I bought green and wax beans the other day at the farmers market. They call them wax beans because they are yellow and look waxy I guess. The term ‘wax’ in reference to food grosses me out, so I prefer green and yellow. Or better yet, green and gold (Go Pack Go! Yes, I just went there, and yes, I used my entire first paragraph to set up the Packers reference. This is what happens when you live in the land of cheese).
I love getting fresh produce from the farmers market but it does require extra work to clean it and make it ready for consumption. It’s not like buying a bag of Steamers and popping it in the microwave (although I do love Steamers – what an awesome invention). Fresh food needs to be cleaned and cut and trimmed and peeled. Kind of a pain, all this eating healthy business. Some veggies are more of a pain than others but beans are fairly easy in the veggie cleaning line up – just wash and snap off the tops.
My process is to wash them in a colander, spread them on a clean towel, grab a few, snap off the tops and then toss the cleaned bean in a bowl and the top in a pile to the side for the garbage. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy, right? Well, I was cleaning my beans after I got home, and I kept accidentally throwing the beans in the garbage pile and the tops in the bean bowl. What the heck? After about the 10th time, I realized I had my work area set up wrong.
My natural tendency was to grab the beans with my left hand and snap off the tops with my right, so the bean bowl should have been to my left and the garbage pile to the right, and I had it reversed. This would have taken about 5 seconds to rectify and ended the awkward cross reaching, plus the time-consuming need to stop what I was doing and fish the tops out of the bean bowl. Not to mention that I was using extra energy just concentrating on my process that could have been used to create a plan for world peace and a new energy resource (HAHA. Okay, I would have created my grocery list and a plan to clean the bathrooms but still, a better use of my time). Instead, I stubbornly continued to clean my beans counter intuitively, swearing under my breath every time the tops ended up in the bean bowl.
After going thru 3/4 of my beans, I finally set my ego aside and fixed my workstation. I finished the rest of my beans lickety split (I like to say that word. Lickety split. Or is it lickety spit? Hmmmm….). I wasted a lot of time and effort fighting my body, but was too prideful to admit my set up was wrong and I was too lazy to expend the energy to change it, even though I used way more energy trying to fight it. Apparently this thing on my neck really is just a helmet holder.
Life is like that, isn’t it? The thought of making a change, even one that will make my life easier, seems like too much trouble and effort, so I keep on trying to control the wrong things. I read once that a person won’t make a change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. Pain yes, but pride too. My ego tells me my process is right and if I could just control myself, all would be well. This is especially true in my eating habits and in my relationship with God.
I will never be able to eat normal portions if I don’t have a handle on why I am eating in the first place, and I will never be able to grow in my relationship with God if I continue to try to commune with Him according to rules and obligation. It’s hard to change what I have always done, and the process of making that change seems overwhelming. But like moving my bean bowl, the initial energy needed to make a change is greater, but is less overall because of the energy saved on the other side of the change. The sooner the change, the more energy saved. With all those energy savings, I could qualify for an Energy Star.
Thus starts my quest to move the bean bowls in my life that are causing me to stumble and seeking God for change and direction. I don’t think it will be easy, but I believe with His help, all things are possible. One of the biggest changes I see coming is my commitment to writing. In fact, the very idea is giving me anxiety at this very moment. But, you know how sometimes you crave something, like maybe a bowl of ice cream or a donut, and you decide not to have it because it’s fattening or whatever, so you eat everything else in your cupboard instead, and then end up eating the ice cream or donut anyway? That’s what this is like. I feel like I have spent years eating around my desire to write, thinking I would never be able to make a living at it or be good enough. Instead I have tried to find satisfaction or direction in other areas, and while I have been successful, I am still wandering around my house opening up cupboards.
I’m scared. I’m scared of failing, of not being good enough, of dying poor and penniless living out of a cardboard box with nothing but my thermos à la Steve Martin in The Jerk. But I think I am more scared of not trying it. Of never knowing.
How about you? What are the “bean bowls” in your life that need moving? I love hearing from you!