Sunday, June 22, 2014

Learning From a Watermelon

I just had the most wonderful (large) bowl of watermelon, thanks to…well, Walmart. But mostly my sister.

A few weeks ago I was over at her house helping prepare Sunday lunch. Cutting watermelon fell next on the to-do list and I inwardly cringed.

Not because I don't love watermelon. It's honestly one of my favorite summertime fruits.

I have memories of sitting down to supper and seeing a huge bowl of perfectly cut and de-seeded (thanks, Mom) watermelon pieces. As all the dishes were passed around the table in clockwise fashion (do families still do this? I sure hope so…), we would secretly attempt to pick out the best pieces. My brother and I still tease my sister about doing it most, but deep down we all know we did it too.

So why did I cringe when she asked me to cut it?

Because while it might be one of my favorite fruits, it is also one of the most unruly and annoying ones to cut. (For the record, mangoes rank high on both these lists too, but it's small size makes it greatly more manageable.)

After the years of having perfectly cut watermelon pieces served to me, I had to eventually cut it on my own. Just like my mom did…cutting the end off, then keeping it on its side cutting circle after circle, then each circle in half, then removing the rind and cutting the flesh into pieces.

Welp. It doesn't work for me that way. It never has.

The large humpty-dumpty rolling piece of juicy rind and flesh seems to laugh in my face at first cut. Then each cut after that turns into downright mockery the more slippery it gets.

I know it's partially due to the fact that I don't have my mom's famous watermelon knife to use. But even with the sharpest of knives, I feel like a culinary idiot cutting the dumb thing.

And no one likes to feel like an idiot. So I stopped buying them. Literally, I cannot tell you the last time I bought a watermelon. It was at least 4 addresses ago.

Until today. Because, a few short weeks ago, in my sister's kitchen, she stepped in and shared how she now cuts her watermelon in a different way. Giving me an invitation to do the same. It was one of those moments where I wanted to hold onto my pride (seriously?!) and be annoyed that my older sister was - once again :) - telling me how to do something. But I let my pride go and listened.

So after years of passing by one of the most delectable fruits around, I stopped and picked one out today. And gave myself the freedom to cut it a new way.

It was lovely. No slippery circles or chopped off fingers. I have finally admitted to myself I will never have my mom's watermelon cutting skills. But it's ok. I tried doing it a different way and now have my favorite summertime snack back.

As the juice splashed everywhere (perfect sign of a perfect watermelon), I wondered what else in my life I've been avoiding because of the way I do it.

Are there things I could simply revamp to make them more enjoyable?

I'm currently pondering making my bedtime routine technology-free. Books and writing only. No phones, computers, apps, tweets.

What isn't working for you?

Your morning routine? Your devo time with God? Your finances?