Waffles 🧇

It’s late afternoon on a Wednesday. My energy’s up compared to the previous two days, so I decide to meal prep. With an idea list made and a plan in place, I get to work.

First, the dishes. Generally my least favorite chore but with my recently upbeat attitude, it rather seemed rewarding. Mindfulness. That’s what my therapist calls it. I’ve heard somewhere that even dishes can be a form of meditation if we allow ourselves to be in the moment. And I did.

I slowly wiped each glass and container then gently and meticulously set them in the machine to wash. I clean them, and the machine sanitizes them, or at least that’s what I tell myself. It’s a nice task, one where the progress freely shows itself as the prize of an empty sink (mostly empty anyway).

Next was tea. A job well done deserves an equally nice celebration. I filled the kettle and gently placed it on its well known burner. The dial slowly turned until it stopped just below the “Hi” mark. It’s usual place for such a task, and patiently I waited for the not quite yet broken whistle to plead its cry. Again the dial turned, the opposite direction this time. All the way around to “OFF.” I carefully pressed my thumb down to open the spout, lifted the kettle, and filled my cup.

After a few moments sipping tea, it was time to get back to work. Waffle making now. Some basic math and a bowl full of batter later, the waffle maker was ready. It was a borrowed appliance used to cook the boxes of protein pancake mix sitting in our cabinets into waffles that were to be frozen for future use.

I slowly poured the first batch on the steaming iron, closed the lid, and gently spun it over. Now patiently waiting for the green light to show life. Then over again it went. The lid came up. The waffle was out. This happened three times and on the fourth, I learned a new lesson.

What I thought was a fancy non-stick waffle iron was in fact a fancy will-stick waffle iron. The comedic relief it brought to my slow mindful afternoon was cherished. A silly Facebook post was made. Laughs were had. And luckily Travis was already at the store.

After just a call and a short wait, I had my newly acquired non-stick spray. Back at it I was! A waffle making machine! With one waffle in the iron and one more to go, Travis asked how long it takes to cook a single waffle. “So we can judge how long it takes to make a whole box” he said. Fair question “I’ll time the next one” I replied.

Last bit of batter in the appliance and I can see the home stretch. Life is gre…

“Oh Wait!! I forgot to time it!!”

“It’s ok, it’s only been a few seconds” my wise mind reassures me.

“Right” I said “I can let it go a bit extra at the end.” And I start the stopwatch.

Another peaceful wait as I timed the duration of the waffle-making process (three minutes if you want to know). The light went green, I spun the machine over, lifted the lid, and plated the last waffle!

“I thought you were planning to time that” jokes Travis.

AHHHHHH!!! TRAVIS! UGH JUST STOP!!!“ yells some random lady in the room as she quickly stopped the timer.

Ok fine… it was me… I’m the random lady, happy? I’m the one who yelled… and for no real reason other than a massive surge of negative emotions that rose within me just as Travis uttered his last words.

Kidding! My husband lives, haha! And I’m really happy that he does. But that emotionally charged reaction that I had… that was real. That was so real. As if my life was at stake, and I had to try something. Anything! To save myself from the trauma that was headed my way.

And that’s what trauma does to us. That’s PTSD in a nutshell. It might be a specific person from my past or maybe because most of the men in my life had underlying intentions with their little jokes and jabs. But whatever the cause, Travis has to read the room and judge if he’s free to be playful.

This was a small thing. One I realized immediately and apologized for without hesitation. But I wish it didn’t happen. And that it didn’t happen so often.

That being said I’ve made a lot of progress which is evident in how immediate I realized what I’d done. By learning to identify my triggers and being willing to call myself out for what I’m truly experiencing, I’ve been able grow over time and become less reactive. It hasn’t been easy but it’s definitely been worth it.

I’m sure many of you can relate and also have specific triggers that elicit responses that seem out of your control. For that I’m sorry. I’m sorry you’re struggling. Remember to love yourself through those things and learn from them rather than learning to resent yourself. Remember to be proud of how far you’ve come rather than feel shame for how far you still have to go. You’re worth it! Remember to give yourself love and don’t forget to have a nap and a snack!

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