Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Go Ahead & Pin This. {The Magic Ratio}

Yesterday, Georgia told Chris she was going to make him a cake while we were at a greenhouse trying to figure out plants and fountains and rocks and everything else you do at a greenhouse.  It was hot and we were trying to hurry so we just responded with, "uh-huh…sounds good."  When we got home it came up again. "Are you ready for me to make my cake--I want to do it all on my own."

I paused and then said, "Sure. What do you need?"

Flour.
A Hint of Vanilla.
A Hint of Butter.
Skittles.
Marshmallows.
Water.
1 Egg.
A Hint of Baking Soda.
A Hint of Milk.
Peanut Butter.
Nutella.
Sprinkles.

A 'hint of' is currently her favorite unit of measurement.

So I piled the ingredients on the counter and gave her a bowl.  She got started mixing up all this deliciousness.  I mean, skittles in a cake?  How can it go wrong?


I can't give you exact measurements for this confection…..other than a 'hint of' everything.  But we did bake it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.


That large pale spot in the middle was actually a huge bubble.  Wouldn't deflate even when I poked it with a toothpick.  That's right--go ahead and pin this.  I predict a large following will ensue.


Peanut butter and Nutella frosting.  Hands down the saving grace of this cake.


'A hint of' does not apply to sprinkles.  That's more like a 'heaping handful.'


Ta-Da.


It was……….amazing.  Amazing how thrilled this made her.  She's still talking about it today.

This whole cake thing reminded me of a training we had at work a few months back.  The trainer started the day by talking about something called 'The Magic Ratio.'  A psychology expert named John Gottman studied 700 married couples in 1992.  Gottman and his researchers video-taped a 15 minute conversation between all 700 couples.  As they watched the recordings they took note of how many positive interactions each couple had during their conversations compared to negative ones.  They were looking for a 5:1 ratio of positive comments, facial expressions, and reactions to those that weren't.  They predicted which couples would be divorced in ten years and which ones wouldn't based on their findings.  In 2002 they revisited these couples and had predicted with 94% accuracy which marriages would last and which ones wouldn't.

I find this statistic fascinating.  We all know that being more positive with those we're married to, work with…..raise, is a good thing, a crucial thing, a necessary thing……but when looked at through this researchers lens we see that it is a life-giving thing--the element that will most likely sustain any kind of relationship.

I've thought about this magic ratio a lot since I heard about it.  Not only in terms of my marriage, my interactions at work and with my friends, but with my daughter.  Not that she can 'divorce' me….but she can feel more connected to me, more secure, more confident, more empowered, wiser, kinder, valued, and the list goes on.  It's not to say that there aren't days, hours, moments, and minutes where things are heated and not the most fun, but it's a more moving way for me to think about the old adage 'choose your battles' or 'say yes as much as possible.' The idea of providing a positive interaction versus a negative one with her 5:1 feels more concrete;  a goal that I want to work towards.  Some days it will be a no-brainer.  But it's those other days…..

When it's so hot, we're trying to get everything we need at a greenhouse quickly, we have our own agendas of what we think needs to happen in the day to deem it a good day, and Georgia……wants to bake a cake.

To bake a cake or not?

I want to choose more cake baking.
Especially if they have Skittles in them.

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