Breakfast. Take two.
Let’s talk about weekends vs. week days. Or – more generally – let’s talk about life when it’s perfect and slow and gentle, vs. life when it’s gritty and shitty and real.
As I find is often so useful, I’d like to start off this chat by thinking about food. We’ll take eggs as an example today, but feel free to sub in another breakfast staple if you wish; I’ll leave the details up to you.
Nutritionally, eggs are a pretty impressive food – as long as you eat the yolks. The yolks are stacked full of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins D, E and A, as well as Choline and Iodine – which are some pretty fabulous minerals for our brains and hormone health. These are all great things, and put eggs up on a nutritional pedestal, as its rare to find everything they have to offer in one bitesized place.
I eat eggs because they are damn delicious, and so versatile. If I had a CV as good as an egg’s, life would be easy and all the jobs would be mine.
You help to build pancakes? Yes.
You can be boiled, fried, poached, scrambled or omeletted? Yes, of course.
You are one of the key components in making cakes? And binding burgers? And creating custard? Yes.
So you see, they offer us a huge amount of joy in life. Take a look at the two photos below. The first is the result of a good 45 minutes spent carving the perfect breakfast out of Sunday morning. It involved thick streaky bacon that we’d bought from a butcher’s the day before, where I’d specifically asked whether it came from a happy pig kept outside in the fresh air, because such things are important. There were baby new potatoes, parboiled and then fried until crispy, chopped portabello mushrooms, wilted kale, and then – of course – the perfect couple of soft-yolk fried eggs on top. Heaven.
The second was thrown together Monday morning with the leftover ingredients (minus the bacon because you’re crazy if you think bacon lasts longer than a day in our house) in less than 10 minutes, and eaten in disjointed gulps while getting ready for work. These eggs were necessary protein. Still tasty, but functional, rather than exceptional.
And these two metaphorical plates are exactly how life is all of the time. Sometimes we have it pulled together like a fucking dream, and we sail through weeks in a daze of our own brilliance, effortlessly fantastic at our job and unwaveringly confident in ourselves. These weeks are delicious.
Other weeks – not so much. Other weeks we throw it all in a pan and hope for the best. The ingredients are alright – not as fresh as they could be, but not so bad – but we have no time to think about what to do with them, or we’re too tired to care. Some weeks we have to let things slide. Some weeks we write the word ‘delishous’ three times before we figure out to spell a word we already know (true story).
Both these weeks strike all of us, to varying degrees, all the time, but the horribly disappointing thing is that I always place more importance on the messy weeks. I let them define me much more than those weeks when I’m smashing it. When things go wrong it’s because that’s just the way that I made them, because I didn’t try hard enough or because I wasn’t good enough. Woe is me. When all is going well then it’s luck, the universe aligning, or my Mum making sure good things happen to me. Where’s the sense of power there?
Reality is, I made both plates of eggs. One may have had more care taken over it, and the other may have been far uglier, but I made both. Don’t give one more weight than the other.
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash