Caramelized onions — a change for the better
Sometimes the same old routine gets to be too much. You feel like you’re plodding along in the same footsteps you trod last week and last month and maybe last year.
A rut is forming as you walk the same path. The path is familiar and the rut is not altogether unpleasant. But the longer you walk, the deeper the rut until it takes real effort to look up from the ground and think about making yourself take that one different step that would move you out of the rut and onto another path.
If you’re not careful, the rut that forms because you don’t change anything can turn into a ditch and really hem you in. A career path, for instance, that no longer inspires or challenges you can feel like a trap you can’t work your way out of. Pretty soon it can seem like too big a job to even try. What a downer.
Simple day-in-and-day-out monotony is a tough one. I know very few people who can keep a consistently positive attitude when today is just like yesterday, and tomorrow will probably be more of the same.
So what can you do when you’ve just plain had it with the same routine? The answer is: do something, even if you reverse yourself later on. Shake things up.
Step out of your rut. If you don’t like things the way they are change your part of those things. How does one do that? Pick one.
Change your appearance. The first step in starting to climb out of a rut can be as simple (and as earth-shattering) as getting a new haircut or color.
Be bold — be in control. What the heck. Be a blond. A different appearance often makes people take another look at you, and perhaps reassess you. Just thinking about it makes me grin.
Change your thinking. Whatever “it” is chances are you can do it if you try. Go for it — just try. If it doesn’t work out, figure out why (honestly), reset your sights and try once more. If you need a mentor, observe people around you and find one.
Change the way you work. Get in sync with those around you. If you give help, you’ll get help (what goes around, comes around).
The same ways of changing your situation in business apply to other phases of life. No longer inspired by your home?
What about redecorating? Change some wall colors, knock out a wall, get some new windows or hang different curtains at the ones you have.
Work with a friend to update both your houses. If all else fails, think about moving. Too drastic? Then look at what you have to work with and change things.
If it’s Tuesday, does that mean you have to make a meatloaf? With potatoes, peas and white bread? If meatloaf Tuesday is sacred, change it up with add-ons to make it different without ruining aunt Betty’s family recipe.
What about some gravy with that meatloaf? Or serve cranberry sauce alongside (delicious with beef any time of the year).
Little things mean a lot, or so the song says. This simple recipe packs an inexpensive flavor punch served with beef, chicken, pork or vegetables and it goes a long way to change a mundane meal to something yummy.
1 large sweet onion
1 teaspoon salted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Melt butter with olive oil in a small skillet.
Meanwhile, slice onion horizontally into very thin rounds.
When oil and butter are hot, turn heat to medium-low and add onion slices and sugar.
Cover and simmer 10 minutes, until juices drawn from the onion are almost completely reduced.
Uncover, turn heat to medium, and continue to cook just until onions are golden (watch carefully to prevent scorching).
Makes 1/2 cupful.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.