the sky floor

The Tale of the No-Good, Horrible Falling Cup Saucer

December 12, 2022

Have you ever had a win that was a loss that was still a win? 

A few days ago, I was unloading our dishwasher, and as I pulled the top drawer out, a cup saucer practically jumped off the rack. The whole moment instantly became slow motion as the white with blue accent stripe ‘Crate and Barrel’ dish careened toward the grim reaper for porcelain: the tile kitchen floor. 

My reflexes kicked in, and I immediately reached out to grab the saucer. 

Success! I reached it before it hit the floor and shattered into a thousand pieces. But, I caught it against our counter edge, and our counter is made of, you guessed it, tile. When you are in emergency reaction mode, you don’t act gently – you reach quickly – and that force sent the dish into the counter, fracturing the rim.


I won – I had got the plate in time, but it still broke. It was a somewhat defeating moment. 

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But I got to thinking about alternate timelines. Of course, the ideal scenario is no falling dishes. But, more importantly, what if I failed to catch it when I did? It would have hit the floor and shattered everywhere. Compared with the alternative, it was still a win; I only had a few pieces to clean up and was back at unloading in no time. 

I wonder if you have ever had a moment like this? In dishes, work, relationships, or any part of your life: something out of your control happens, and you rush to save the situation but don’t quite secure the desired outcome. 

The lesson is to be grateful even when you don’t get a capital W win. Instead of feeling sorry for what broke, you can be thankful that the worst-case scenario didn’t play out. Cultivating this attitude has a host of positive impacts on your life. 

So next time a dish starts falling, do your best to save it – and if you happen to lose still, appreciate the partial wins in the process. 

Please keep your eyes on the upside, even when there isn’t much of one!