Culture, Marriage

How to be a waffle: the art of compartmentalization

There is this great bit from My Best Friend’s Wedding where Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are discussing who the guy should be with based on what type of food they are.

“No, creme brule could never be jello. You could never be jello!”
“But I have to be jello!!”

I have zero interest in creme brule. It has long since been established I am 100% unavoidably jello. And I am totally chill with that. What I want to be is a waffle, but just like poor Cameron Diaz, I can’t be. I am sentenced to be spaghetti for the rest of my life.

Before you start thinking I let the two year old write for me today, let me explain. There is a book called, Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham, which a review on Goodreads posits as the healthier alternative to I Kissed Dating Goodbye (more on THAT monstrosity another day). The premise is based on neurological research that shows how men and women process information differently.

Men have little mental boxes they keep things in. At work, they are in their work box, and not thinking a ton about home. At home, they are in their home box, and not thinking much about work. On game day, they are in their football box, and lord help us then….

Women, on the other hand, have neurological connections that look more like a plate of spaghetti. Noodles wind in and out of each other, this thought connects to that, we’re showering and thinking about what’s for dinner, our husbands are trying to be romantic and all we are fixated on the dirty socks on the floor, we’re playing organ and brainstorming for the next greatest revolution in marriage ministry (and you forget which verse of the Kyrie you are on…. sorry boss, my bad).

Dr. Louann Brizendine has written a set of books on the subject, which I plan on reading…. right after I read the books *cough all five cough* I ordered yesterday…. Curse you amazon and your dastardly convenience! But I digress.

After the Kyrie debacle of October 15th, I have come to realize that while I may not be able to overcome my spaghetti tendencies completely, nor should I, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to maybe learn to compartmentalize a little, and try to organize some of this spaghetti into something more manageable– like a waffle. Wikihow had some interesting ideas, and even more interesting illustrations, but seemed to over complicate things. Nevertheless, I did come up with a battle plan.

Step one: have more office supplies

A big reason I have difficulty focusing on what I’m doing at any given moment, is that I am afraid I will forget something. I bought a simple black notebook a while back for all things blogging, and that has helped a lot. Ideas go into their own page there and I can add to them as I come up with new thoughts, and generally end up with a basic idea and half a dozen little thoughts that I can type up when I get a minute and a cup of coffee at nap time. I’m going to put a very simple note taking app on my home screen for the same purpose. Ideally, I’ll have a big mess of a file of thoughts that I can go back to at a more appropriate time.

It works for blog ideas, there is no reason it can’t work for shopping and chore lists. Wiser women than me have been doing this for years. It is time I jumped on the band wagon. Plus, I get to go buy sticky notes and stuff!

Step two: remember that I can go back to a box at any given moment

This idea actually did come from wikihow and its something I need to remember. As long as I have it written down, I don’t have to worry that the thought or idea is gone, I can go back and get it any time. And if I’m not trying to do five things at once, maybe I can be a little more efficient at knocking things off my list.

Step three: put. down. the. phone.

According to my analytics page, there is a very high probability you are reading this on your phone. I am very glad to have you here, don’t get me wrong. But just out of curiosity, did you actually open your phone to read the latest thing I had to say? The probability that you didn’t is even higher. The smartphone is just a big pile of virtual spaghetti.

One thing connects to another, and I see the graphic I am adding to this post and it makes me want to go on pinterest and look for another recipe for tomorrow’s breakfast and oh look a pretty picture for my wallpaper of Wonder Woman and oh wow they call Ben Affleck Buttman now that’s unfortunate and I wonder how many superhero movies have been made this year and Batman could totally beat up Superman and I’d never let my kid watch that and why did Netflix take this off their site and Netflix is dumb and and and…….

There is a good time and place for mindless scrolling, and again, maybe that’s how you found me, so I’m grateful for that. But that is not what I need to be doing 100% of the time. Sure, I can multitask pretty well, but attention is a limited commodity. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing without a digital distraction.

Spaghetti has it’s own benefits. There’s a lot of things that simply wouldn’t get done if I didn’t keep thinking about them. My house would be a wreck, the laundry would never get folded, I would probably forget about dinner a lot, but I can’t function like that all the time. The devil loves it when we are so occupied about the problems of this world. It means we have no attention left for God.

We’ll see how far I get on my waffle quest. Hopefully it fixes a bit of my scatterbrained tendencies. And if it doesn’t, I have my big resident Waffle to keep showing me how to chill a little better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get some pasta, sauce and meat for dinner. Monday actually is spaghetti night.

What has worked for you to stop being so mentally busy and compartmentalize effectively?

waffle graphic

7 thoughts on “How to be a waffle: the art of compartmentalization”

  1. This is hilarious! And so timely. I can relate to every single thing you said. The notebook for blogging ideas is genius. I find I have little scraps of paper all over the place and then I can't find anything. I've taken to carrying a little planner with me everywhere but I really like the idea of a notebook. Great blog post!


  2. Oh Hils, here I am at 56 still trying to “compartmentalize” my spaghetti brain. My logistics/ process improvement wafflish husband is my perfect counterpart and we make a great team.

    Liked by 1 person

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