Sunday, November 1, 2009

Burnt Chicken

I could have used some more extra hours this weekend, but I did the best with what I had.

This weekend was pretty packed...the longest UNO game E-V-E-R, meal planning and grocery shopping, It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, a little cleaning, Halloween with our close friends, Church, Girl Scout troop training, a little personal reading, some writing, some beta-reading critiqing (a lot of -ing's). I was feeling pretty good about getting it all done and keeping a smile on my face.

But when I tried to fry some chicken tonight (something I don't even claim to know how to do) I got frustrated when the last batch got burned.

I find this to be a trend in my life - worrying over something little and not showing gratitude for everything else this trivial event blocks out. My focus is too narrow and lacking the appreciation that I should have for the many accomplishments that I actually did achieve.

Rather than thanking God 100x each day for waking up, not getting into a car accident, not struggling with the symptoms of a fatal disease, not being oppressed or the victim of a hate-crime, or simply for having a plethora of blessings (wonderful family, beautiful home, two working cars, family close by, full-time job with benefits, democracy, etc.)...I think about the inconveniences in my life and those I love.

You wouldn't believe how stupid I sound having one-sided conversations with the horrible drivers on the roads of Charlotte (seriously we are right up there with New Yorkers). My heart rate speeds up and I allow myself to actually wish there was a police officer around to "give them what they deserve." How awful is that? I should pray for them and think loving thoughts instead of getting angry.

Occasionally, I admit to feeling like I deserve to spend money on manicures and pedicures, and try to think of ways to work this into our normal budget. How petty! Why do I deserve this? Less money than the cost of a mani-pedi could support a child in a third world country and yet I struggle with that idea. The desire to treat myself is so strong it actually hurts sometimes.

I will think no more about this chicken. And I will eat the chicken. Granted, I'll smother it in extra Thai sauce, but I will not toss it. As I chew...and chew...I'll remember that it takes a few mistakes to appreciate perfection and that not everything will meet my stringent expectations.

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