Since I started my New Year in September, I’ve had about as much success as most people do with their New Year’s Resolutions… occasional glimpses of promise in between long, long periods of arse-kicking darkness.
Which is why I love my rice cooker.
I should back up a bit.
The Plan and the Rut
Here’s what’s supposed to happen in my mornings:
- Get up while it’s still dark
- Drink a cup of coffee, then go walk the dog
- Get back from walking the dog, go for a run
- Shower, shave, eat breakfast
- Help the kids get out the door to school as required
Here’s what actually happens most mornings
- Alarm goes off when it’s dark. Crack open eyes, realize it’s still dark and I’m not in high school any more, go back to bed.
- Wake up slightly later in the middle of a dream about the cheese selection at the grocery store.
- Stumble downstairs, hit the button on the Keurig.
- Fumble for sugar.
- Spill sugar on counter.
- Dump sugar mostly in coffee.
- Look for creamer in the fridge- it’s not there.
- Look for creamer in the garage fridge– not there either.
- Contemplate killing someone.
- Look for creamer again in fridge. Find it.
- Decide killing someone for leaving creamer in the fridge might be an over-reaction.
- Move dog out of the recliner.
- Sit in recliner inhaling dog farts and drinking coffee.
- Wonder what the dog had for dinner last night because his farts smell different.
- Check facebook page.
- Wish vainly for more followers.
- Drink second cup of coffee. Apologize to family for any death threats I may have uttered in the past half hour.
- Put on a hat and a jacket and take kids to school in my pajamas.
- Decide to go exercise at a nice leisurely hour of 9:30 or so.
As you can see, there is a little bit of divergence between the imagined state and the actual state.
In the absence of any external stimuli, like most single-celled organisms I tend to just sit around and eat, excrete, and reproduce. It’s not a bad way to go by any stretch. The problem is that I’m not actually an amoeba, I just play one on the Internet.
Here’s where the rice cooker comes in.
Better living through oatmeal
Like most non-Asian people, I had no idea that I needed an electric rice cooker for many years. When we ate rice (which was not often) my mom just made it on the stove. The brilliance of a rice cooker, however, is the combination of controlled boiling and a delay timer. Paired with a crock pot, it makes for some truly delicious eating with no attention span required.
There is a little bit of biological research that suggests there really are early birds and night owls and it’s not just a matter of pure choice. I am at my most alert in the afternoon and evening. Now I set up the rice cooker to wait several hours and then start cooking the steel cut oats. This is a perfect set up for me because I can put the energy in when I have it the most (at night) and take advantage of the output at a time when I need it the most, which is when I am contemplating murder with a spoon because I can’t find the creamer.
Based on my success with oatmeal, I am going to try harder to do more things at night before I go to bed. I need to break out of my dog-fart laden routine and try things a little different. Since I’m always after the kids to focus on the good things, here’s a short list of what did get done:
- 9 blog posts
- 1.5 chapters finished on “The Book”
- 26.5 miles run
- Get inspired by oatmeal
Everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right?
I’d love to hear from you all about your goals and how you’re doing, or if you have any tips for automating your morning routine. Let’s commiserate together!