Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Friend Impatience

Have you met impatience? We're much closer than I'd like to admit. Impatience visits me when I open the oven repeatedly to check on the rising status of a bread loaf and while I poke at a block of butter to see if it's room temperature yet. Impatience is there when I burn my finger on molten fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate, and lingers around for my gluten free experiments as I fail over and over to reproduce the same recipe with new flour.

Baking is about the journey and not the destination. It's hard to expect that you'll produce something good if you don't take time to enjoy the process of getting there. I sample as I go, checking that there is enough banana flavor at the beginning of the muffin batter instead of cringing as I taste the finished product. And still I fail all the time. I've put effort into many things only to have them come out with the wrong texture, the wrong flavor, the wrong...everything. Impatience can dominate if you let it--a true symptom of product seeking.

So how do I deal with it? Well, I haven't figured out how to get rid of impatience entirely. My trick is to not look to the product as the ultimate goal. It seems impossible, I know, cause who bakes when they don't have a serious sugar craving? But if you find joy in the process then you won't feel quite so bad if the product is not what you expected. They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, so why not make friends with an enemy? Here's to my friend impatience, thanks for keeping me in the moment.

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