You see, every year since I cut my milk teeth cinnamon buns have been a part of Christmas. I've packed those suckers in my luggage for out of town Christmases and insisted they take their rightful place next to my husband's family's coffee cake. I would wage war if anyone suggested we remove the cinnamon buns from the Christmas breakfast menu because, dammit, it's not Christmas without the damn buns. Plus, people LOVE those buns, look forward to them now that I've indoctrinated them into my tradition. What will they think if I show up empty handed?
So it's 5:32 the day before Christmas Eve, the day before family begins to come into town, before they come over for drinks and appetizers to kick off the Christmas Eve festivities and all the clutter has yet to be shoved into the closets. The carpets never did get cleaned, there's laundry to do, and the kitchen looks like the bakery gnomes had a flour orgy in there.
And the damn dough didn't rise.
Know what? It doesn't matter if it does or not. We will either have cinnamon buns~or we will not. If I let some flour and yeast ruin my day, what is the point?
Is it just me?
I spent 15-minutes contemplating toilet seat covers at the store today. What color? What style? Should I buy new towels to match? I obsessed about this, thinking there was a right answer. After all, people are coming tomorrow, and the toilet seat cover is make it or break it time with the family.
I squandered a similar amount of time at IKEA with a set of hand blown fancy glasses the other day. How will my guests perceive these glasses? Can I serve wine in them even though they're not wine glasses? What other cocktails might I offer? In the cart and out of the cart they traveled no fewer than five times. Seriously. Fucking glasses that cost me $2.99 apiece.
I was stuck, and it was all because I worried about how my guests would perceive the damn glasses.
I do the same thing with almost every out of the ordinary purchase. Sun glasses, scarves, clothing, rugs. They all represent me, and well, gosh darn it, how will people see me? What is the right thing to do?
I've become so lost in others' opinions and anticipated judgments that I become paralyzed by dough that doesn't rise and purchases that, quite frankly, don't mean diddly to anyone else. And the thing is, when I do this, when I try to avoid judgment by others, I am judging myself more harshly and cruelly than anyone else ever will.
Whatever it is, let it go. It doesn't matter in the big scheme of things. My dough will rise~or it won't. All the baseboards in my home will be scrubbed~or they won't. Truth is, anyone who actually gave a shit about any of that wouldn't be high on my list to associate with, so it's just my self-judgment that's making me crazy.
Do me a favor. Be kind to yourself. If the potatoes aren't as creamy as you'd like, if the bow on the gift isn't just so, if something burns and you have to order Chinese takeout for dinner, be kind to yourself. Shit happens, and it doesn't matter unless you make it matter.
Happy holidays, y'all.