How many times have you allowed your own or others’ agendas of the tyranny of the almighty schedule to sap the very life out of you? Forgive me for once again being the Queen of the Obvious but have you ever noticed that when you ‘Do-Do’ too much that ‘Oh, Oh’ is added to one’s life with a logical, predictable and even phonetically obvious result? ‘Do-Do’ turns to ‘Dooh – Dooh’. Regardless of how this is pronounced, the options are less than desirable – either to be dazed and confused, or to feel horrible. Need I say more? Be assured, I do intend to. It’s only the beginning of this blog, after all! Hang on tight, I promise there are nutritional thoughts ahead.
Speaking of nutrition, let’s take a moment to think about the to-do list, schedule or agenda as a huge plate of flapjacks flopped on the table in front first thing in the morning. Call it the hijack of the flapjack. One takes a look, gulps, and then digs in, swallowing every morsel until that familiar nearly bursting sensation is felt. When one works so hard being busy to fulfill expectations without stopping to question appetite, portion size or nutritional value, stomach ache (resentment), the need for a nap (exhaustion) and carb overload (confusion) are certain to follow.
Gobbling or wolfing down the pancakes is not the answer – increasing the speed doesn’t help with digestion. It is not the pancake stack’s fault that we choose to eat so much. The beauty of the breakfast nook is not to blame. While it is obvious that no one feels good eating that many pancakes, getting rid of the whole plate of pancakes leaves us feeling hungry. What is one to do? It would be more fun to simply say one was allergic to pancakes involved, but that would be a lie. We have to eat, the flapjacks are right there in front of us, so we have to eat. We are obligated to do so. Or are we? Since when did the concept of full get pushed aside? It is important to ‘do’ but not constantly. Not every flapjack is necessary. Scottish oats are nice once in awhile. Maybe even eggs benedict. Rest and reflection are important, taking time to think about what needs to be on the plate for breakfast in the first place. Why not choose to eat one or two pancakes or even better, know when we will be full and stop?
I’ve been wondering about those times when nothing gets done. What happens when a person gets up every morning and approaches the day as if there is an empty plate, anticipating a sudden flurry of all things delectable to mysteriously appear? There is no ordering from the menu or making any attempt to make breakfast, there is only the sit up to the table and “be”. Focus on the internal and expect the external to show up without any action or interaction.
To me, this is the ‘Be-Be’ trap. I think of it as the ‘BB’ gun of life that ends up shooting you in the rear. Too many options with a mindset of constantly mulling over possibilities due to insecurity, fear or plain lack of gumption without choosing to walk forward means that you skip breakfast entirely. Be assured, this is not judgment, this is self-reflection. I’ve been in this state all too often. Starvation and dizziness and fainting happen when one doesn’t eat. Think of it as missing the abundance of a life that is full because the options are too perplexing. Sometimes one just has to get up and pop a piece of toast in the toaster. Just start. Who knows what adventure lies next? It might be that on the way to the toaster, that I see the eggs and the bacon and a whole meal is made. Just because I chose to do one small thing. Get up from the table and look for bread and the toaster.
I wonder. Could ‘do’ and ‘be’ work together to solve these two nutritional imbalances? Surely, there is a contented spot between starvation and excess satiation.
As I write today, I admit I have an appetite for what’s next in my life. Coincidentally, I’m actually hungry. Could use some bacon and eggs. But I digress, as always. Or, even better, let’s sachet ourselves right over to the buffet of great ideas hidden inside the topic of breakfast.
You just can’t plan these things! Just one second ago, with no exaggeration or imagination, I was asked the question, ‘do you want to make me some breakfast?’ Since my usual answer is a guffaw or a grump, I’m going to step up and step out and make us some breakfast. After all, I’m hungry, too.
Back now, after a delicious egg-in-the-hole breakfast and great conversation. Totally worth it. I had to live out the first couple of paragraphs where I said ‘maybe one should get up and go to the toaster’. I did it. It works. I had the extra blessing of a great visit with a beloved family member. How about you and I both pull up a chair now and talk about what a breakfast of champions (or shall I say the victuals of victory) would look like?
This past summer, I had the best breakfast I have ever had. Imagine a quaint veranda surrounded by luscious foliage overlooking the ocean. Crisp white linens on a casual table. Orange juice, eggs benedict with smoked salmon, fresh fruit and the blessing of a great friend to share it with. To me, that is the breakfast of champions. The joy of an inspiring and peaceful atmosphere, while enjoying an aesthetically pleasing and lovingly prepared breakfast over alternatively thought-provoking and frivolous conversation is etched in my heart forever. This is what I see in my mind when I think of my own personal breakfast of champions.
Place setting, plate and menu do affect appetite. Stress, difficulty, want, loss can lead to skipping breakfast. A chipped plate, lack of cutlery or undesirable menu make it hard to digest. Sometimes, eating breakfast has to become a discipline. It may not be served at all, it may be a step by step painful process. Having a buffet every day leads to complacency. Simplicity, humility and thankfulness make for a contented breakfast. It’s just not that easy some days.
It is unrealistic to burn the to-do list. It is cavalier to waste one’s days waiting for the perfect meal to arrive. It is healthy to accomplish goals. It is healthy to approach life with a sense of wonder and confidence. Why not combine these two? I think it’s more than ideal, it’s essential.
What does this look like? How do I maintain this? The best part of waking up is not my coffee though I am a baby about it. Whipping cream and honey in strong coffee is hard to beat. Beyond this, there’s a melody that I wake up to every day. It’s the “Do-Be-Do-Be” song. No, I’m not plagiarizing an 80’s band. This is a new tune, a melody that marks how much more tuned in I am becoming or at least attempting to become.
My metaphorical breakfast of champions includes choosing some ‘be’ time before scheduling the ‘bee’ time. The proportion of this changes daily. However, I choose to approach life with confidence of the following truths: that I am not alone; I need to be in community; there is something for me to do. That there is someone I am uniquely meant to be and so I also choose not to wallow in wishes over what that looks like. Hope and future require both be and do. Chill out instead of chafing at the bit to run myself ragged.
In the morning, I create or adjust the to-do list in my planner meaningfully consulting the One with the Plan. On a day where the milk run could leave me sour, I need more ‘be’ time. It’s not perfect. It can’t be – I’m involved in this process. One day may be filled with ‘be’ and the next with ‘do’. There’s no easy solution but balancing these overall over time is really helpful. It’s a matter of waking every day and choosing to approach life with a sense of being and doing. Wearing the ‘be’ in my bonnet, beret, boater or ball cap, as I sing the sonnet of ‘Do-Be-Do-Be’.
I love Isaiah 55. Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. If you don’t have money, come buy and eat. Why do you spend your wages on what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Be and do, do and be! That’s a filling and fulfilling scripture that speaks to me. I would love to say that every day starts with a great breakfast but that wouldn’t be very true. What I can say is that it is absolutely evident by day’s end when I’ve had a good breakfast and when I haven’t. So, moving forward, let’s move with courage to daily choose to consume a balanced breakfast of ‘Do-Be-Do-Be’ and enjoy the victuals of victory!
(c) January 16, 2015 Sandra Foster, Ranenpur