hubby could go to an “empty waffle space” and chill.  My spaghetti was never ending.  It actually felt like my brain never stopped thinking, worry, processing, seeking answers, and on and on.

One night my hubby said: “Do you need some olive oil for your spaghetti?”

It’s funny to type that sentence.  It sounds ridiculous.  But at the time it was a beautiful gift.  He offered to listen to me talk through every strand of spaghetti and give little dabs of wisdom when the noodles got clumped.

It was a surprising process.  It only took a few minutes.  I thought it would take hours, if not days.  But his patient and wise insights helped me to come a place of peace.  I didn’t actually need to resolve the issues, I just needed a little peace.  It was almost like I got to sit in one of his empty waffle spaces for a few minutes and it gave me strength to go on.  Talking with him gave me relief from the torment of my spaghetti disaster.

I’ve been quite jealous of his empty waffle spaces.  He can actually think about nothing.  At the same time, I’ve been mad.  Maybe if he worried a little, I wouldn’t have to worry about so much!!

Today I encountered a crazy feeling. I couldn’t think of anything to think about. I was excited to sit down and write for my blog.  It’s been really great getting to put thoughts “on paper”.  But today I don’t have any thoughts.  This is very strange.  I always have something to say.  I have an opinion about everything.  I have a lot to say.  I’m a verbal processor.  I’m a story-teller. But today it’s just, empty.

Could be seasonal allergies.  I’ve been sneezing a lot the past 72 hours.  Could be I’m totally wiped out by our big Easter weekend.  But it also could be that my spaghetti has become less complication and I’m sitting in an open section of the bowl.  My own version of a waffle space.  Funny thing is, I can’t even find thoughts to think about it.  And so I have nothing profound to share about it.

What is going on?  And how can I bottle this up to use another day?

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5 responses »

  1. I love this! It makes my heart smile. Oh the compassion of a man who will patiently listen while we sort out our spaghetti. And oh the gift that we have in marriage to offer some spaghetti (relational connectedness) to their waffles and vise versa.

    Well written my friend!

    • Love how you call the spaghetti, “relational connectedness”. I need to like my spaghetti-ness more. I have devalued it. Devalued Me. Why do I think the waffle spaces are better than spaghetti? I have some thinking to do. Hmmm.

  2. 🙂 Loved this! I’ve been feeling the same as you today…can’t think of anything much to say. How cool that was of your husband though, asking if you needed a little olive oil? 🙂 It made me smile in a very smile-bare day. Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Anne

      • I’ve blogged off and on for quite awhile. I guess I started ‘blogging’ back on MySpace not long after Ted and I got together, and used to do it regularly. I had periods without internet. I opened a WordPress blog, and not sure exactly when. But kept that one up for awhile, and then closed it. Then I started another one, and apparently I closed it too. I didn’t think I had done so, but when I started blogging again the end of last month I was going to go back to the last one, but couldn’t access it. I can access it to see it, and log into it, but it acts like it’s not my blog, and I can’t edit or add posts or anything. So I just started another one.

        I had been writing notes on Facebook pretty frequently of late, but there are glitches with Facebook notes that were frustrating for me, so that’s why I came back to WordPress. I’m SO glad I did! I have to say though…I’ve never had a blog that drew as much interest as this one has. Not sure why that is, but I’m thankful for it.

        As for what inspires me to write my topics…things I’m dealing with in my life, or have dealt with in my life are the inspiration. If I write a ‘preachy’ sounding blog, it’s because I’m preaching to myself as much as anyone else, or about something that’s been a struggle of my own. I just like to have a place to write out my thoughts. I’m terrible at talking to people in conversations in person. But I’m much better with written communication. And it’s like I have to express it all somehow. Otherwise it just wells up inside me in ways. 🙂

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