So it seems that reframing requires a great deal of effort on my part and is still very much a work in progress.
Jackie suggested last week that I consider adopting a gratitude journal, and on Sunday I decided that I had nothing to lose. So I went out and bought myself a nice little notebook to keep by my bedside and have embarked on working on gratitude as a new nightly routine. But in order for it to work, I think that I have to write *real* things that I'm specifically grateful for from that particular day, not just general things like "home, family, enough food to eat, blah, blah" -- all of which are things that I should in fact be grateful for, of course, but the whole point is that I'm in the doldrums and am not feeling good about the life that I know I should be grateful for but am not.
The goal is to write three things every night, although it's only been three nights thus far and there was already one night when I couldn't come up with three things. So I've decided that, if I'm not feeling "naturally" grateful on any given day, I need to take steps to do something specific that I will be grateful for.
And that brings us to apple oven pancakes. I got this recipe from a blogger, but I can't give credit where credit was due because this was back in 2006 and the blogger, Academom, no longer has her blog (or maybe has a new, different blog that I don't know about). This is the recipe that I can always count on to give me something specific to be very grateful for:
Apple Oven Pancakes
Melt 2 Tbs butter in a pie plate.
Sprinkle a thin coat of brown sugar evenly onto the butter.
Arrange one thinly-sliced apple onto the sugar. [The original recipe said to peel the apple, but I don't.]
Pour over the top of the apples a quick pancake batter (2 eggs, 1/2 C flour, 1/2 C milk, 1/4 tsp salt).
Bake @ 400 for 30 mins.
Loosen sides and flip onto big plate immediately.
The end product is somewhere between an elephant ear and an eggy pancake with apples and the perfect amount of sweet.
Clearly this is the simplest of recipes, one that even I of limited domestic abilities can whip up in just a few minutes, and it is delicious and heart-warming and deeply, deeply satisfying. And it gives me something real and specific to write in the gratitude journal. I've made it twice in the last three days.
So whoever you are, Academom, I thank you.