I'm either the smartest dumb person or the dumbest smart person ever to exist. Okay, so this might be a bit hyperbolic, but it feels very true in my life as what I am about to share with you is the type of thing that happens to me All. The. Time. Last night I decided to make a tuna casserole (please set aside your opinions on tuna or casseroles in general for the sake of the blog post). I cut up the onions and celery then began mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl. It felt familiar; until it didn't. Once I put the noodles into the bowl, the task became downright difficult to the point I started talking to myself: "Why is it so hard to mix noodles with creamed soup and cheese?" But I kept stirring and stirring, hearing the crunch of noodles against the spoon until it finally dawned on me...I had forgotten to cook the noodles.
Wanting to turn an embarrassing incident into one of meaning, I started to wonder if the uncooked noodles couldn't represent how people try to live life everyday. For 29 years now, I have watched students take shortcuts in their education almost every chance they get. Just like adults who take shortcuts with their health choices everyday. Instant gratification is a much stronger driving force than the investment into the future self.
Now, my noodles were an unintended shortcut (I just poured broth over the whole mixture, covered in foil, then baked it anyway - it turned out edible), but the principle is still evident. When we skip steps like doing homework or exercise or cooking the noodles, the next steps in life become much harder. We need to be patient with the process of the things that we know are good for us because we make life harder when we skip small but important steps - like cooking the noodles.
Or, if none of that makes sense, I also learned that taking a nap before cooking is not for me.