I don’t know about you, but this time of year is always a little bittersweet for me.
I love the holidays as a mental break from my daily routine, but I find myself always missing my family members who couldn’t get be with us… and those that are no longer with us.
I am grateful for the half of my family that will be here, and for my oldest brother who generously offered to host Thanksgiving dinner again!
I am only responsible for a few side dishes (mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, and berry cobblers).
AND YET, even with no burden to set the table, cook the actual dinner, serve the food, or even clean up, I can feel my Inner-Perfectionist brewing.
While these are all easy dishes that I love to make, there is just as much tendency to overthink the easy things as the hard ones:
Should I make the mashed potatoes vegan or vegetarian?
Should I make one cobbler gluten-free? Sugar-free?
The cranberry relish requires oranges, but I only have tangerines. Oh no!
At our last Thanksgiving (two years ago), I was also in charge of mashed potatoes and a few other side dishes.
I got a late start on cooking thinking I had more time than I did. As I was boiling the potatoes, I did not feel like they were boiling “fast enough,” so I put the lid back on the pot to make it go faster. Unfortunately, it was a glass lid and some combination of the water being too hot or maybe the lid being too cold, the glass cracked into a spiderweb. While only one or two little glass shards actually fell into the boiling water (which I could easily pick out), I had to throw out all 5 pounds of potatoes at the risk of missing any tiny pieces of glass.
I was frustrated and then in a hurry, so I dumped the boiling water into the sink and threw the hot potatoes and cracked glass lid into my kitchen trash can. When the lid got thrown out, it broke into a million pieces.
I went to take the trash out, but the weight and heat of the 5 pounds of hot potatoes had melted the bag, which leaked, and then the bag broke leaving a trail of broken glass between my kitchen and the outside garbage can.
I found myself on my knees sweeping up broken glass and mushy potatoes. There was a lot of cursing involved.
After cleaning the mess up, there was no time to go to the store and start over, so I just had to make do with buying pre-made potatoes at the store. No one (except me) even noticed, but I felt like a failure. I basically had one job and I totally screwed it up. I was trying to rush the process. I was trying to make it perfect, and in doing so, I ended up with a huge mess.
So, this year I am reminding myself (for others who need it) to give your Inner Perfectionist a break this holiday season.
Remember your Self-Care: Hydrate. Eat regularly. Take breaks. Delegate where you can.
If you accidentally burn the stuffing, forget the cranberry sauce, or break a dish in the process, I invite you to take a deep breath and know that it will be okay.
The perfect holiday doesn’t exist except on Instagram.
Thanksgiving is about gratitude. I am grateful for my health, my family, and for all of you who took the time to read this today.
What are you grateful for?
P.S. If PERFECTIONISM is a personality trait that resonates with you, I invite you to listen to the newest episode of my podcast here.