Trina Machacek: Muddlin’ through

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Hopefully on your path you have come upon the little sign where a woman, (not sure why it’s always a woman). A woman is all discombobulated, hair on fire, clothes askew and a smile that would light up the world on her face as she seems to be coming to a screeching halt.

The caption reads something like don’t float through life, grab at every fireball, swing from trees and come to an end saying, “Wow! What a ride!” Yes most of us want to be her. Sometimes. But! Yes a hair raising “but.” But if you go full speed ahead all the time might you miss some wonderful things? Of course, if you just muddle through you’re apt to miss amazing fireballs too. So a happy medium is what is needed.

As much as I do not like to admit it, and I will probably not acknowledge it ever again, my dad was right when he said, “You can’t burn the candle at both ends.” Oh yes he was that kind of a dad. Of course he also, to my knowledge, coined the phrase, “Quit your fiddle farting around.” Meaning quit pushing your broccoli around on your plate and eat if you know what’s good for you. HAHA I found this past week that my candle has been burning pretty brightly for a while and now I must pay for my play. How? In my life paying comes down to getting a cold. Yes a cold. A good ole fashioned not enough soft tissues and where is the chicken soup cold. I’m thankfully on the tail end of this nosey buddy that has taken up residency in my face and I can see the error of my ways. I will not change of course, but I do see the error of my ways.

As I coughed and hacked for the past few days and drank a beer keg full of TEA, I had time to reflect on a few things. I have decided that even though I have a mountain of tissues piled up that if lit could be seen from space I would not have given up any of the adventures that brought me to this bed of soda crackers and Vicks. Two come to mind making me smile and they are kind of related.

First I took on, with a couple of friends, hosting a wonderful baby shower. It was such fun to shop for all shower related doohickeys. We looked high and low, far and wide for the most fun stuff so that the ladies in attendance could relax and have some fun. On the whole I’m sure it was fun. When the new comer comes out of his hidey hole sometime soon he will be fully clothed and diapered until he is 18! The mom-to-be even got to wear a tiara on her head and a ribbon on her tummy that announced “I’m a big boy!” As I looked at the ladies there I realized that I was hopeful they are having the lives they dreamed of when they were little girls. I hoped that they are not just marking time and muddling through. I saw a sea of great women who are definitely not muddlers! That brings me to the second thing I thought about.

This is where I’ve been trying to get to. I know, I know. Finally. My life has been a mix of muddle and candle burning. The mix often stayed in the muddle as burning the candle has its consequences. But muddling does to. I ran across what I hope is a new friend who, from the short conversations we had, has burnt up a few more candles in life than even I can imagine. Slip sliding on the puddles of wax dropped by the fires he created. Oh I’m pretty sure there were muddling times but his spirit is of the candle variety. Now I am not ready to give up my muddling. There is a sense of security in feeling mud between your toes and knowing that if you went through life too fast, without muddling, you would miss that feeling. All squishy, warm and earthy. And just occasionally hot as the parched desert in some far off country—burning your feet. Yes, like a candle.

So as I go through life I am not going to muddle. I want to be like my new acquaintance who is, amazingly, dropping his life to move 2500 miles to help a friend for the next year. Making someone else see the light of friendship. How cool is it to go about your life, lighting candles and burning brightly as you can. Pretty cool actually. Burn baby, burn.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at


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