The omelet of life…

The omelet of life!

Saturday morning… family breakfast! And this morning it was omelet on the menu. The big man is home…

And as I am making the omelet’s it makes me think about life… for the perfect omelet is made from the right ingredients being put into the hot pan at the right time. For us, the Mortimer omelet is made simply; just 5 main ingredients and the seasoning.

The pan has to be hot and the coconut oil just running clear and hot.

Throw in the red onion…. And let them sweat until they are clear, but not fully cooked nor brown or burnt…

Throw in the finely sliced button mushrooms… and let them brown and shrink. You always need more mushrooms than you originally think…

Once they are nicely soft it is the turn of the spinach… Again, more than you think as the leaves reduce to practically nothing…

And quickly after the spinach, the eggs, pre-whisked and seasoned…

Then comes the patience… a few swirls of the spatula around the pan to ensure it doesn’t stick…

Waiting for the perfect time to overlay the fatless palma ham to be laid on top…

Patience… you don’t want to flip the omelet too early or the egg will run out the side and spoil the perfect half crescent shape… too long and you get a rubbery texture.

I do this routine 4 times… as I have 4 hungry men at my breakfast table.

As I repeat the recipe and activity the 4 times, it makes me think of the recipe of life….

Just like life – we may know what we want the outcome to be and the steps we need to take and decisions we need to make… but it could go wrong. Outside influences could deter us from our path, make us shift our focus… A spilt glass of water could make us burn the onions… and we have to start again.. Just as in life, a life event could make us take our eye off the prize and we have to start over…

Just like life – everyone is different… the goal different, the size of the goal different…. Tom – 1 egg, Willy 2 eggs, Uncle Barny 3 eggs and Big Daddy Morts the 4 full egg breakfast.   The same applies with the ingredients… Tom doesn’t like mushrooms and BDM wants extra spinach…

Just like life – you need patience… If you want the end result to be as good as it possibly can be or even exceed your expectations, you need to have patience to go through each step before moving to the next one… Rush it and it can all go wrong. Scrambled egg.

Just like life – you need the right tools… BDM has worked out that the 5 inch pan is the perfect size…. That a plastic spatula is the best thing to do the swirling and flipping.   The mini whisk with the red bowl … god forbid they go missing! It never feels right if you have to do it with a fork and a breakfast bowl…

Just like life – you can’t take short cuts….. the youtube clip of the omelet in a ziplock bag and boiling water. Rubbertastic! No thanks…

Just like life – everyone can take a different approach and still get the same brilliant result. Mr OCD stays true to himself… the onions chopped into tiny perfect squares, next to the perfectly sliced onions in perfect piles, spinach out and the palma ham de-fatted, the eggs whisked in the red bowl, seasoned… perfectly lined up, cup of coffee next to the pan. And…. Go!

Me… I am a muddle of chopping just in time, walking back and forth to the chopping board, swearing as the onions just start to go brown as I search for the spatula… can’t find the spinach in the fridge… you get the picture….

But the end result is that the omelet is done, delicious and nutritious…

Just like life… you can look at the end result and know that reversing the order, connecting the dots backwards, each step played a part in the perfect breakfast plate, the perfect result for our lives. Each step or dot, necessary for us to move to the next dot and we remain at some dots longer than others, entirely because it is necessary…

Steve Jobs was right.

connect-the-dots-looking-back-steve-jobs-picture-quote

Leftover risotto…

I am shocked to find myself ravenously gobbling (yes gobbling) up the boys’ leftover creamy, cheesy leftover risotto…

Even more shocked to find that I am ravenously gobbling up the boys’ leftover risotto from the pan… AND with the spoon!

I stop gobbling for a few minutes and change the spoon for a fork.

I continue gobbling.

Somehow having a fork makes it ok…

To eat from a pan…?

Or to eat leftovers?

To eat creamy carbs on a week night when I haven’t exercised?…

I am not sure…

So why I am shocked? I bet many people eat kids leftovers. I bet quite a few eat from a pan… saves washing up right?

It’s not something I would do.

The eating off a spoon – terribly uncouth.

The eating from a pan – even more so!

The eating kids leftovers – in my opinion and experience, a slippery slope of adding in extra unrequired calories a day which can lead to the middle aged middle.

These are behaviours, I wouldn’t usually allow myself to do.

My personal standards today have clearly slipped!

So that begs the question, why is that? What happened today to make me resort to eating leftover boy’s tea off a spoon from the pan?

Looking at the facts of what needed to happen today:

Tom needed to be ready to leave at 7.20am to get to school on time for 8am.

Willy and I both needed to be at the same school for 9.15am.

Willy needed picking up from the school at 2.15pm.

Tom needed picking up from the same school at 4.45pm.

2 drop offs / 2 pick ups and the rest of the day was mine to do what I wanted.

That sounds boringly easy. Simple. And definitely not ‘eating leftovers with a spoon from a pan’- like…

Or at least what I would have thought – pre-kids, suited and booted, off on the corporate ladder warpath, ignorant to life as a mum…

For adding in to the simple recipe of 4 drop off and pick ups – add in the additional factors:

The school is a 40 minute each way commute.

You could argue that I could have made one trip both ways, hung out near the school for a few hours.

However, while Tom gets dressed, makes and eats his breakfast, does his ablutions independently and without any fuss… Willy does not.

Willy likes to take his time, having breakfast in his pyjamas (he hates to get his school clothes with one spot of a meal on them, let alone any spillage of water – Mr OCD in miniature).

Willy likes 3 rounds of toast, made for him with just the right amount of butter.

Any rushing Willy or deferring him from his routine, ends up meaning disaster. He would not be ready for 7.20 am.

The return journey… I could have picked up Willy at 2.15 and hung about around school for Tom.   But Tom was on an away rugby fixture and 4.45pm pick up is likely to mean 5.15pm. And in my professional Mum’s opinion 3 hours is too long to hang around in coffee shops… or go shopping with a 6 year old (chaos or massive expenditure)…. And going home to drop Willy off and back again would be just a waste of time and petrol…

So the simple recipe of today has been logistically tricky… not only in terms of cost effectiveness, timeliness but also the added important factor of keeping 2 small boys fed, watered and most importantly happy – ensuring both of them get the same level of love and attention as each other…. (I am still conscious of Willy’s melt down only a few weeks ago because I spend too much time with Tom…albeit on school runs, but he doesn’t understand that).

Add in to the simple recipe, the ingredients that are required to keep my life plans and my business moving in the direction that I want it.

Add in to the simple recipe, the ingredients that are required to keep my health and sanity in tact.

Add in to the simple recipe, the necessary ingredients that are required to keep the household functioning, the endless list of ‘jobs’ that come with being a home owner, a wife, a friend… HMRC to ring, the garage to ring and pay a bill, anniversary present to buy, etc etc etc…

I had thought that leaving my corporate job would leave me to have a more balanced life for my children, my relationships and me….

When I imagined this balanced life – the image of an old fashioned scale came into my mind… and rather than being heavily tipped over to the corporate, career side with my family, friendships and me left wanting more, swaying precariously high up… the scale would be even, equal, perfectly level, calm, immobile…

I realize now that that is an image that is something unachievable. There is no such thing as perfect. There is no such thing as perfect balance. Trying to achieve that is setting a standard far too high, impossible! And as such just another reason to beat myself up for not achieving something…

This image and realization then triggers another memory… a clip or a talk that I stumbled across once.. A guest on Oprah, once said exactly that. Work / life balance is just another reason, another weapon for women to beat themselves up for not getting it right.

I love what she says afterwards… Embrace the beautiful mess that you are.. that we all are.

So today I embrace being a beautiful mess…. Driving the same route multiple times, catching quick coffees with friends to fill the time between road trips, scribbling business plans on note pads, phone calls from the car… a beautiful mess of a Mum with boys on my knee at tea time, boys on my lap on the sofa… coaxing little ones to bed with promises of treats… patiently watching Willy flap and cry for 10 minutes in a particularly bad night terror as I have my cup of herbal sleep tea… protecting him from sharp corners, walls and tables…

It is therefore rather fitting that my supper was a beautiful mess too… a beautiful mess in the bottom of the pan that tasted so good… off a spoon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/elizabeth-gilbert-life-you-want_n_6148472.html

beautiful mess