I tend to think of myself as a person without routines but the fact is that I have routines, I simply don't like them. I routinely get up in the morning mere moments before I need to leave, and as a result I leave without a packed lunch or having eaten breakfast. I routinely roll into the office at precisely 2 minutes AFTER 8:30, technically making me late. And there are other things, like my routine of rarely doing dishes after cooking, and staying up to watch the Late Late Show with TV's Craig Ferguson, only to be too lazy to mess with the antenna to get the picture to come in. Did I not tell you that our house runs on rabbit-ear antennae and dial-up internet? True story.
So, if we do things that we don't like, or that we know are not smart, and seeing that are bothered by it, why not change it? Let's take breakfast as an example. I know that it's a good idea to eat breakfast. I'm typically hungry in the morning, and well, if I don't eat something by 11 I've already descended into a blood sugar low, resulting in a profound fatigue, crankiness, and eventually a headache that takes hours to remedy. (I'll post an entry about my love/hate relationship with Excedrin Migraine at another time.) I KNOW this. What's that definition of insanity... something about repetitiveness and result? Anyway, one thing leads to another, meaning if I'm up late, and wake late, there's no time for breakfast. And if I cooked supper the night before, but didn't do dishes and didn't pack up any leftovers, I've got no lunch to take. But breakfast is easy... a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, some toast, an egg, whatever. Where do I horn in on my own neurosis to change things up? What do I fix first? Is it more likely that I'll remedy getting up late, or should I throw the makings of a breakfast in my stylish Rivera Maya Mexico tote and carry it with me to work? Before you chime in, let me say that I tried that, and it worked for a period of time, but then somebody stole my whole grain oat bread out of the fridge so I'm left with strawberry jam and unsalted butter and nothing to shmear it on. I should probably drop this grudge against Anonymous and try again.
There is a cafe downstairs that has a fine selection of breakfast and lunch items but I have 2 issues with the cafe... first, I have no business spending $7 on a muffin and hot cocoa when for 1/2 that I could buy a tub of oatmeal that would feed me for weeks and weeks. A muffin is a treat, not breakfast. And OH! they've got this sick hashbrown casserole that's more or less a heart attack in a styrofoam cup (available in 2 sizes) that's super delicioso, the greasier the better, out of this world when there's cheese oil at the bottom of the cup. Second thing is the styrofoam itself. I mean, it's styrofoam. One day I noted that my office trash can was full after buying breakfast AND lunch downstairs. I've asked for things to be packed in just foil but the message doesn't seem to successfully travel from the cashier order-taker (and owner, by the way) to the preparer of the vittles. I once got a small clam-shell styrofoam box holding 3 pickle spears that were already wrapped in foil (per my request). Why the box, boys? This styrofoam thing is something that we too easily set out of our heads after we've dropped it into the trashcan. Thanks for using the trashcan, btw, and not throwing things out of your car, or leaving them wherever. If I see you litter you can be damned sure you'll hear from me. When I last visited the family in Amdo, Tibet, I threw all my proverbial weight around, admonishing the children (in 2 languages!) for wantonly dropping candy wrappers wherever they stood. Trash just blows through the streets there. But I digress...
My point is that it's not using good judgement to 1. buy "outside" (i.e. not homemade) food if it's more than an occasional treat or a purposeful outing, and 2. to buy anything that's unnecessarily packaged. I've tried bringing back my previously-used boxes but food service places frown on that type of recycling. Even as I ponder this no-buying shift (that shouldn't be a shift, but a good strong habit by now since my Dad taught me better than this), being that my mind is one that jumps, and tries to see all sides, I recognize that my patronage of this little mom-and-pop cafe is better than, say, my purchasing breakfast from a fast food joint, in that it supports local business, which supports Community, etc. etc. That's important but let's try to keep things rational. Somebody's value system is going to direct that they value a fine cup of coffee every morning, and since they've determined that it's valuable to them, they'll buy it. The joy I get from the "outside" food doesn't come close to the amount of work it takes to earn the money to buy the meal. Usually, it takes longer to earn the money than it does to eat the meal itself!
Ultimately my point is that I want to eat fresh food that's as natural as possible, and reduce my trash production so that Wall-E won't ever have to schlep a box, bag, or miscellaneous piece of Made-In-China crap on my behalf.
SO. Breakfast... yes! Homemade and nourishing. More money saved, health supported, and less trash produced.
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