A Spoonful of Sugar

There is a song in Mary Poppins….A Spoonful of Sugar…..where she is trying to convince her young charges that in “ev’ry job that must be done…there is an element of fun” and once you do so, then your tasks become a “piece of cake” and the chorus plays over and over that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way.”

Whereas that is a bit too cheery for even someone like me, the truth is that looking for ways to brighten a dull existence can pay off in extraordinary dividends.

In my very ordinary life, I have a very ordinary morning and breakfast. I get up, get dressed, try to spend 30 minutes or so in prayer or bible study and then come to work. As I am not hungry when I first get up, I fix a bowl of oatmeal at work between 8:30 and 9 AM. It is boring instant oatmeal in a single-serving size packet to which I add 3 TB of Benecal fiber (healthy yet dull).

On days where I feel daring, I fix “fruit-flavored” oatmeal which has bits of colored stuff in it. (One of my co-workers, seeing my sugary-smelling flecked-with-color breakfast remarked that he did not know the Fruit Loops was making oatmeal.) I take this culinary treat and eat at my desk while checking emails and beginning my day.

Not a lot of joy there, eh?

But this past December I purchased and read several wonderful cooking magazines. I know that those close to me are wondering “Why?” When you live solo and work full-time and get home between 6 and 7 PM, the motivation to cook is really low and I mean…..really low.

Recently, I have begun cooking several meals on weekends that I can then eat during the week but truly, my interest in cooking has not been that high and past readers know that it can also be a bit dangerous for me to try to cook. (2012-08-26 Beer Can Chicken)

But as I glanced through the magazine, I happen to come upon a picture of oatmeal for breakfast. But it was not MY oatmeal—it was a bowl of oatmeal topped with walnuts and raspberries and blueberries. It was a bowl of beauty.

So, the next Monday….my ordinary life found a bit of joy…..do you have any idea what ¼ cup of fresh raspberries added to Benecal-non-fruity flavored oatmeal can do for your taste buds…. and your attitude? And I did not stop there—I have since experimented with fresh blueberries and sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Next up…………who knows??? I now live with a sense of adventure.

It is such a little thing…but this blog is about little and ordinary things and trying to find joy in them. Sometimes joy can be big and internal just as I expressed in my Happy New Year post. (2013-01-01 Faith and Joy – Happy New Year 2013) Sometimes it is found in relationships and trips and dinners out and special events.

But sometimes it can be very simple—a mere spoonful of sugar or in my case, a small helping of fresh fruit.  But you have to be willing to look for it…to make an effort and to not always settle for the status quo.

To joy…………….and ¼ cup of raspberries……………and to whatever other small treats I can find along the way that will make my very ordinary life not quite so ordinary….. and the wish that you may find the same in yours.

jfh