When fine is not good enough
I like baking but I have never liked my electric beaters. It doesn't seem to make a difference what's in the bowl, how big the bowl is, the angle I hold it at or what speed setting I use – the beaters throw the ingredients out of the bowl.
Which means that I have to drape a kitchen towel around the bowl and the beaters, and try to hold it all together to keep the ingredients in the bowl and make my mixture.
It's such a palaver it puts me off baking!
But because there's nothing 'wrong' with the electric beaters I've put up with them for years, even though they made something I enjoy feel like hard work.
This is a #firstworldproblem, right?!
And then I remembered one of my two words for this year is 'ease'.
Why was I struggling on, getting annoyed and discouraged because my tools weren't working for me? Why was I telling myself that I should keep on with them because technically (if not practically) they work?
How can I bring ease into the activity so instead of it feeling like hard work it could actually give me joy?
So, I gathered up my birthday money and bought myself a food mixer! It's pretty basic, not the colourful KitchenAid of my BakeOff dreams, but you know what? It does the job. Really well!
No more towel/bowl/beater wrestling. No more mixture splattering over countertops and tiles. No more feeling put off and annoyed.
I recognise that I'm in the fortunate position of being able to gift myself a tool that makes a pastime I want to enjoy feel more easeful than hard work, and I'm very appreciative of it.
We tell ourselves a story that we have to keep going as we are, keep doing things as they've been done, keep following the path laid out for us, because it's basically okay, we can manage, we can get by.
More peace, more ease, more joy
But, if it's possible for us to not just get by but to make perhaps a little (or big) adjustment which allows more ease, more peace, more joy into our days – isn't that justification enough? (Spoiler: it is.)
It's like answering the question 'how are you?' with 'fine'. Fine – really? Is that what we want our lives to be? Fine. Okay. Alright. Making do. Getting by.
Is this what we were put on the planet for – to live our lives feeling okay? Is this what you want for your best friend, for your child, for your partner – to go through their days just feeling alright?
Or do you want them to feel excitement, calm, fulfilment, peace, energy, playfulness, awe, joy? And if the answer's yes, then surely you want that for yourself too?
Obviously none of us can feel these positive emotions all the time, no-one can. No emotion is permanent and as humans we're going to feel the full range of emotions, including the uncomfortable ones.
But you can do better than 'fine'. You can live a life where you aren't just making do or getting by.