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Finding Food in the Snow

While the pair of cardinals we’ve been seeing a lot was struggling to fnd food this morning in the snow, we had little trouble. With a stocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer, we are always ready for a storm. Strangely enough though, I am low on milk and eggs. Bad Pennsylvanian!

So as the kids are home, I decided to do something we haven’t done in a long time. Pancakes from scratch. Before Olivia went to kindergarten, every Monday was pancake Monday. I start with making a shortcut buttermilk (vinegar and raw milk), and while it sits, I do all the mixing. I usually use raw sugar and buckwheat flour, raw milk and pastured eggs. And always topped with real maple syrup, the only substance left that is more expensive per gallon that gasoline. It is part tradition, part ritual, and time with my kids over breakfast that doesn’t involve a restaurant check, or the rush of cereal before the bus comes. It’s a rare treat these days, so I made the most of it.

This sounds like a normal experience to sane people. for me, this was an emotional hurdle to overcome, as vital as getting in 600 yards in the pool last night. Why? I had to defeat the all-or-nothing demon, who shows up to try to turn every minute of every day into a determination of every future moment. I won’t say it’s sensible, but it is probably the key to understanding how I can finally break the cycle of destructive behavior and eating patterns.

The all-or-nothing demon is always around to convince me that anything less than dietary perfection is reason to give up and stop caring. This may sound completely foreign or nuts to most people. But for someone with an addictive personality and a history of food issues, it’s always a problem.

In the past, I would have dealt with this two ways: one would be to make the kids pancakes, then make my own breakfast, eat it over the sink and not get near the table. Alienated from the kids.

The other would be to take it as a cue to spend the whole day eating doritos, pizza, ice cream, and whatever else I had hoarded the day before the snow came. My slippery slopes are covered in oil.

Today, I chose to be a normal Dad. Have pancakes with the kids. Not 6, but 2. And it’s amazing how big a deal this is to me. These Greeks were on to something, with that whole moderation business.

The war within is far more important than the war on the road, or in the pool. To someone who never had a compulsive habit, you may never understand how liberating it is to be able to just have a couple pancakes with the kids without being surrounded by a cloud of angst, or sad resignation.

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