Yesterday I made this amazing banana bread. Unfortunately, I filled the loaf pan way too full and as the bread baked, the batter spilled out onto the bottom of the oven and burned. The resulting smell was awful, and lingered long after the banana bread was finished. It was so bad I realized I would need to clean the oven. It takes a lot to get me to clean an oven. I don’t think I have cleaned my oven since we moved here four years ago. Yes, you know it was really bad. Suffice it to say, it was time.
Given my all-or-nothing mentality, my thoughts defaulted to, “Sally, you must now do a completely thorough oven- cleaning!” I don’t even know what that means, but I know it would take at least an hour. I flash back to my mother in the 1970s teaching me to clean the oven. We wore rubber gloves and protective aprons. I remember we had to open all windows and spray the oven with something in an aerosol can, then wait an hour with the oven heated to the lowest possible temperature. The subsequent steps involved massive scrubbing, which massacred your fingernails (hence the gloves) while contorting yourself into strange positions with half your body inside the oven. It would end with my mom lying in bed with a debilitating backache.
Suddenly with great delight, I realized it would be good enough to do a mediocre oven-cleaning! I don’t even know if that oven-cleaning aerosol can still exists, but I had neither that nor SOS pads. I cleaned the oven with nothing but my kitchen sponge and called it good. This is what a recovering perfectionist does. I consider this Varsity growth! Malodor gone, sanity restored, problem solved. I even scored a few bonus points because I discarded the sponge when finished and traded up for a brand new sponge.
Mediocre oven-cleaning AWARD! I am so proud of you every time you give yourself permission NOT to be perfect.
Love, Big Love
Call to Action:
Identify one thing you can do imperfectly today. Do it … and give yourself an AWARD!
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