The Dog Ate My Breakfast

You all know I care about eating for health so I got up this morning and before I tackled the motorway, I got busy with getting my breakfast ready. On the menu this morning was some fruit, specifically kiwi, strawberry and orange as my starter, then toasted wholemeal bread with avocado mashed with turmeric, black pepper and sea salt. This was going to be helped along with some organic hibiscus tea. So far so good.

I was going to eat this on the motorway as I have at least an hour’s commute so I put it my bag and left my bag on the floor while I went to the next room to give my son his list of instructions for the day. It is half term and left to his own devices he will play computer games all day rather than revise for his A-Levels. That and the fact that he has to take care of his younger brother and at least he wake him up before 3.00pm and try not to murder him before I come home from work!

By the time I finished with my long list of instructions and came back to the kitchen, the dog was loitering next to my bag with a sheepish look on her face and I knew at once that she had been up to no good. She had eaten the toast and avocado mash but couldn’t be bothered with the fruit.

I had the choice of being tipped into an existential crisis as those of us in the first world are wont to do at the slightest challenge to our pampered lifestyles. The options were:

  • Write off my day as I was now going to be late to the office and everything was bound to go downhill from there anyway.
  • Hit the dog to let out my frustrations but I am not a violent person and also the branch of eastern philosophy that I subscribe to makes me think that I there is a vague possibility that I might come back as a dog in my next life so best not to mean to any dogs in this life time.
  • Soldier on like trooper


What to do? I let off my frustration by screaming at the dog and calling her ‘bad dog’. Not the most enlightened thing to do but I had to let out my frustration somehow.

I was frustrated because I had to go make my breakfast all over again. Did I mention the dog had also licked the fruit and decided it wasn’t for her? So I had to go back to chopping more fruit and doing the avocado mash all over again. This set me back by another 10 minutes which meant I was going to be late for my first meeting as I was already cutting things fine as it was and the motorway is always unpredictable.

There is a joke in spiritual circles that goes something like we can all be spiritual so long as everything is going swimmingly. It is easy to wake up and meditate and be all zen about life until the dog eats your breakfast. Then before you know it, your day has started off on the wrong foot and rather than pulling yourself back to centre and resetting your day, you allow the one random act in the morning to set the tone for your day. Spirituality is accepting that some days the dog will eat your breakfast and your children will make you feel like a ranting lunatic because you had the temerity to ask them to wake up before 3.00pm. But, it goes past acceptance, it is the determination to take the responsibility for your day, that no matter what happens, as much as possible, you are going to back to centre and choose the way you are going to react, rather than responding to circumstances. You are going to hold on to that zen feeling for as long as you damn well can. This is the daily battle and there is no short cut but if you keep on like that, one day, when the dog eats your breakfast, you will take it in your stride and there will be no need to come back as a dog in your next life!