How Will You Measure Your Life? (A Mama Kat Prompt)

This week, one of the Mama Kat writing prompts was: Write a post that begins and ends with the same line.

I have been transfixed all week with a piece by Clayton Christensen entitled “How will you measure your life?” (Christensen has also co-authored a book by the same name.)

My take:

How will you measure your life?

Will you be like a baker, poring over your recipe in advance, putting the butter out to soften, lining up each and every supply?

Will you carefully mete out each ingredient, forcefully packing the brown sugar and meticulously sifting and leveling out the flour?

Will you stress about whether your ingredients are over-moistened, under-beaten, or not folded in evenly?

Will you heat the oven to the exact temperature required, not a degree over or under?

Will you fret about when your product is perfectly done? Will you insert a toothpick and closely scrutinize it for any crumbs still clinging to assess doneness?

Source: MorgueFile

Source: MorgueFile

Or will you be like a “freehand” cook, casually perusing the fridge, pantry, and counter for ingredients that have a chance of complementing one another?

Will you say, “heck there’s nothing green and fuzzy on the cheese,” “I’ve never tried that combination before but it could turn out great,” or “ what’s to lose?”

Will you add a pinch of this, a dollop of that, and then mingle ingredients that have never been combined in a recipe, just because it might turn out delicious?

Will you turn the flame on to a height that “looks okay,” knowing that you can adjust it throughout the cooking process?

Will you have a sense of the “right shade of brown,” the tastiest “al dente,” the juiciest moment to enjoy the chicken, no matter what the timer says?

Source: MorgueFile

Source: MorgueFile

Yes, all the lines above are about cooking but we can look at the “baker” and the “freehand cook” as metaphors for life beyond the kitchen.

I am more like the baker. I like to know what to expect in advance, to follow the rules, to strive for “foolsafe.” I am married to a “by taste cook” who doesn’t worry too much about the difference between 345 and 350 degrees, who uses the dry measure cups for the liquid stuff, who says, “yeah, that’s probably okay” when no book or online recipe can back him up.

As a “baker” in life, I know it would “spice me up” to experiment more often, to risk failure by trying things that haven’t been tried before, to fill my pan with new ingredients and whip them up over a new fire.

For the “freehand cook,” I urge you to consider thinking about how sometimes directions are not prisons; procedures don’t have to be straitjackets, planning ahead doesn’t always mean sacrificing adventure.

Will you be a baker?

Will you cook “freehand”?

No matter what your life’s ingredients………….

How will you measure your life?

Mama’s Losin’ It

7 thoughts on “How Will You Measure Your Life? (A Mama Kat Prompt)

  1. I am the baker, stuck in a freehand cook life. Trying to reign in the chaos and failing miserably. But, I make some of the best cake you ever ate, swear to God!

  2. What’s so odd, I think, is that I am both- with a vengeance. I am not sure if it depends upon the day or the hour, or the item at hand. But I can be very strictly adhering to the rules or I can freestyle with abandon.

  3. Hmmm… I am a baker, but think the key is to be flexible and balanced. Bakers have to give a little and freehands have to give a little thought to what lies ahead. If we both give in a little, I think a beautiful thing can be created.

  4. Hmm…I’m with tammigirl on this one – I am most assuredly both. Sometimes, the rules and measurements matter and sometimes they don’t. I think, like life, that how we approach our “kitchen” depends on the day, the hour, the circumstances. Great post! 🙂

  5. I’m a crockpot cooker, I’m slow, I take all day in fact, but you just dump it all… All li has to give and it comes out as this wholesome thing that can sustain you got weeks. Or you could make apple butter. Mmm. Apple butter.

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