You can usually tell what kind of day it’s going to be by your response to the breakfast pancakes. I can remember watching my sister flip pancakes for the first time and how irritated she got. Sometimes, it’s just not as easy as it looks. The first pancake is usually sacrificed to heat and oil calibration. It’s so ugly, nobody will eat the first one. Then, on a good day, you get the temperature adjusted or add a little more oil, and you’re good-to-golden-pancakes go. But some days, none of those blasted pancakes want to do anything right. They fold and they burn. You step away from the kitchen for a moment (or ten), and they’re scorched. Toasted. These are bad days; you can always see it coming. The whole rest of the day is usually just trash. All because of those stupid pancakes. So much easier when everybody just eats bananas for breakfast. Why do kids think they need pancakes? Why? They’re not even that healthy for you.
Today, I was having a bad pancake morning. The kind where you wham your spatula into every single pancake in the pan to help it along on its destructive journey. Wham. Wham. My first two pancakes wouldn’t flip and I was about to wham them. Then, an unseen force held my arm in high swing: “Turn this day around.” Hmmm. Can I? I stopped. I critically analyzed the situation and decided to do three very logical, productive things:
- Turn up the heat a little.
- Make sure there was oil distributed where I poured pancake batter.
- Get a bigger spatula.
Beautiful golden pancakes that my daughters adored all the way to the last bit of batter.
I’m busy. I don’t want to make pancakes. My heart isn’t in it.
The pancakes know it, and they mirror that and self-destruct. I’ve decided–those darn pancakes are simply an early day self-reflection of my attitude. If I can turn my attitude around and analyze the situation early, my day will go a whole lot better.
Is there too much heat? Too much stress. Too much going on. Maybe I need to turn it down.
Is there not enough heat? Maybe I’m lackluster. I’ve blowing things off that need me. Maybe I need to get on the ball and throw myself into a situation.
Am I rushing in to flip too fast? I’m too impatient. Thinking I can hurry things along which just shouldn’t be hurried. I need to back off, killer.
Am I filling up the time with other stuff, not flipping thus in time, and burning the pancakes? I don’t seriously know why I think I can shower and make pancakes at the same time. Why do I? Why do I think I can take on so many things and then get frustrated when my family seems to implode?
Am I making them too big? Sometimes, the stairway and mantle Christmas decorations need to be kept in the storage box for the year. Or the tomatoes need to not be canned. There are simply times to scale projects down.
Do I need more oil? Sometimes, a little down-time and pampering are needed. A little self-TLC (not THC). If I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be caring for others. And everybody needs me in their problems–you know, right?–ha!– so I’d better take care of myself!
Do I need less oil? Sometimes I can drown in self-pity and self-entitlement. Oh, me. Oh, my. Why-oh-why? Probably days I can let that go. Pancakes don’t do well with too much oil drowning them, and neither do I.
It’s not the pancakes. It’s me.
Slow down. Speed up. Lube life up a little more or a little less. Turn up the heat. Turn down the heat. Stay focused on the pancakes and life will be golden.
Did you know that making pancakes could be such a challenging and thought-stimulating production? This stay-at-home gig is better than a paid college course in psychology. I never do know why colleges charge so much per credit hour.
What activity in your daily life is trying to tell you something?
What mundane activity in your life commonly reflects your inner mood? Have any? Care to share?