Oatmeal Anxiety

I depend on my routines. Routines are my way of establishing a sense of calm and balance. I find comfort in stability and predictability. Are you catching on yet?

I like to start my weekdays off on the right foot, by settling in at the office before things get busy. After rolling in to the office I fire up my computer and Pandora, brew a mug of green tea, then catch up on e-mail. After determining that there aren’t any fires that need immediate fighting, I make my way back to the break room for breakfast. My breakfast routine is fairly predictable; if it’s not a boiled egg and some fruit it’s a glass of milk and a piece of toast. Looking to mix things up and be a bit wild and crazy, I recently introduced oatmeal to the rotation. I know; it was a bold move. This wasn’t just any oatmeal, though; it was a packet of oatmeal revolution. The day I first tried the oatmeal I marched eagerly to the break room ready to stir in some hot water and enjoy my breakfast, and here’s what I was met with:

Looks simple enough. I’m really excited about eating this oatmeal; I’m getting tired of boiled eggs.

The package says to “Try It!” so I’m going to fill to the top of the line with water. I think it’s daring me. Challenge accepted.

I’m pouring the oatmeal. Is this a two cup or larger bowl? I think so. Okay, but wait! There’s an exclamation mark and a bright red box; I need to pay attention. I must NOT add hot water! I must NOT add boiling water! I MUST cook this in the microwave only! This oatmeal is getting very serious.

I’m looking inside the pouch for the fill line. I’m filling with cold water ONLY. I’m DEFINITELY not adding milk until later. I’m starting to sweat at how many mistakes I could be making here. The red ink and exclamation marks are making me nervous.

Okay, the oatmeal is cooked and it’s really hot. The red ink and exclamation marks are after me again, this time telling me to protect my hands. Oh jeez. Where are the oven mitts? Who has the fireproof suit? The screaming font is telling me this oatmeal is going to be HOT! I don’t know what to do!

And that’s how my routine was blown to smithereens. I eat cereal now.

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