A better saying than “Don’t cry over spilled milk!”

If you grew up in the Western hemisphere, you’ve probably heard the interesting phrase, “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” as in, hey, that milk is now on the table and dripping on the floor. There’s nothing you can do about it. You’ll just have to pour yourself another cup and move on. The same goes for anything else in life.

Despite loving this saying, I still find that many times, I wish I could rewind time–even for a few minutes–to prevent something that already happened from happening. Recently, I had one of those moments again and decided that this phrase just did not suffice.

spilled milk

While I was doing a photo shoot of sorts to capture that perfect cozy moment with a cup of coffee and a good book, lo and behold, a stupid, tiny fly flew right into my coffee and killed itself. To be fair, I think in the act of swatting it away, I might have accidentally swatted it into the coffee…so maybe I committed murder, but I still mourned the loss of my coffee (and…I guess the innocent fly) and proceeded to dispose of it in the sink.

So if you were in my situation, there are 2 things you could do:

Option 1

get revenge

You could angrily shake a fist and curse the fly’s family, swearing to kill them all as vengeance for your coffee. You could use your particular set of skills to take them down one by one, like swatting, stomping, spraying, and drowning.

Option 2

what if

You could ask yourself what you could have done to prevent this. Maybe you could have talked the fly out of killing itself. Maybe you could have sprayed your coffee with insect repellent. Maybe you could keep wondering what if until you’re as dead as the fly.

In the end, there is just one question to ask yourself:

The Question

Would you still drink the coffee?

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If no, then there’s no point in doing anything but tossing it aside and making yourself a new one. It’s pretty simple. As I watched the coffee and corpse go down the drain, I thought, “No way in hell I’m drinking that now,” and got over it much faster than I would have over spilled milk. Why cry over something like that when there are much more serious things in life, like people disagreeing with you on the internet?

If something happens and there’s nothing you can do to salvage the situation (removing the fly from the coffee does nothing), then all you can do is try again. Brew that new cup of coffee. Don’t try to force yourself to drink the tainted one; that mental anguish is equivalent to getting hung up on a past event.

When something happens that you regret or can’t fix, think of it as a giant cup of coffee with a fly in it (or a moth or spider or anything you need it to be). There are two choices, drink it or leave it, and you’ve chosen to leave it.¬†You’ve actively made the decision that you don’t want it anymore, giving you the freedom to discard of it. Now you can move on!

If yes, you would drink it anyway, then…you get that extra protein. That fly has served its purpose in death. You do you, and I apologize for the uselessness of this post. (Sadly, there is no refund policy on the five minutes you’ve spent here.)

So, sure, don’t cry over spilled milk, but better yet, don’t cry over coffee with a dead fly in it.

stop crying




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