Quest for Oatmeal

This week I suddenly found myself wanting oatmeal, of all things. Almost as intensely as those pregnancy food cravings. It’s been a while, but I still remember those.

First pregnancy-Payday candy bars and Fresca
Second pregnancy-Mexican food, but definitely not barbecue
Third pregnancy-Pepperoni pizza with jalapenos

Those make sense. But oatmeal? And how could it be that difficult to obtain? My simple thought of oatmeal for breakfast turned into a three-day quest! At the first thought of it, the wise thing would have been adding to the grocery list. I did not. Remembered right when pulling into the driveway, after stopping at the store. “Oh well, tomorrow…”

Tomorrow came and went. My husband made the next trip to the grocery store. Thought to ask him to pick up oatmeal…as he was walking through the front door.

By day three, I was determined. The thought of Starbucks oatmeal crossed my mind, but I was running late for work. Not time for the drive-thru. Walgreens is on the way to work-surely, they’d have instant oatmeal in stock. Finally! A box of Quaker oatmeal in hand, I headed to school. Sounds like a happy ending. Well, not quite…

The plan was simple. Put a packet in a coffee cup and run hot water from the Keurig. Stir, wait, eat! Hint-you should not choose the biggest cup option on the Keurig when making oatmeal. Too much water. A follow-up attempt to microwave caused an overflow and a big mess to clean up.

Not ready to give up, a second try was underway. This time choosing the smallest cup option on the Keurig proved a better decision. A short time in the microwave was still needed, but this time a paper towel over the cup prevented any more messes. Success!

After my three-day quest, I was sitting at my desk, preparing for my first class, enjoying a cup of Quaker maple/brown sugar oatmeal. Not sure I’ve ever appreciated oatmeal as much as I did at that moment.

Reflecting on this little adventure, I kept going back to one question. Why? Why oatmeal? Why such persistence?

This week has been a struggle. Cold weather, not as much sunlight, not enough sleep. All working together, negatively affecting my mood. I began to sense low days ahead.  Maybe the desire for something warm and comforting, particularly something simple like oatmeal, was an attempt to pull me out of this blue mood.

One thing is for certain. Tomorrow morning, I will have a bowl of oatmeal-at home-with my coffee. Sitting on my couch, only the lights of the Christmas tree shining. And hopefully, this small attempt at taking better care of myself will prove worthy of my three-day quest… for oatmeal.

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