Poor Man’s Ramen, a Lunch for Busy People.
Yesterday was nuts.
Or, more accurately, I should say yesterday I was nuts.
Any day that starts with your to-do list clicking through your brain before your feet hit the floor and the coffee hits your veins is bound to be a disaster. Or at the very least a circus. I’ve lived enough life to know this, yet still I ignore the warning signs and allow myself to get swept up in the tide of busy-ness.
And I swear kids, or at least my kids, have an innate sixth sense into a parents psyche. Like a shark senses blood in the water, they sniff out your stress before you even say a word. And because they’re kids, and clearly not the evolved humans that we as adults claim to be, they choose then to ratchet up their nonsense. They fight, whine, yell, and then follow you around the house arguing against the household rule about changing their underpants daily. And this is all before 7:15am drop off.
A day that starts off like this, in my experience, is bound to quickly slide down into train-wreck territory if you let it. And boy did I. I didn’t stop. I didn’t take a breath. I didn’t re-group. I felt too burdened down by my must-dos, my should-dos and my would be nice to-dos. I let the tide of the day drag me down. I ran around like a crazy person. Dropping off, picking up, painting, doing lunch, planting (don’t even get me started on this one. Despite consistent failure in the gardening department, I keep trying. Which I think is the definition of insanity), and being a taxi service. There is very little that I didn’t do yesterday. Except spend any time being still. Or quiet. Or pray. And my behavior, thoughts, and actions let this sad little fact shine through. Because I’m sure that God, with all that he’s done for me, deserves a little more than the penciled in prayer time slot of the drivetime between Sprouts and Lowes. But yesterday I was too busy, too self-important, and too preoccupied to give him any of it. And for what?
My momma always used to tell me that there are no rewards in heaven for being busy all the time.
My momma is a very wise woman.
This summer I was struggling through my new-found stay at home mom-ness and stumbled into a bible study at church. To be completely transparent, one of the main reasons I joined was loneliness. I was searching for a new tribe. I was looking to rebuild and knew that I needed something deeper, something to guide me to the life I had been trying to recapture for some time, but failing miserably at doing so. There are no accidents in life, friends, because this particular bible study was it. Written by Shuana Niequest, Present over Perfect was the exact book I needed to read at the exact time I needed to read it. It spoke of slowing down, building the life you want, and centering it all on the love of God. She doesn’t know it yet, but Shauna may be my spirit animal (and not in a creepy stalker way or anything, but I think we should be friends). Her words cut so deep and meant so much in that time of my life that I drank them like water straight from a well. The Lord knew I needed those words, that fellowship, and that message. And it spoke right to my soul.
So I slowed life down. I spent time getting reacquainted with God. I forgave myself. I rebuilt.
And it was just what I needed.
Then yesterday happened, and I blew it all up. I let busy-ness seep in and began to push that quiet time to the back burner. I said yes to projects that are awesome and good and wonderful, just not for me where my life is right now. And my soul started to burn a little bit, like it had just touched a hot pan. I began to feel frustration well up and little things started to go wrong. I drove too fast to get from thing to thing to thing. I snapped at my children, even when they didn’t deserve it. I didn’t respond to messages that needed replies and I missed calls from friends and family which left me feeling disconnected from the anchors of my life, the people in it.
I was so busy being so awesomely busy that I wasn’t even being me. I wasn’t being my best self. I got a lot done. But I’m not sure I got a lot done well. And it wasn’t until the end of the night, when I sat on the couch in an exhausted stupor that I realized that I had failed miserably at actually living my day. I gave nothing to God. I gave nothing to the people who are the most important to me. I didn’t even really give anything to myself. And I’m not sure how I even got to the end of the day. The entire thing was like an out of body experience. I didn’t savor one thing. And I hated it.
Listen, we all do this. I know we do. When I stopped working I thought it would be the end of my mad shuffle days. I looked at my time, now without interviews and meetings, as a wide open playground certain that I now would be able to do and accomplish everything that I had put off for so long. But those mad shuffle days didn’t end, the boss just changed. As moms, and as women, we tend to fill up with stuff because a) life is just busy and little people need things done and b) we want to do more, be more and care more for others than ourselves. We want to be important. And like George Costanza, sometimes we confuse importance with busy-ness. Make no mistake about it, you are important. You’re important whether or not you volunteer two hours at the book fair. You’re important whether or not you kill it at that presentation and close the deal. You’re important whether or not your house is spotless and a perfect dinner is on the table. You’re important to your family. Your loved ones. And most importantly God.
So stop. I’m not saying that you can’t be busy, we all know this happens. This is life. And life can be crazy with its demands. But stop. Breathe. Pray. Give yourself permission to slow down. Even for just a few minutes. God wants you to really LIVE this life. Not just survive. Your days are not meant to be out of body experiences. Breathe them in. I promise the book fair will still exist if you don’t volunteer every day. I promise your kids will live on hot dogs a night or two a week (my kids are living, breathing, walking proof of this). I promise. But more importantly, I think God does too.
And maybe make yourself my Poor Man’s Ramen for lunch. I make this about 3 times per week, it takes about 3 minutes and it costs about 3 cents to make (not actual retail value). Plus, it’s good for the soul whether you’re eating it seated nicely at the table, or say, slurping it from a bowl on the counter as you try to get 10 other things done at one time. (I know this from experience).
So do yourself a favor. Make a bowl. Sit. Enjoy it. And if anything I wrote here strikes a chord and hits a little too close to home, go buy this book. Drop me a line. We’ll talk about it. I don’t know a whole lot, but I’ve been there, and I’d love to chat you through it.
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Poor Mans Ramen
- 1 Package Ramen Noocles (just the noodles, throw the flavor packet away)
- 1 Egg
- 2-3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
- Sesame Seeds
- Step 1 Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook package according to package directions, draining when complete.
- Step 2 In a small saute pan, heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil until shimmering. Add egg, careful not to break the yolk. Cook on one side until white is cooked through, gently flip over and cook 1 more minute to set, without breaking yolk.
- Step 3 Add cooked ramen to a bowl. Top with soy sauce and remaining sesame oil. Top with egg and season with Sriracha and sesame seeds to taste.
- Step 4 Before eating, break the yolk into the noodles, stirring the sauce to coat the noodles.
- Step 5 Enjoy!