I grocery shop like a pro. Really. It’s one of my super-human powers. Every Sunday I sit down with my weekly calendar and plan out the next week’s activities and meals. Then I make a grocery list that is organized geographically based on the grocery store’s aisles. I love my little grocery store – and even if I didn’t, I have it memorized, so there’s no going back now. I can get in and out of there with a week’s worth of groceries in 30 minutes, for under $75, with a happy toddler in tow. I even usually remember to defrost my meat a couple of days before I will need it (because I’m so organized I write “defrost meat” on my calendar). All of this leaves me feeling great. I love when I have a great system for something as stressful as dinner. The system takes the stress out of it for me.
Hating me a little? Don’t. Because last night, as I’m pre-heating the oven for fries, and putting the meat in a bowl to mix in spices to make burgers, I just happen to glance down at the meat package’s label. 95% lean? I didn’t mean to buy 95% lean. Ooops. So I start to hope it will still cook alright. Then I look closer. 95% lean PORK.
Let me set the scene for you. My cranky 2 year old (who doesn’t nap anymore and instead tore her room apart for 45 minutes earlier in the day) is playing the “mommy, mommy!” game (you know the one) while tugging at my pants. I’ve been to physical therapy for my back and am sore. We’re both hungry and tired. Husband is due home any second, bath time is in 40 minutes, and I’ve left barely enough time to cook the meal I planned.
Do we have canned soup in the pantry? Frozen pizza in the freezer? Chicken nuggets? Yes. Is any of that acceptable to me at this point? Nope. I can’t see past my frustration (at myself, but mostly at the pork for not being beef) enough to change plans. So I just stand. I stand in the middle of the kitchen, befuddled. Angry.
And I manage to take a deep breath. I couldn’t have done that a year ago. I would have at best, stormed out of the kitchen in tears; and at worst, chucked violently thrown the bowl of pork across the kitchen into the sink while sobbing. It would have completely ruined my whole evening. I would have internalized the mistake and felt like a failure. Over some lean ground pork. Instead I took a deep breath, shook off the anger, and got to work.
The toddler got chicken nuggets and carrots for dinner. And I looked up a pork burger recipe to cook after she went to bed (while scarfing down four handfuls of M&M’s….cause that’s healthy, right?). The pork burgers? Just okay. Being able to see a molehill for what it was? Delicious.