Every so often, I forget to take time for myself. It is never intentional, but between work, school, and responsibilities, somehow "me time" gets pushed to the wayside. It can be weeks before I have realized what I have done. In some ways, this does not surprise me. Our culture glorifies being busy. You need to be doing it all right now. Our culture dictates that being busy is the only way to show your family and your coworkers how significant you are, how productive you are, or how important you are to the running of a business or a household. If you have extra time, then you are not "reaching your potential" or, as we have often been led to believe, you are simply being lazy.
All of this, of course, is not true.
While our culture may celebrate being busy, the reality is that we need time to ourselves, away from responsibilities, so that we can recharge and take a moment to enjoy life. When some level of perseverance is unavoidable, taking a moment to scribble "me time" onto the calendar can relieve the stress and exhaustion that comes from hard work.
I tend to go through periods of extreme busyness a few times a year (some avoidable, some not). If history is any indication for me, I am prone to overworking myself, taking on too much at once and realizing the consequences after it is too late. When I find myself frequently working on Friday and Saturday evenings just to keep up, the alarms in my head go off, giving me a signal that I need to make a change.
The alarms have been going off for a couple weeks already, warning me to slow down and take a break. This weekend I finally listened.
On Friday evening, instead of sitting down in front of the computer to get some work done, I went out and treated myself to my favorite drink, Vanilla Almond Coconut Boba Tea. After a week of getting less than six hours of sleep a night, I crawled into bed and went to sleep early. On Saturday I bought myself a couple new books—Paper Towns by John Green and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Instead of writing lesson plans, I played board games with new and old friends late into the evening.
This morning, after rising with the sun, I took the time to make a batch of these Banana Cinnamon Pancakes before settling into an afternoon of catching up to do. I feel recharged and ready to face the next busy week ahead of me. It is weekends like this that remind me not to underestimate the power of "me time." Schedule a little time for yourself in the next week—you will feel grateful to have done so.
Banana Cinnamon Pancakes make for a hearty breakfast filled with familiar flavors. The pancakes are made with mashed bananas, whole wheat flour, and a good spoonful of cinnamon. The pancakes cook up fluffy and thick. A drizzle of maple syrup is all these pancakes need to turn them into an instant classic. I tried a few with miniature chocolate chips and would recommend it as well. Though simple, pancakes have a relaxing quality that wipes away the cold bowls of cereal from the previous week and replaces them with a warm, sweet memory.
Banana Cinnamon Pancakes
Yields about 4 servings
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup (235 ml) milk
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, mashed bananas, oil, and milk. Stir together until combined (a few lumps are okay).
Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a heated griddle and cook each side until lightly browned. Serve hot with a drizzle of maple syrup.