I believe our lives are divided into tiers. Think of a wedding cake. The more layers, the larger the base has to be. Not too complicated, eh? Well, what I’m finding is that the older I get the more tiers there are on my cake and the chubbier ~I~ get.
Let’s go through this extra-spacey theory.
First is the top layer. Small, spectacular. Room for only one statue. You. It has to be you and you alone – after all, you are the only one in your head and heart, your thoughts and….well, you get it.
The next tier is only a quarter of an inch lower than the head tier. That’s the one you stand on. That is the one for the people closest to your heart. I know – you love everybody. But just run with this one. This second tier contains your life partner, children, parents, and brothers and sisters (if you’re still talking to them). These are the peeps that are there for you 24/7, through life and death and throwing up spells.
The tier beneath that are the people that you love and grown fond of through the years. Sometimes they are closer than family. And sometimes they switch places with the available spaces on the tier above. These are best buddies, in-laws, cousins. These are peeps that are there for you 24/7, but usually after there’s no one available from the upper tier.
The next tier consists of just good friends. Co-workers, classmates, neighbors, church friends. People you really like. People who are fun to be around; who ask what you did over the weekend and are you all right and do you need help with anything. This tier is great for doing things with like bowling or complaining about your employer, or meeting for beer and pizza.
This is where the layers start to get kind of thin. The next tier is composed of people who you don’t really hang out with, but like them anyway. They are other people that work with you, friends of friends, kids of friends. People you exchange gratuitous comments and complements with. People you wave at when passing them in the store or at work or at the park.
The tiers could go on and on, but let’s let the bottom layers speak for themselves. There could be a number of tiers, depending upon the depth of your don’t cares and dislikes and out-and-out hates. These people only bring us down, so we tend to say good luck and leave them as “character builders” on the bottom.
So what is the point of these tiers, anyway? Is it to bring to the surface how many people you love or should love or can’t love? Is it to show you how big your life’s cake really is? Is it some wonderful philosophy that combines life and love and frosting and chocolate and strawberry filling?
I suppose I could say that I use this metaphor to remind myself about my lower tiers, and how important they are to my desert called life. After all, they are there to support me, too. That’s why they’re in my life.
But I’m not that noble.
I analyze my tiers when I daydream about winning the lottery and how I would share my winnings. Who I’d bring along for the ride. And who I’d leave standing in line.
I know – you love everybody. That is a noble thought. I try and adhere to that most of the time. But there are times when you just have to kick out the weak posts holding up the upper tier and replace them with something — or someone — who really will support you.
Choose those on your tiers carefully. Know it’s not a universal palate. And not everyone is here to help you hold up your cake. Some are merely interested in eating your winnings.
Every single tier’s worth.