Weekend Meditation: Cooking with Lucy Ricardo

It was one of those days in the kitchen today. An awkward tumble of Lucy Ricardo moments, one slapstick event following the other. Things kept burning, or dropping, or breaking. I picked up the ripe tomato I was counting on and --yuck--found it to be overripe. I blew a fuse by using the toaster oven and the electric kettle at the same time and ran out of sugar before I was done. I cut my thumb and watched, speechless, as I bled a bright red poppy into a bowl of perfectly made, creamy white gazpacho.

It was then, finally, that I gave up.

Sometimes things go so horribly wrong, it's clear that I have to give in. I just can't fight it anymore and I surrender into 'one of those days' kind of days. This is usually accompanied by a shrug, followed up by a glass of wine on the living room couch. Sometimes surrendering has its rewards.

Two things help me wriggle out of the clutches of a bad day. The first is that I've learned over the years that wanting things to be different only adds to the problem. This is not saying I'm not going to do something about my circumstances. This is not a passive stance. This is simply replacing the 'why me?' with a 'now what?'

The second thing is knowing/remembering that things change and this moment's series of unfortunate events will not last forever. Tomorrow, perhaps even this evening, my very terrible, horrible, no good, awful day will be in the past and I will be thoroughly engaged in what ever the next thing is. Often, this next thing isn't nearly as distressing. Often, it's rather pleasant.

The third thing that just occurred to me is that humor helps. So my nickname for those unfortunate series of mishaps is that I'm having a Lucy Ricardo moment/afternoon/day. This helps me to remember that my once perfect, now spoiled gazpacho is not something to hook my identity on. I am not my mistakes!

OK, there is a fourth thing: bursting into tears is always an option.

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Weekend Meditation

Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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