Restocking an Empty Cupboard: 5 Nightly Questions & A Poem

What You Can

You give what you can when you have it
You take it in stride when you don’t
You do what you can when you feel it
It isn’t a crime if you won’t

You say what you can when the words are at hand
You keep it inside when they’re not
You be what you can if the cupboard’s bare
You can’t play it cool when you’re hot

Who are you
Who am I
Acting on command

I don’t need to play the part to do the best I can

Being you
Being me
Drop the fake demands

I don’t need to go beyond the one I know I am

Same old, same old, same old. Stress, stress, stress. Yada, yada, yada. Right? Don’t you get tired of it all sometimes? Maybe all the time? I mean, it’s like a chronic case of being broke and running on empty – you pitch a few bucks of gas in the tank when you have the dough and somehow keep on keepin’ on.

And such is life when the emotional/mental cupboard is bare.

Now, I wrote the poem you just read several years ago, so it’s obvious I’m a battle-tested (worn) veteran. Perhaps like you. And I’ve come to know settling for an empty cupboard is not an option. It’s up to us to muster all of our available internal and external resources and rally (I love that word).

Newsflash – we have the power, authority, and provision to restock our empty cupboards.

Here are 5 cupboard-restocking questions I ask myself every night when I hit the sack…


  • Did you do your best today?
  • Were you honest with yourself and others today?
  • Were you “you” today?
  • Are there lessons to be learned from today?
  • Are you better off today than you were yesterday?

Now, that works very well for me, as it may for you. But if it doesn’t, get to work and find something that does. And always keep it within finger’s reach so you can easily access it the next time the cupboard’s bare. And you know as well as I there will definitely be a  next time.

It’s tough out there, folks. But you know that, don’t you? Yes, the cupboard’s going to get bare from time to time. And we’re going to have to work creatively and hard to self-nourish while we restock. For my money, the best way to do both is grounded in knowing we’re doing our level best, staying honest and true to ourselves and others, and applying our lessons learned to our daily lives.

What more can we ask of ourselves, and do?

All of us need your feelings, thoughts, strategies, and techniques. Please share with us in a comment.