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Control? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I was reflecting today after doing my Affirmations and Blessings, a regular part of my Stress Management routine, and the story I heard popped in my head. I just thought I would journal it. I hope it may help me someday when I need it.
Once at a conference I attended, the speaker told of a ritual passed down for many generations surrounding the preparation of the Big Holiday Dinner! We all have them...
The lady was perplexed while prepping for the "big event". She was hosting a very large crowd this year. Making sure that the "family recipe" remained in tact was always very important. The dilemma was about the big HAM. As always, she gingerly followed every word of the recipe handed down for many generations. But...this year, there was a problem.
The recipe called for cutting off three inches of both sides of the ham before cooking. These had always been discarded. At that rate, she was going to have to prepare 2 hams and waste alot of good meat.
She decided to call her mother who had always taught her to meticulously follow the family recipe. When she asked her mother, Why do we cut three inches off both ends of the ham?
That seems like such waste. Her mother replied. I am not exactly sure. Let's ask your grandmother. She always has secrets for success with her meals!
So, they went to see granny, who always made a holiday feast to remember. She was indeed the Matriarch for all to emulate.
When they asked, " Granny, why do we always have to cut three inches off of both sides of the ham?" She looked at them both for a moment, with a perplexing furrowed brow.
She took a long sigh and replied, " I can't say why you all would do it, But I had to to get the ham to fit into my baking dish" Why were you doing it?"
That was the "ah ha moment"! How many times do we keep doing the same things over and over again, just because we think it is the way we are "supposed to"! We get impatient with the 2 year old who asks, "Why? " We answer. They ask, "Why"?" We answer again. They ask, "Why?" We impatiently answer. They ask, but again, "Why?"!!!
So, why is it, ya suppose they keep asking? Isn't it because they are hungry to learn and trying to make sense of it all...
Perhaps we could learn from the curious 2 year old that asks, " Why?, Why?, Why?, Why?!! Perhaps then, we wouldn't be wasting 6 inches of ham every holiday, and many other things we do, because it is the way we have always done it.
After reflection, I have decided that I want to take a look at my rituals/habits...are they holding me back? In the words of Dr. Phil, " And...how's that work'n for ya?" I believe I have room for some habit adjustments. No more excuses!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo MOTHERHEN51
    Thank you for sharing this great story. And as I look at my life, there are a couple of habits that I have, that make just about as much sense as trimming that ham! How important it is to pause every now and then to evaluate our lives. Thank you for the insight! Hugs, Debbie
    4640 days ago
  • TLAIR0468
    Great story! I'm sure we can all benefit from evaluating why we do the things we do. Sometimes it's good to mix things up and change them a little.
    4640 days ago
  • LAURA1152
    I love this story -- it's funny and enlightening. You're right -- it's useful to evaluate why we do what we do and how it's working for us. I think it's applicable not just for bad habits ("You ate a pint of Ben & Jerry's and are doubled over in pain -- how's that working for ya?) and good ones (is it wiser to spend all weekend cooking healthy foods or, perhaps, buying pre-packaged foods and replacing all that cooking time with outdoor time?). At the office, we're always trying to eliminate tasks that don't support our customers, either directly or indirectly. Why not do the same at home, also, and let go of things that really don't make sense in light of our goals or values?
    Food (ham) for thought! Thanks so much for sharing this great story-
    Laura
    4642 days ago
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