I’m weird about some of my food touching. I’m partial to divided Styrofoam plates or the one’s like kids have in school. It probably sounds bizarre, especially since I’m over 50. People who mix everything say, “It all touches when it’s in your stomach!” That may be so, but I don’t care. I can’t see it in there.
I’m OK with my biscuits and gravy touching, but not touching other stuff. (My friend Heather grosses me out at our Sunday School breakfasts. She puts grape jelly in her gravy. Not only is the idea completely sick, but it turns the gravy purple!) Lots of kids and adults let their doughnuts touch the gravy on their plates! Their fried bologna touches other stuff, too! Yikes!
I don’t like my mashed potatoes to touch stuff other than gravy, either. My beloved layers mashed potatoes, corn and peas or limas. Gracious! That makes everything slimy! He mocks me, saying that I am too picky. I also don’t do sweet and savory together. I don’t mix my M & M’s with my popcorn. I don’t want carrots in my cake. Or zucchini. Sweet stays with sweet and salty with salty. I know what I like and what I don’t! I have my own food rules.
But, a few weeks ago…
I was at a women’s conference. Before it all began, there was “brunchy” food to be enjoyed. Banana bread, scones, and other good stuff. I was excited because the banana bread was made by a lady I know well. Her’s is spectacular. I grabbed a plate and got two pieces. (I didn’t want to eat too much.) At the end of the table, there was a large bowl of fruit. Berries and watermelon were tenderly cut in pieces. (Nothing tastes better than fruit someone else has cut up!) I have a rule about watermelon and it’s a steadfast one I have never ever have broken. I love, love, love watermelon and often eat it until I’m about to pop. But…I never ever, not for even a second eat it with anything else. It just doesn’t go. Eating watermelon with something else-like Chinese food-seems to me like throwing a match to gasoline-highly explosive. (No explanation necessary.) My beloved does not agree and would eat watermelon with anything, anytime.
As I stood by the watermelon bowl, I thought of my watermelon rule. Maybe I had just made that all up in my head. Maybe now that I’m older, I should re-think how I look at some foods. Maybe watermelon can go with other stuff. I got two small pieces.
It only took about 15 minutes for me to realize that I had been right all along. Watermelon should never be eaten with anything else-in my opinion. (Thankfully, after a short and bad incident, I was able to return to the group.) Some things just shouldn’t be mixed!
I also have a problem with buffets. I see so many things I like and want! (It happens at Thanksgiving and wedding receptions, too.) I think, Oh! I want some of that! and Oh, I love that! Before I know it, I’m overloaded with things I love! My plate is bulging and I’m trying to keep it all together. And because I’m no quitter, I feel like I should finish the whole thing-like it or not. “Waste not, want not!” I‘ve always heard.
Too much on my plate…a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Soon I find that my plate is weighed down. Everything is not only touching, it’s running into everything else. Not long after, I realize I ate too many things or mixed too many things. That heavy, sludgy feeling sets in.
It can happen in everyday life, too. We have 12 months in a year, four weeks in a month, seven days in a week, 24 hours in each day. Those months, weeks and days make up our “plate”. We add this activity and that commitment, a little of this and a little of that. Suddenly we find that our plate is full. Not only full, but bulging and weighed down.
I see Moms and Dads who are always on their way somewhere fast. They’re rushing here and there doing good things. This child is in this…that child is in that. We’re in this sport, that activity…and everyone is exhausted! So many parents are simply pooped trying to get everyone to where they are supposed to be! (It makes me glad my kids are grown!)
I spoke with a mom the other day I hadn’t seen in several weeks. “My kids are so busy…” she started to explain. They are all very involved in travel teams of different activities. I wanted to say, “Sister, stop the madness!” but just said, “Wow.”
Sound familiar? Do you feel overwhelmed because you have too much on your plate? Would you really like to sit down and have a good cry but there’s no time? Have you mixed so many commitments that you’re feeling like an explosion is coming soon? Are you doing many things, but none of them well?
There’s hope and help! In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He can refresh you! And give you wisdom about what to eliminate from your “buffet” of activities!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.