Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Easy Does It, Work In Progress

My grandfather ( ליה השלום ) had a favorite saying. It was "easy does it."

Or maybe that was just his most used saying around me. I've always tended to be a bull in a china shop kinda girl.

But his point, better understood with maturity, has come to be not just about patience but a life lesson about mitigation, tempering the absolute.

Much of what I've tried to teach my boys, to model for them in my life, may not be what's expected. I don't swallow memes whole and spit them back out. Even absolutes like "don't hate." What they choose to internalize and what they choose to reject is, at this point, up to them, but my hope is that for them it's a process, it certainly has, and continues to be, for me. 

Lessons learning, as opposed to learned because we are, after all, a work in progress:

1) Don't scorn anyone who has not personally given you a reason:

~ Conversely, it's OK to dislike someone who has earned it. Hate is a sharp word, but let's not pretend it's wrong to use your experiences and your judgement to decide who belongs in your life and who does not. Taking a step back from what's harmful or hurtful, not being a doormat in a relationship that isn't symbiotic is actually a way to value yourself.

~ Confrontation isn't the best strategy here, avoidance it.

2) People change, have the grace to give them a second chance, but it's perfectly acceptable that you require they earn it.

~ Just as it's not in our best interest to be in toxic situations or have hurtful people in our lives, we also need to leave that door open just a crack. I've certainly needed to be afforded that opportunity.

Egalitarianism, I've come to realize, requires tipping the scales in order to balance them. I often responded to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter." It came from a good place but many may not have heard it the way I meant it. They may have felt that I wasn't someone they wanted in their inner circle. College Boy helped me to understand how an answer I thought was all inclusive was actually insensitive. I hope that anyone I offended will give me another chance. The response to "all lives matter" that I've been seeing that resonates with me is "all lives can't matter until black lives matter." Well said.

I also want to address "Blue Lives Matter." Yes, they do. But Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter have become a tug of war, taken on the inference that there's a need for one side to win and the other to lose. This serves no one.

Although I believe there needs to be a systemic change in police training to focus on "protect and serve," the deficits in the training with which our police force is currently equipped does not make all police bad people. Chances are, if they are bad people after police training, they were bad peole before training. Part of the systemic change also needs to be in higher standards in terms of character, weeding out those who might have a propensity to abuse power. The response to the current crisis in policing that I've been seeing that speaks to my point of view is "we train them to be military, then send them out to be social workers." Well said.

And to the preponderance of law enforcement officers who are decent people, making a difference, keeping us safe sometimes at the risk of their own lives, if you are made to feel unappreciated, please give us all another chance. Growth and change are not a judgement but a necessity in every profession.

Easy Does It, Work in Progress | graphic designed by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #Life

3) Find a way to include without excluding.
~This can often be a challenging balance. I am in and run some FB groups out of necessity. With FB's self serving monetary-based "algorithms" blocking the majority of my friends and followers from seeing my posts, it was the only way to have the people who participate in the blogging challenges I run actually be assured to see timely announcements. Originally, though, I resisted groups. When people asked me to join theirs, I declined. It seemed to me that by including only people invited, it was also serving to exclude the people who were not. I acknowledge that some groups are a more efficient way to connect people with similar interests, but I still believe that if the original concept of FB hadn't become bastardized, forcing many of us to break off and insulate, if people could still freely see the posts of the people they've friended and the pages they took the time to like, there wouldn't be as much need for including at the price of excluding.

4) Keep what you need, give what you don't, share what you can.

~ Keep what you need: I don't believe in "give till it hurts". It's a worthy sentiment and there are people able to, even compelled to, live that way. Although I commend them, I also acknowledge that it's not for everyone. I think for some of us, were we to give till it hurts, we'd burn out. For most of us, we can best care for others if our own needs (and even some of our wants) are met. Keep what we need, that's a given.  

~ Give what you don't: There are certain things we associate with giving, like outgrown clothes and replaced appliances. There's so much more that we can do, though. Being more conscious of what we may waste, items we haven't used in too long, or, most importantly what we do with our time, all of these are opportunities. Look for them.

~ Share what you can: I always include recipes in my posts and you know I'm going to work it in here somewhere. Food is love and both food and love are easy to share. Donating to food banks has increased in importance since Covid interrupted our lives. Paying it forward in a take-out line is a fun trend that has emotional value. I've talked before about taking dinner to a family whose house flooded, about baking for the Wee Care volunteers. Food is sustenance for the body. Sharing is sustenance for the soul.

Blueberry Breakfast Bundt is a beautiful breakfast pastry, which can also be served as brunch or a snack. Perfect for company, this recipe comes together in under ½ hour. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Blueberry Breakfast Bundt
Blueberry Breakfast Bundt is a beautiful breakfast pastry, which can also be served as brunch or a snack. Perfect for company, this recipe comes together in under ½ hour. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

~ Share what you can isn't just objects. I donate blood, I'm in the bone marrow registry, and I'm registered as an organ donor. 

Easy does it. Mitigate the absolute. Value others. Take care of you. ❤ 

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Blueberry Breakfast Bundt

1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tube (8 count) refrigerated butter flavored biscuits
1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.
*Place the frozen blueberries in a colander and run under cold water for one minute, allowing to drain into the sink. They will be partially frozen.
*Place the blueberries onto paper towels and pat the excess water off of them.
*Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place the blueberries in a bowl with about half of this mixture, toss together, then spread evenly into the bottom of the bundt pan.
*Take the top layers off of the biscuits and arrange, overlapping slightly, over the blueberries. Sprinkle with about 2 TBSP of the brown sugar mixture, then top with the remaining biscuit halves.
*Melt the butter and mix with the remaining brown sugar mixture. Drizzle into the pan.
*Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to sit for 15 minutes in the pan. Run a knife around the edges, place a dish on the bundt pan and flip over. Place another dish on top and flip again, so the blueberries are on the bottom. 
*Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.


  1. This is so well done, Karen!
    If more of us realized we are all just faulty human beings stumbling about the best we can, perhaps we’d be more patient with others. And ourselves.
    Of course, there are the exceptions even to that rule, so sadly, there must also be caution.

    1. Yes, it's a very difficult balancing act, one we all work at every day.

  2. I completely agree with Diane! I love this piece of writing, Karen! It's true that, "we are all work in progress." And we must sit with our not-so-likeable-parts quite often to understand how deep is our hate or love and why? What can we do to be better and be more open and accepting towards ourselves and toward others! And it is absolutely okay to be not liked by everyone or to not like everyone, as long as we can be kind; because it's always possible!

    Have a Lovely Week Ahead!

  3. We are all works of progress, Karen. Right now I'm feeling...a bit freaked out. Our community is spiking. The neighborhood where I exercise walk is testing at 10% positive and it's getting worse each day. And, it has nothing to do with anything, but one of the Tennessee Titans testing positive used to live in my neighborhood (although I didn't know him personally). Anyway: It's so easy to assign "blame": it's group X causing this. It's group Y. The "them" in our lives. But in the moments of fear - anything goes, and logic gets thrown out. I will calm myself down, and then I will see things clearly again. But some of us never calm down; we are so afraid of "the other" that we are willing to do the unthinkable. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I think that many of us feel that "the other" are people who are recklessly gambling with our lives, which is infinitely exacerbating the situation.
      Conversely, they feel that we are trying to limit their freedoms. Again, exacerbating the situation.
      But I do have to say that as long as our lives and the lives of our loved ones are at stake, this situation will not get better.

  4. Absolutely the best post I've seen anywhere in a long time. Nice to know I wasn't the only one that needed to learn that BLM lesson- and that there was someone around to teach it with kindness.

    1. Thank you so much, what a great compliment. I admit, I did give this one a lot of thought and edited it at least 3 times to be sure I articulated exactly what I was trying to get across.

  5. As I read this I kept thinking yes, yes, yes so spot on

  6. Well said!

    If we are judged only by the worst thing we ever did, and not to ever be forgiven or allowed to grow past it, we are all in deep trouble.

    A friend of mine who used to be a police officer said the other day that one reason he got off the force was that he didn't sign up to be a social worker, he wasn't trained for it.

    1. I think it's sad that your friend felt he had to leave the force. I truly believe if the training can be changed so they are better equipped for whatever situation they may find themselves in, it would be much better for both them and society as a whole.

  7. I will always be “A Work in Progress”.

    1. I just happen to think that you're coming along just fine.

  8. Awesome, That's look so sweeeet


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!