Have you ever had a thing that really pisses you off? You don’t know why it pisses you off, but it does. My thing is crumb cake.
Periodically, I wake up on a Friday morning to see this little aluminum foil package resting on my kitchen counter. I see it sitting there, I know what’s in it. It’s that damn crumb cake. It just sits there on the counter and I get angry. Polite social graces prohibit me from kicking the little package across the room. Instead I ignore it. Well, I don’t just ignore it, because I can’t. I make snarky comments at my husband who is responsible for bringing the offensive package in to the house. I make mean spirited jokes about the cake, the baker and the event that brought about the crumb cake. I refuse to eat the crumb cake or let my children eat it. Then as it always happens I walk away pissed off and upset because I have no idea why this crumb cake upsets me so much.
I like to fancy myself an observant and somewhat rational person, so I’m clear that something is off with these crumb cake episodes. Up until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t figure out what was so upsetting about crumb cake. I actually like crumb cake, just not this particular crumb cake. I’m not a jealous person, so it wasn’t that I was jealous of my husband having a female friend who likes to bake. I don’t resent him going out with his friends so it wasn’t that. I really couldn’t figure out why that aluminum foil package filled with innocent baked goods would cause me so much anger and resentment.
But, I have made a commitment to myself to be an observer of my life, to not leave one stone (or crumb cake) unturned in an effort to find my peace. So, I observed…
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago when my husband and I were sitting at a local bar sharing an appetizer and a glass of wine when it hit me. The crumb cake, the aluminum foil package, even the randomness of the arrival of the crumb cake all came together in one quick memory. And it made sense.
When I was a child I lived with my alcoholic father. Every day, I on my way home from school I would stop by the bar to let my father know I was on my way home. Upon arriving at the bar, I encountered quite a few regulars who clearly spent a good amount of time drinking at this bar. They all knew my name, they knew who my father was and they knew we didn’t have a lot of food at home, because my father was drinking the grocery money. Every once in a while the bar employees and/or the patrons would give me food wrapped in aluminum foil. They had good intentions, but I resented these people, who they were and what they represented, I couldn’t eat the food. I would just stand there with the stupid aluminum foil package in my hand not knowing what to say. I would smile, thank them and go home with this stupid package.
Usually when I have these memories, I get pissed off. I resent my family for not giving me the childhood I “should” have had. But every time I have one of these out-of-the-blue memories I realize how much I’ve been through. I raised myself, I learned right from wrong by watching two alcoholic parents consistently make self-sabotaging life-choices. I learned how to be resourceful. I learned at a very early age how to take care of myself.
Now, as I am about to enter my 50th year of life, I have finally figured out that there is no benefit to me holding on to anger and resentment. Truthfully, I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for each and every one of my life experiences.
Yes, my life didn’t start out so great, in fact it was quite a sh*t show. But now, as a wife, mother, yoga teacher and friend:
The aluminum foil package of crumb cake still appears on my kitchen counter from time to time, and I still won’t eat it, (I’m very stubborn), but I’m at peace with the aluminum foil package. I’m at peace and that is the sweetest treat of all.
What’s your crumb cake story? I’d love to hear it. Post a note in the comments below.
Lockey Maisonneuve is the founder of the Let It Go Workshop. This workshop is a combination of yoga, discussion, journaling and meditation. Upcoming workshops in Ca., NJ. Click here for workshop registration. Lockey and the MovingOn program have been profiled in magazines, television, radio. Print: Shape Magazine, Origin Magazine, and Yoga Mantra + Health Magazine. For more information about Lockey and to sign up for her weekly Tao of Bacon, go to www.lockeymaisonneuve.com.
Image courtesy of Paul Green.