I have the same battle with myself every day, sometimes several times a day. Last weekend it sounded like this:
Conscience: What are you doing? You’re making Thanksgiving dinner for your kids and their friends, three days after Thanksgiving, when you should be working on that book you’re always talking about — or applying for jobs! What’s more important: work or making your daughter’s favorite corn casserole?
Me: I know, I know, but I’m always torn. Do I make comforting November memories with my kids and enjoy them now, while they’re still living here, or spend my time trying to get ahead? I can do both can’t I? I had Thanksgiving with a close friend’s family, which was wonderful, but my kids were with their dad. An Italian with no children at the table to force feed and no leftovers is unnatural!
Conscience: Are you rich yet? If the answer is no, then clearly, you can’t do both. Hey, not my problem, you’re the one who’s going to be well fed, but destitute someday.
Me: I hate you, but you’re right. I’m not where I want to be, probably because I’d rather be cooking. Damn the 60’s and 70’s! One minute it was fine being Mrs. Cleaver and the next minute Enjolie had me bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. How did Hilary Clinton do it?
Conscience: Hilary worked her butt off. (Plus, I hear she didn’t bake that many cookies.) Listen, memories are nice but they won’t support you in your old age.
Me: Thanks, I needed that..
So, I did what I sometimes do when in turmoil. I pick a book – any book. I hold it in my hand, close my eyes and pick a page. The answer I’m looking for will be on that page. (I got this idea from Richard Bach’s “Messiah’s Handbook,” years ago, so blame him.) I picked a book from my bedside table called, “Brilliance.” It’s filled with great quotes from famous women. A friend sent it to inspire me.
My eyes landed on one page with three quotes. Here’s the first one:
“You never know when you’re making a memory.” –Ricki Lee Jones
Ha! Fran: 1 Conscience: 0
And this one from Oprah: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
That one contained real truth because my friend Terry was there. She’s helped me through some of my toughest times and would definitely take the bus with me.
Finally I saw this one: “You are loved. If so, what else matters?” –Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna was a poet and poets can make destitution and homelessness sound good, so I was hesitant to put too much stock in it, but it’s true. Nothing’s more important than being loved.
Conscience: Nothing except having a job, a home, and money.
Me: Pipe down, I’m on it.
Maybe it was a good thing I made that dinner. The kids loved it, I loved it, my friend Terry loved it and now I have memories and leftovers. Plus I feel guilty, so I’ll work extra hard — bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan.
In the meantime, here is the Corn Casserole recipe, my daughter’s favorite. Aunt Donna gave it to me and I haven’t changed a thing — that’s how good it is — and really easy too.
Wait! Before you bake, check out my online store for fun, different holiday gifts.
Corn Casserole – (Aunt Donna’s Recipe and my daughter’s favorite)
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
8 oz sour cream
1 can corn (drained) (14.75 oz)
1 can creamed corn (14.75 oz.)
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased casserole dish or 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until lightly browned on top.