Breakfast

I’m warning you beforehand, what I’m about to say is going to seem utterly ridiculous. But my mother once told me that I could conquer the world if I ate a decent breakfast. The whole world. All because of breakfast.

See? I tried to warn you.

Anyway, to this very day I’m still not sure how this meal can make conquering the world possible, but my mother never lies.

I remember the day she told me this, I was having a devastating morning. I was about to take an entrance exam into the sixth grade. And this was a big deal because earlier that year, I’d failed fifth-grade—which drained my confidence.

But getting back to breakfast. Mama made the greasiest meal. Three eggs, cooked in fat from a Maxwell House can, bacon, potatoes, grits, and toast hearty enough to sand the hull of a battleship.

I passed my test. I made it to the next grade. And eventually, my confidence began to improve. Thusly—and I’ve always wanted to use that word—I can only assume that breakfast played an important role in life.

Since then, I’ve always believed in the first daily meal. I ate a good breakfast the day I got married. A big one. That day, the waitress kept bringing me plates of pancakes.

“You must be starving, honey,” she said.

I smiled. “Thusly,” said I.

But I was only nervous-eating. Truth be told, they weren’t even good pancakes—the blueberries tasted like freeze-dried goat pellets.

I also ate a big breakfast the day I got fired. My boss called me into his office and chewed me a new nose-hole. He said things so hateful I can still remember them. I quietly walked out of his office before he finished speaking.

I went to eat breakfast. I read the paper, I watched the sunrise. I had one of the best mornings I’ve had in years.

So I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I suppose it’s because I come from country people, and these people are full of ideas.

Our ancestors believed in smearing thick butter on toast, and in farm eggs. And they believed in the sacredness of early hours. To them, breakfast was the moment before the day had been written. And nobody ever knows what kind of day it will be.

Today could be boring. OR: it could be the sort that lives in your memory forever. It could be the day on which your whole life hinges. It could fall either way.

You might meet a new friend. A lover. A kid. A feral dog. An angel. See, while I write this, the sun is about to rise, and this seemingly normal morning might actually be a spectacular day in disguise. And if you ask me, you owe it to yourself to be ready for such things. Because once this best-day-ever happens to you, you’re going to look backward and realize that everything has meaning. Everything.

Your good moments were like swatches of fabric. Your painful moments were little pin pricks from a sewing needle, stitching you together like a quilt. And on your final day, you’ll see this quilt and think to yourself: “My God, wasn’t I beautiful?”

Thusly, you were. Very, very thusly.

Then, your whole life will all come back to you. You’ll remember that blind kid in the Piggly Wiggly you held the door open for. The college student you hugged—you had no idea he was suicidal.

The man at the stoplight, holding a cardboard sign. The little girl at church you gave your outdated cell phone to, who had never owned anything so nice in her life.

The red headed kid who failed fifth grade, but was fortunate enough to have a mother who said he could conquer the world if he wanted. All he had to do was eat his eggs and toast.

Anyway, I forgot what I was talking about.

Oh yeah. Don’t skip breakfast today.

40 comments

  1. Peggy ALEXANDER - September 20, 2021 6:37 am

    I hardly ever eat breakfast 🍳 🍥🥓🥞. Love breakfast food, just not hungry. Just can’t wait for coffee ☕️. Love breakfast food for supper 😊

    Reply
  2. Lander - September 20, 2021 7:26 am

    Thanks, Sean. Hope you get a good bite to eat this morning.

    Reply
  3. Leigh Amiot - September 20, 2021 8:32 am

    I love the pre-dawn hour and breakfast.
    Thusly.

    Reply
  4. Janie Gentry - September 20, 2021 10:36 am

    Today is my mommy`s 83rd birthday. I’m going to spend the day with her, along with my sister and brother. But first, I will have my breakfast and look forward to the memories we will make today.

    Reply
    • Dean - September 20, 2021 10:52 am

      I know you will have a wonderful day. ❤️❤️❤️

      Reply
  5. Marcie Emory - September 20, 2021 10:45 am

    Thanks for this. I love you.

    Reply
  6. James Moore - September 20, 2021 10:48 am

    I remember waking up to my momma frying bacon and she always cooked my eggs over easy and was very careful not to bust the yellow because she knew I wouldn’t eat them if she did. And she also keep renderings in a can on the stove, just like her momma , the sweetest grandma that ever lived did.

    Reply
  7. Dean - September 20, 2021 10:54 am

    Brings back good memories. Thank You

    Reply
  8. Pingback: Breakfast – Virginia Belle

  9. Debbie g - September 20, 2021 11:23 am

    Moment before the day had been written

    What an awesome thought for us today

    Love to you Sean and Jamie and all of us

    Reply
  10. Suellen - September 20, 2021 11:56 am

    Thusly, just like a hearty breakfast, your words every morning make us feel like we can continue on one more day and maybe even conquer the world. Thank you Sean.

    Reply
    • MaryAnn A Dunham - September 23, 2021 4:11 pm

      Amen!!!!

      Reply
  11. gwenthinks - September 20, 2021 12:01 pm

    well said

    Reply
  12. johnsteinbach - September 20, 2021 12:16 pm

    Sean, you’re almost waxing poetic this morning. “Wasn’t I beautiful?” indeed. Very thusly!
    Love it!

    Reply
  13. dapeek43 - September 20, 2021 12:18 pm

    I love the image of my life as a beautiful quilt and bad times as the pinpricks! Thanks Sean!😊💕

    Reply
  14. Robin Kidd - September 20, 2021 12:29 pm

    Sean, love this, perfect for my 60th birthday today, thank you!

    Reply
  15. Tess - September 20, 2021 12:42 pm

    My husband and I are country people. Yesterday was the first time since the pandemic we were able to go to our favorite restaurant for our breakfast. It was fantastic, we had eggs and fried potatoes, cream chipped beef and pancakes with enough coffee to sink a ship. My grandparents taught me the importance of a big breakfast to start my day.

    Reply
  16. KATY@ 9 am - September 20, 2021 1:02 pm

    💕Sean, it’s wonderful to hear you talk about yourself in such a grateful and life – affirming light.
    Keep up the good work that is your true calling🥰 And continue shining your light before all so that we may give glory and praise to our God 🙏

    Reply
  17. Gay Talbott - September 20, 2021 1:16 pm

    You are a national treasure!

    Reply
  18. Melanie - September 20, 2021 1:22 pm

    Last one to Waffle House is a rotten egg! 😁

    Reply
  19. Paul McCutchen - September 20, 2021 1:30 pm

    I always need something for breakfast. I have coffee but even when things were tight I would have peanut butter and jelly. Got to have a kick start.

    Reply
  20. Ruth ANn - September 20, 2021 1:40 pm

    I am a quilter who loves the word picture you just painted. To your thusly, I add verily.

    Reply
  21. Lucinda - September 20, 2021 1:44 pm

    Your words are always an inspiration! Thank you for getting my week off to a good start.

    Reply
  22. Lauren Lopez - September 20, 2021 2:58 pm

    I love breakfast! Every morning I eat oatmeal with butter, honey, cinnamon, ginger, and banana slices! Thank you, Sean, for your beautiful writing!

    Reply
  23. Sandra - September 20, 2021 3:06 pm

    Love your quilting analogy. My mom used to say an ounce of morning was worth a pound of afternoon. Really true. I can check things off of my to do list, one after the other in the morning, not so with the interruptions of life in the afternoon. She was really big on breakfast, too. She worked nights in a potato processing plant, and worked in years when mothers didn’t work out side of the home if they didn’t have to. She got home, and made us breakfast, and we were ready to conquer any day.

    Reply
    • wfsuga - September 20, 2021 5:02 pm

      “An ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon.” Love it. So true. May I plagiarize that and attach it to my desk at work?

      Reply
  24. Lulu - September 20, 2021 3:07 pm

    I overslept so I’m haveing a late breakfast while reading about good things from you. Thusly, you made my breakfast brighter. Love this.

    Reply
  25. Cheri Johnston - September 20, 2021 3:08 pm

    Ok ok Sean, I’ll go make my oatmeal waffles & thusly have a hearty gluten free breakfast!

    Reply
  26. Stacey - September 20, 2021 3:14 pm

    Sean, I love you and hope to meet you some day.

    Reply
  27. Donna - September 20, 2021 3:34 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful words this morning. Carpe Diem.

    Reply
  28. Christina - September 20, 2021 3:52 pm

    Your mother is always right!

    Reply
  29. Linda Moon - September 20, 2021 4:05 pm

    It’s my favorite meal….breakfast. “Thusly” is a cool and interesting word, but not one of my faves. “Meaning” and “Purpose” are two of my favorites…I keep them inside me every day. I’ve faced what could’ve been my final day several times, and I’ll unabashedly say, “My God, you let me become beautiful on THIS day.” And God, I wish you had let me be Sean’s fifth-grade teacher, because I love red-headed kids. Thank You for Sean’s mother who turned him into a conquering hero of written and spoken words!

    Reply
  30. Patricia Schwindt - September 20, 2021 5:32 pm

    Sean, just on the off chance that you DO get tired of hearing it – Damn, you are a incredible, fabulous, magnificent, honest-to-God WRITER! I am just one of thousands, maybe millions, who can’t wait to read what you write next.
    Never stop. Never.
    I need your posts.
    Patricia

    Reply
  31. MAM - September 20, 2021 6:06 pm

    I don’t think i have EVER missed breakfast. Both our daughters were born in the middle of the night, so I didn’t miss a meal. I remember after the first one, I was awake at 7 a.m. desperately hungry, but breakfast at the hospital wasn’t until 8 a.m. The nurse very nicely brought me a glass of orange juice that I gulped down in one go. Even when I’ve had to fast for medical reasons, as soon as the test or surgery is over, breakfast here I come! Mothers are always right!

    Reply
  32. Kathy - September 20, 2021 6:21 pm

    Thusly, you are right.

    Reply
  33. Lana - September 20, 2021 6:38 pm

    Doo simple but so much meaning.I too believe in breakfast I also think that If you stay positive(if at all possible) your days will get better If you are always negative you bring yourself and others. down. So eat breakfast and people say ” how are u” say wonderful and after awhile you might just believe it yourself.

    Reply
  34. Elaine Schlabach - September 20, 2021 7:42 pm

    Your analogy of the good and bad moments being stitched into a Life-Quilt has lingered with me all day… Seems to me that some lives are like a comforter, just loosely tied together enough to keep the layers together. And then for some others, the pinpricks of painful moments have wandered into every corner and crowded each block of the quilt. But I find that some of the most beautiful quilts are those with the most intricate stitching…even if I don’t understand at the time why there is pain. Thank you for such a vivid analogy.

    Reply
  35. Joan Moore - September 20, 2021 8:23 pm

    Country ham and red-eye with coffee and biscuits.

    Reply
  36. Larry J Wall - September 21, 2021 6:15 pm

    Sean, I join with your Mom in believing in the virtues of a great breakfast. They have always worked well on my behalf. My mother ALWAYS fed me a good breakfast although she had a penchant for letting the bread burn. I have been retired for twelve years and, being a morning person and a wannabe chef, I have cooked very substantial breakfasts just because I enjoy that meal. Eggs, potatoes and mushrooms, sausage or bacon, and cheese omelets are one of my favorite efforts. With a pot of very hot and black coffee, how could a day ever be anything but good.
    Thusly, we all need to heed our moms’ admonition to start the day right — with breakfast.

    And thanks for today’s good chuckle over that second mug of coffee.

    Reply
  37. Liz Hoyt Eberle - September 21, 2021 8:06 pm

    Man, and WOW. You HAVE conquered the world, Sean, and you leave my heart in better condition Every. Single. Day. Thank you, dear Friend. 😔🤗🎶💕

    Reply

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