Tag Archives: introspection

Fried Chicken & A Clear Mind

13 Apr

“Frying chicken just tends to make you feel better about life.” – Minny Jackson, The Help

I love this quote. It’s a frequent line in my internal monologue  (voice in my head). I can’t think of a time when I’ve ever actually fried chicken, though I’ve watched my mother do it at least a hundred times. Just writing that evokes the smell that would linger in our house for at least a day and the popping sound of the grease. The point, I think, is that certain predictable acts are comforting, especially during chaotic, stressful or uncertain times.

For me, one of these tasks is cleaning- tidying and organizing our home. I know. That sounds awful right? It’s not that I love cleaning, rearranging and tossing, but it’s somehow comforting and productive to me. The act has become a necessary part of my routine, especially since I work out of our home. I’ve found that starting the week with a tidy house (not white-glove test clean by any means) puts me in the mindset to be productive and gives me a sense of preparedness. After tackling even 30 minutes of the chore, I can see progress. Tidying is visible. It’s positive. It’s productive. Then, as a result, so am I in that space.

In Manage Your Day-To-Day, part of the 99U book series, several of the wildly successful creatives who contributed to the content mention the importance of organization, both in the physical and mental senses. When the metaphorical or literal piles of stuff are removed, we can focus on the task at hand without distraction.

Photo from Elise & Emma's blog, which inspires my need to organize.

Photo from Elise & Emma’s blog, which inspires my need to organize.

Whether it’s preparing for a week of plentiful and important work, mulling over one of the never-ending stream of tricky situations I am called to handle as a nonprofit board leader, considering a major or minor decision, or trying to make sense of disappointment or frustration, controlling my immediate environment- my home- (a little) gives me comfort.

My former boss and mentor used to spend time in her garden when she got stressed or faced something tough. Once I learned this, the amount of dirt under her fingernails became my method for getting a pulse on the organization!

I hope this sparks your thinking about your own version of frying chicken. Doing something so routine provides time for prayerful reflection (IMO, the real cause of the clarity and strength that seems to result from the task!)

Whatever it is- sewing, baking, running, playing with your kids, watching The Breakfast Club– I hope you acknowledge why it works, and allow yourself to do it as often as you need it. The “thing” you do is your own methodical way of managing your situation and clearing your mind.

Go ahead. Fry the chicken. Then watch the power of your creativity as it’s unleashed 🙂