I think most people expect to feel differently every time the new year swings around; like some sort of strange, unexplainable feeling of rebirth is supposed to stir inside them. The truth is, this very rarely happens in the magnitude we imagine, and most of the time it happens depending on whether we want it to or not. Change is hardly instant. It’s something you have to work on for a period of time.
It begins in the tiniest corner of the soul.
A lot of people create resolutions but never persist long enough or hard enough to see an of them through. (I also know people who make them for the sake of bandwagoning— because everyone else is doing it too.) Ironically, they have the gall to be disappointed by the whole concept of New Year’s Resolutions, as if it’s some sort of magical fairy-godmother who grants wishes with a flick of a wand. Trying to make a change in your life shouldn’t feel like an obligation, nor should it be a sort of half-serious commitment. It should be something you really want to do.
Although 2012 wasn’t AMAZING or BRILLIANT for me, it was a great year. I went through a lot of duress during the last quarter of the year, so it has coloured my judgement of 2012 quite a bit, but quite frankly it would be a huge mistake to dwell on the bad things. The last hurrah for 2012 happened abroad, in both Malaysia and Singapore, with company that, although was not perfect, was probably one of the best I could ever wish for. And as I was reflecting on the things that have happened, trying to sift through the good memories and put the bad ones behind, I had this feeling of contentment. Then I had this feeling of preparedness, of confidence even— a feeling that 2013 is going to be awesome.
Because I am going to make it awesome.
As cliche as it sounds, I guess I’m starting to understand this whole YOLO business. The truth is, if we let the opportunities for our happiness pass us by, we’re going to spend a lot of time regretting. I think that’s one of the worst things to spend our energies and days on, regret. It’s a given that most of us are afraid of making mistakes, but I find that sometimes the Universe has a way of sorting these things out. If we shy away and prefer to stay on the safe side, we will never know whether or not it could’ve brought us the luck and prosperity we’ve always been hoping for. So in 2013, I think I’ll worry less and live more.
The older I get, the more I realise that all the changes I want to undergo, all the happiness I want to achieve, will be up to me. I have to find the balance between control and letting go, and I think I’ll be okay.
So how have I been faring so far? Well, the first two days of work have been chaotic to say the least. I guess some things never change. Despite how tired I am already, I am filled with so much buzzing energy to get into the thick of things, whatever “thing” this may be. I wake up in the morning with an odd sense of purpose and urgency to get going, so these Baked Oatmeal “Muffins” have been a great match to my current mood. I simply pop them into the oven for a little reheating and walk out the door with them in hand.
These are like tiny muffin-shaped oatmeal, minus any danger of spilling. They taste exactly like oatmeal with dried fruits, except you don’t need to go through the hassle of washing bowl and spoon. A batch can last about a week in the fridge for one person. You can eat them on the road while you’re hurrying to work/school (which I’m pretty sure is going to happen because everyone is still trying to recover from the holiday vacation blues!). You can eat them anytime you’re absolutely in a hurry but need to fuel up. Just peel, chow down and throw away the muffin liner.
I don’t know how else I can build this thing up. It’s definitely a neat little trick!
Makes 12 "Muffins"
- 2 cups uncooked oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned is fine)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup craisins or other dried fruit
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cups skim milk (regular or low-fat milk is fine)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray muffin tin or line with paper liners and set aside.
- 2. Combine oats, brown sugar, dried fruit, walnuts, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 3. In another bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg.
- 4. Add the milk mixture to the oat mixture and stir well.
- 5. Using a 2-ounce trigger release ice-cream scoop, add the "batter" to the muffin tin, filling all the way to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
- 6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing, using an offset spatula to loosen. Serve or store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave before eating.