Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Letting go of someone else's perfect.

Have you ever looked up instructions for something easy and suddenly it seemed anything but? I did this recently with hard boiled eggs. From what I could remember from pretty much every Easter of my life, you just stick some eggs in water and boil them. The spin test will let you know if they're done or not - a wobbly egg needs more time, a perfect pirouette means a perfectly cooked egg.

Easy peasy.

Except for some reason a few months back, I decided to ask Google. How to make PERFECT hard boiled eggs. Turns out, there are about a thousand ways to get it right.


I got information overload. Should I try vinegar or salt? A covered pan? Putting the eggs in the water and then boiling the water or boiling the water first? Ten minutes? Thirteen? And what about peeling?  What was the BEST way to do that?!

I must have run back and forth between the stove and the laptop a dozen times. I was full of self doubt, sure that if I didn't follow the right recipe the right way, my eggs would be a disaster. And guess what? They were. Actually, several batches have turned out not-so-good over the months. I've had everything from eggs that wouldn't peel without sacrificing half the white to undercooked yolks to raw eggs broken right into the boiling water (more to do with my clumsiness but still). 

And then, at some point, I got a healthy dose of the fuck its. 

I stuck some eggs in a pan with water and boiled them. For how long? I have no idea. When I realized they were still boiling, I shut them off. I may have put a lid on the pan or maybe not. Actually, yeah, I think I did because that would explain how I forgot about them until the next day. At which point I Googled something like How long can hard boiled eggs sit out without killing you? (A while, apparently). Then I peeled my perfect egg and ate it.



Yep, that's right. The no fuss eggs turned out great. So this is how I make them now. I put them in a pan with water and salt, turn on the stove and get on with my life. When I notice them boiling (for how long? who cares!) I shut them off, and put on a lid. Then I do whatever else I need to do. Today I took a shower and got dressed. Then, when I was hungry and ready to eat lunch, I rinsed them in cold water, peeled them and ta-da.


PERFECT hard boiled eggs.

As I was peeling the half dozen eggs under cool running water, getting all zen and whatnot, I couldn't help but think that this whole letting go of someone else's perfect to accept my own reality had to do with a lot more than lunch.

Recently, I had to make myself stop reading parenting books. I had so many perfect philosophies battling it out in my head that every moment with my kids was starting to feel like the proverbial running back and forth from the stove to the laptop. Which expert's instructions I should follow? Is this a Simplicity Parenting moment? Or should I practice Playful Parenting? Being conscious sounds good but if I go too far will my kids become entitled? Maybe I should make them clean something? Do we need more limits? Less limits? Salt? Vinegar? Help!!!

My own instincts were no where to be found. Instead of tuning into my kids, my self, my reality, I was looking elsewhere for the perfect solution. 

But guess what? There is no perfect solution. There's only us. And the more I tune into that, the happier we all seem to be.

1 comment:

Amanda Conley said...

Hahaha! Yes! Love it. ~Perfect!~