I have a confession: I’m a perfectionist.
Last week I made a birthday cake for a coworker and in a moment of exhaustion, I missed the instruction in my Southern Living magazine to Crisco AND four the pan before putting the batter in to bake. No surprise, my cake came out, I turned over the pan and…my cake was topless.
My immediate reaction was: This is a disaster. I need to make another cake.
My breathing became labored and I started to pace.
In the middle of my freak-out, my mother came into the kitchen and insisted that not all was lost and she’d fix it. I insisted, “But it can’t be fixed! Can’t you see it’s ruined!” She found a small knife and began to loosen the top piece still stuck in the pan. In a couple minutes, she had it freed. She rotated it, found the proper position where it matched the bottom piece and flipped it over.
This dear readers is one of the many benefits of living with one’s family. In short-we need each other.
I turned the glaze into a frosting and covered the whole thing. I was still skeptical. My mother continued to reassure me and forbid me to make another cake. (Thank goodness for that woman.)
I went to bed, disappointed and frankly, still feeling like a failure.
The next day I came into work and told my team the story. It was way outside my comfort zone to serve this imperfect cake. They laughed, but when they tasted the cake the whole mood changed. “This is amazing. This is really good! Can I take some of it home?” They liked it. While it wasn’t pretty, it was delicious.
I bake because I like making people happy and that’s exactly what I’d done.
Learning to live with imperfect situations is something I’m still working on and this one was a big stretch for me.
Are you a perfectionist?
What are your struggles?