A few weeks ago, our microwave stopped working out of nowhere. I didn't know how much we leaned on it for things—reheating being the main task—until it abruptly died on us. My family and I were forced to use the oven and stove much more than before. After a few days, I preferred it that way. It slowed me down, made me more mindful, and dare I say, patient. Instead of making our three-minute frozen rice bags from Trader Joe's in the microwave, we had to pull out the rice cooker, rinse the jasmine rice, then put it in the cooker to cook for however long. My 13-year-old daughter and my husband were not into this extended wait time at all. I mean, I get it. Convenience is everything—until it's not (lol). All of us figured that out fairly quickly.
Reheating my coffee two times, sometimes three times over, required second thought. Did I really need to spend time warming it up, or should I just drop some ice cubes in it and have an unplanned iced latte. Almost every time I went for reheating. There's something about a warm drink that makes me feel good and comforted. Reheating coffee on the stove became a little ritual for me. I have this beautiful little yellow enamel pot that's supposed to be for warming butter. I started using it for my coffee reheat sessions, and it brought me a lot of random unexpected joy. I know this may sound dramatic, but not having a microwave for a few weeks made me so grateful for the slower moments that I usually miss or ignore. The yellow pot coffee tasted better the second or third time around than it usually did in the microwave. I was able to step away from working to warm it up—it was my moment of pause. Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't in a deep meditative state reheating my stale coffee on the stove. But I was paying closer attention to the process itself.
We've since got the microwave fixed. My husband and daughter both exclaimed: THANK GOD! I was a bit relieved, too. There is an ease in things getting done quickly with a household of five. But I've been finding myself still using the stove to reheat my food and coffee. I'm grateful for the moment of pause it offers me in my busy days. I'm thankful for the nudges to focus and pay closer attention.
Who knew a broken microwave would teach me something about gratitude? I sure didn't.
Calls to Action:
Heads up: I decided to offer one more 4-week-online journaling course this year before starting my teacher in residence in Arizona. It's called "Begin Again." You can join the course waitlist here. Registration begins next Sunday!
As always, send me your gratitude reflections. I really enjoy reading them. You can leave a comment below or email me at gratitude[at]alexelle.com.
Have a beautiful week ahead, friends!