One of my earliest memories is in the kitchen with my grandma. I had been running around her heels and getting in the way of her baking. Instead of getting annoyed, she swooped me up and plopped me on the counter in the middle of measuring cups, bowls, and utensils. She then proceeded to teach me how she was making whatever she was making. I vividly remember her teaching me how to crack an egg one-handed and to this day it’s the only way I can do it.
Later, I heard that my mom had chided her about letting me get potentially salmonella-ridden egg on my hands. But my grandma was from a generation that didn’t believe in letting a mess stand in the way of what needed to be done. I washed my hands after and I didn’t die.
I worry sometimes if I was in my grandma’s shoes if I would have shoed the pesky child out of the kitchen, too worried about getting dinner made than creating a moment. That moment with my grandma was such a small one, but it is one that has influenced my life. I think it is one of the reasons why I love cooking so much, especially cooking for people I love. What would have happened if I just was shut out of the kitchen?
I worry about this generation. We are the generation of crops and filters, of clean lines and simple shots, of insta-perfection. We judge our lives on how others view us and how many likes we receive. But so few of life’s precious moments are perfect and who would really want them that way?
There’s always more to do, more to clean, more to perfect. Whether it’s doing every thing you can to look like a model or making your home ready for a photoshoot with Home and Design, you can spend your life comparing rather than living. I say this only because I have done it a million times.
Obsession for perfection can pop up in any part of your life. For me, I came to a point where I was so obsessed with keeping a clean house that I genuinely got angry at my husband when he put a clean sheet on the floor. Is anyone really going to be harmed by that sheet touching the floor? No! But I was harming my relationship by getting irrationally upset about it.
Beneath my kitchen sink, I have a solution for every type of mess that could ever happen on the face of this earth. There are hundreds more that I could convince myself to buy if I had enough money. I love cleaning and organizing. But sometimes enough is enough.
After that episode with the sheets, I had to teach myself to enjoy the messes that life creates. Now, after dinner the best thing to do is let the dishes sit on the coffee table while I snuggle up and watch Netflix with the Mr.
Of course, dishes have to be done and a kitchen should be kept clean. But there’s a happy medium where life flourishes and chaos is kept under control.
Dishes can wait; life can’t.