You Are Cake

You are what you eat and do.

That’s the saying that my two eldest children are discussing at the dinner table.

“I’m cake,” my seven-year-old daughter says, “because I love cake.”

“Me too,” says my five-year-old son. “I’m cake.”

They’re munching slices of chocolate-chip cake after dinner. It’s mummy’s homemade chocolate-chip cake and it’s still warm inside.

I also love cake and so I join the conversation and say, “I’m cake, too.”

The eldest looks at me quizzically and pauses for a second and then says rather nonchalantly, “Yeah, you can be cake, too – and work.”

I stop eating and look at her as she takes another bite of cake. And work? I want to ask her what she means. But, well, it does go with the saying, “You are what you eat and do.” Work – it is what I do. It is what I do a bit too much of as a reporter and a writer. But it’s just work. It’s not what I want as my epitaph. “A man who worked.” That certainly wasn’t my ambition as I set out to make my life after university. No, I dreamed of more. So it’s time to make a change. No more waiting around. It’s time to take a day off or two or even longer to get back in touch with my real self, a man who loves to read, surf, write and go for long walks in the forest with the kids and make up adventures involving giant bugs and dinosaurs and witches and big, big bears. There’s no stopping me now. But first, let’s get prepared. I’ll put in a few days of hard work to get up to date. I’ll get my stories turned in on time and bring others forward to get them to the editors even before deadline. That way I’ll be able to really, really enjoy my mini-vacation. Yes, I will get up to date. I will work hard so that I can… yeah, well, if you’re following my line of thought then you will soon guess that, yes, my daughter is probably very right in her assessment that, indeed, I am work.

And so as my enthusiasm for living for a new epitaph withers, I grab another piece of cake.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Purple Pastel Pretty July 25, 2010, 1:46 am

    It's so easy to get caught up in the tradition of each day that it's hard to realize how much we're missing out on. That is, until something as beautiful and innocent as a child interrupts us, throwing a bucket of cold water on our heads.
    I really enjoyed your story about that. 🙂

    It's scary to think that I have gotten so caught up in something and didn't even realize it many a time.
    I want to say that I will never do so again, after "snapping out of it" but it seems thats a hard promise to keep.
    Let us be then thankful of those little reminders! And hope they are always there when we need them most.

  • Charles Newbery August 10, 2010, 12:59 pm

    Thanks for writing. Yes, I keep "snapping out of it" to realize what's good in life and to scale back what's just alright. The kids keep reminding me to not become a too, too busy man.

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