We discovered our oven wasn’t working one night when we had company over for dinner. Our pizza came out of the oven burned on the top and undercooked on the bottom. But, that was not the meltdown part. After muddling through two no-oven weeks, we decided to have a new oven delivered upon return from our vacation.
While I was cleaning out the refrigerator to prepare for our trip, news broke about an egg scare. The nation’s biggest egg seller and distributor recalled 288,000 eggs from a farm in Ohio that had produced eggs with salmonella. I tossed out two dozen eggs that I imagined could have been tainted from the “egg scare”.
When we returned home, we had no oven and no eggs. Everything I could think of to cook required eggs and an oven. It took several more days before the new oven was installed and I had fresh eggs in the house again. I was anxious to cook after watching six seasons of cooking DVDs from America’s Test Kitchen, my favorite cooking show. Sunday morning seemed like the perfect time to create a divine omelet with my new omelet pan and choice eggs from Whole Foods Market.
I was certain that my culinary skills had sky-rocketed to a new plateau from all of the instruction spinning around in my head. I put on my crisp, white apron from Paris, swung around my spatula like it was a Japanese santoku knife, and started cracking eggs for the omelet.
Oh, no. What is that spec in the egg yolk? I thought. I slam-dunked it down the garbage disposal and cracked another egg.
Another spec? Eggs, two, three, four—same thing. Every egg that was not perfect landed in the sink. I went through 10 eggs to find omelet-worthy ones. At this point I was imagining salmonella food poisoning and feeling a bit shaky in my omelet venture.
No Man’s Land
The pressure was on when Neal strolled through the kitchen and commented, “Only eggs? I wanted some pancakes, too.”
“I don’t think I can do omelets and pancakes at the same time,” I said. “Those are two different breakfasts.”
In spite of my objection, he ambled on through the kitchen, knowing I would give it a try anyway. Eggs were flying , I forgot to measure ingredients, and there were so many things going on at one time that I forgot everything I knew about cooking. The omelet overcooked, and in my frustration I blurted out, “Neal, I burned the omelet.”
He made the fatal mistake of making a man comment, “I don’t see how anyone can mess up an omelet.” Now, it wasn’t just the omelet that was burned, I was fuming, too. I am a well-seasoned cook, I thought. How could this happen to me?
Meanwhile, I lost my place with the ingredients for the pancakes, ran out of eggs, and left something out of the pancakes that must have been important. While runny pancakes oozed over the side of the griddle, I made my culinary presentation to Neal by sliding the not-so-appetizing omelet across the table and growled, “Enjoy your omelet.”
He tried to be nice about it, but made another comment that didn’t set well with me. “It sort of takes the fun out of eating,” he said.
As I spent the next hour cleaning up the kitchen, I had a piece of under-toasted bread wrapped around a slice of crisp bacon and called it a day.
What in the world just happened? I thought. Everything that went wrong in the kitchen could also be applied to the way we live our lives.
Our OLM Plan:
O-rganization-Pre-planning includes time well-spent to organize so that we can achieve our goals.
L-imitations-Do we take on too many things at one time by trying too hard to live up to someone else’s expectations?
M-easurement-Time and resources have to be measured out ahead of time. Do we have the proper tools and ingredients to prepare for the expected outcome? Just wearing the chef’s apron is not enough.
Breast Cancer Survivor’s Meltdown
Upon surviving breast cancer, some important adjustments have to be made. No one can give you the perfect plan for your life. Changes in life happen, but those changes can be turned into great victories if we put the OLM chef test to work.
When all was said and done, I had to laugh over how ridiculous my meltdown was. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously and need to step back to take at big-picture look at where we are in life.
Thought for Today:
“Stored away in some brain cell is the image of a long-departed aunt you haven’t thought of in 30 years. Stored away in another cell is the image of a pink pony stitched on your first set of baby pajamas. All it takes to get that aunt mounted on the back of that pony is to eat a hunk of meatloaf immediately before going to bed.”—Robert Brault
Let’s Talk: How did you overcome a meltdown?