5 reasons I enjoy oatmeal

Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast food for me. It has so many qualities that fit my personality, more than most foods I can think of. I don’t love it, like a roller coaster. I enjoy it, like a long nap on a rainy day. It’s not tacos – it’s, well, oatmeal.

To most people, oatmeal is pretty boring. I’m okay with that. I like to think oatmeal represents simplicity. I like simplicity. I like enjoying the bare minimum, instead of needing something fancy for breakfast each morning.

Oatmeal is healthy too. I’m not by any means the epitome of health. But I like eating something each day that I know is sustainable. Of all the foods to eat every day, oatmeal is probably one of the ones that can continue the longest without any bad health consequences.

And speaking of going on the longest, yes, I’m a fan of eating the same food every day, even if it is as bland as oatmeal. It’s a paradox: I like trying new things but don’t necessarily need variety. I like trying new things for the experience of adventure, even if it’s small. Variety, on the other hand – cycling through a number of things I’ve experienced already – doesn’t necessarily appeal to me in and of itself. To me, variety makes life more complicated than it should be. I guess I’d rather save the mental energy for something more interesting than rotating. I think I’ve felt this way for a while, and it shows up in my habit of eating oatmeal.

This gets to my next reason for enjoying oatmeal. I like it because it’s easy. I’m super lazy. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a good or not. Right now, I believe it can go both ways, good and bad, and I have to watch for it swinging the wrong way. I bring this up, though, because my bent toward avoiding doing anything extra is part of the reason I enjoy oatmeal. It’s super easy to make: dump in some oats, pour in some water (eye up the measurements), cook. I throw some cinnamon in there when I remember and brown sugar on top once the oatmeal’s in my bowl. Sometimes I mix in some with it. Afterward, I have a pot, a cooking spoon, a bowl, and a spoon to wash. Not only are there just a few items to wash, but also oatmeal, unlike, say, grits or scrabbled eggs, washes up easily. I like this. A lot.

Lastly, I actually do enjoy eating oatmeal, as much for the memories that go with it as anything. When I was young, I loved brown sugar. My mom would let me eat one chunk when we’d make oatmeal, one chunk all by itself. I remember searching for my chunk, the biggest one I could find that would still pass the “Okay, that’s ridiculous, Marshall – not THAT big” test. I think I still might do that. But I only do it when I’m about to eat oatmeal, which when it’s up to me, is pretty much every day.