Burning the Sauce

Last night I made a dinner of spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce.  While I normally enjoy cooking when I have time to spare, lately making dinner feels so rushed.  I am known for completely missing the “cooking” window in the evenings, despite my 12 year old’s incessant questions “What’s for dinner, Mom?”  Cereal, if you don’t leave me alone.

And Time Ticks By

Maybe it’s the fact that it gets dark so quick and the days end early that compounds the rushed feeling.  Or maybe it’s because I feel like I have ADD while I’m trying to learn about the latest in social media and  keeping up with reading a bunch of blogs of people I now love.  Some nights I think I am nuts, my hands on the keyboard, with panicked breath, looking through my Google reader, just one more blog, just one more…oh and here’s a great twitter note, I’ll just add my ten cents…  And time  t i c k s  by…and guess what?  It’s waaay past my bedtime, and oh shit, I didn’t write a THING, what am I doing ?  And I can’t keep pointing to “what he said” or “what she said”, I’m supposed to be creative, right?  I thought I was, until I met all these other really great creative people who seem to publish my ideas right out of my head.  How did they know I was thinking that??

Oops, I forgot what I was doing..

So, the problem is, that when I do cook, I end up leaving it unattended…sometimes too long…because I’m writing one more email, researching one more article, one more one more…and low and behold, and dinner gets burned.   This happened again last night, making the sauce.  I burned the damn sauce, sheesh I make myself crazy. Last week I forgot I was boling water for my breakfast, and boiled it down to the pan.  My son kept saying, Mom what smells like cheese?  Well, that’s burned pan, my son, how come you didn’t know that?

Putting off what needs tending to

But as I think about these not-so-great patterns, I really don’t want to burn down this house…I wonder about what the bigger message is here.  Burning the sauce, in my mind, is just another way of putting things off that need tending to.  Making food is creative, just as writing is creative.

It’s the world’s way of telling me to wake up, finish what you start, and don’t leave it for “others” to take care of cause it will burn.   Sometimes I’m a student, sometime’s I’m the teacher, I don’t need to be both at the same moment all the time.  Make room for both without guilt.  I have work to do here, just as we all do.  And I know there is room for all of us and our ideas, it doesn’t matter who thought of it first.  The point is to get it out there, and stop worrying about it being right or good enough.

And by allowing myself to focus on what I’m doing at that moment, I can realize the most joy in those moments.  Nothing is better than sitting down to a delicious meal, and I am a good cook.   And nothing is worse when I burn things, and ruin the goodness that was to be.  (and feel those unspoken thoughts of “what was she doing on the computer AGAIN”)

So I ask myself, where else am I burning the sauce? I’m sure I can come up with a few thoughts, but more importantly I am making a commitment to myself to focus on the “here and now” and be my best self in what I do, whatever it is in that moment.

What about you? Are there places in your life where you are burning the sauce?


  1. says

    I’m thinking about what Don Peppers said at the #NMS, that we are only at the beginning of the data flood, that the experience of immersion will increase a thousand fold every ten years, or something ridiculous like that. We are playing in an ocean, or at lest on a string of islands strung through an ocean…an archipelago…small rafts, oars and paddles are all that needed to move, but it’s so important to accept that you’ll not always know what swims in the waters about you…or passes by in the night. I’m finding the more I can link my actions to a purpose (I’ll paddle a thousand miles if that island over there has good coconuts, then it all makes some sense…I’ll also paddle a thousand miles not knowing what’s over there, but in this case the purpose is exploration, and that’s an activity unto itself.

  2. Lori Redding says

    Hey Jules,
    Your blogs are GOOD and interesting and often you are reading MY mind. Rest in the knowledge that you are worth listening to whenever you speak/write. Best, Lori

  3. Juliann says

    Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment. The ocean is a good metaphor, it does feel like that at times. The islands are also accurate, you learn just enough to get to the next island where you can rest and take a breathe or two. Purpose is always a solid guiding principle, and I’m finding its a blend of personal and professional. It’s interesting, I’m also having the most fun I’ve had in a long time, and see something really great happening. But what I need to remember is to lift my oars out of the water sometimes, and let the ride happen. You are right, we are just seeing the beginning of the data flow. As my ability to receive brain stimulation maxes out, I need to remember to relax, and that everything I am doing is aligned with a greater purpose and all I really need to do is show up.
    Thanks, Richard.

  4. Juliann says


    Just found your comment in my spam filter so my apologies. Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate your kind words. We need to connect soon, girlfriend! It’s been tooo long.

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