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Less Icing // More Cake

March 22, 2012

Yesterday, there was free cake in the break room at work (as there often is) and, breaking with my usual tradition, I decided to grab a slice.  I was dismayed upon closer examination, however, that the small piece I took was made up almost entirely of icing.  I scraped most of it off.

When I was a kid, it seems like I would always angle for the biggest corner piece (more icing) with the biggest rose (even more icing) as to maximize my sweet icing exposure.  But now, as an adult, I find myself seeking a much more cake-heavy balance.  Unfortunately, what comes intuitively to me regarding cake seemed to be escaping me where it matters much more.

Talk about perspective – check out this post on Makeunder My Life – it really rang true for me today.  More icing is not what fixes a mediocre cake, rather it is the quality of the ingredients and the care of it’s maker that really make a good cake great.  You most likely know this if you’ve had an awesome sister (in my case) make some delicious homemade concoction verses the cavity-inducing boxed cakes offered in most supermarket bakeries.

In this internet-happy world where we can see everyone’s best sides (and where people’s worst sides are mercilessly picked over), it is tempting to fall into the thoughts that more shoes, a better decorated house, a fancier camera, tighter abs, more streamlined organization will surely make us feel better about life and about ourselves.  But all this “stuff,” though it may seem pretty – is not what will sustain you.  It may taste sweet, but in the end, it’s just sugary fluff.  Jess says it so well, “peeling back the layers of our lives leads to the most happiness – not adding to the layers.” This is how life shines, and how you actually get to appreciate the cake you’re eating.  Lately, I’ve been craving way too much icing, forgetting the simple intentions I set for myself just a few months ago, and sometimes find myself struggling to be grateful for what I have and where I am.  Right now.

But it’s never too late to change your perspective.

I decide to value the substance in my life, the quality ingredients and the care of my Maker.  The relationships, peace, good health, service and devotion that are cultivated inside and are what really bring flavor to life.  Things money can’t buy, and that can’t be captured in a photograph.   Because no more can shoes, pillows, or gadgets cure an empty heart than icing can cure a bad cake.

  1. March 22, 2012 4:11 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing my icing epiphany! I’m happy to hear I’m not the only person who is trying to love cake a bit more these days… : )

  2. March 24, 2012 3:40 pm

    Oh Annabelle – thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom. The way you summed up the fluff and substance of life in this post reflects a theme in my life at the moment. Now 3 months into a 9 month travel adventure, I’m starting to realise that there needs to be much more cake in my day (perhaps not literally as I had cake for brekky this morning) and less icing. I’ve already stripped back the stuff, with a house full of things packed away in Australia, three outfits in my pack and a new home everyday, but I feel there is still so much potential to peel away the sugary coating and get down to real life. Perhaps it is more time with people, as you suggest, rather than just sights. You’ve prompted a great chat between Dave and I about what we want from the rest of our year, so thanks!

    • March 26, 2012 8:40 am

      You are so welcome, Nic! Your story is really inspiring, and something I dream of doing someday :) Seems like its a constant battle, or really a series of day-to-day choices, to keep protecting what is really important – glad I’m not the only one.

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