Embracing Failure

For the second contribution to Birthday (Cake) week, I attempted to make brown butter flapjacks. I figured it would be a good reason to bake these and up the ante to my earlier (and delicious) microwave version, but learned that sometimes, simplicity is best.

After baking the flapjacks (using organic oats rather than the porridge version, and carefully browned butter), I sort of thought this wouldn’t work out- the batter was still bubbling and sizzling as I pulled the pan out of the oven. And after patiently waiting for the ‘jacks to cool, I ended up doing a quick strength training workout while trying to chisel the hard-as-diamonds batter into edible pieces. 

The end result was still edible, if you like toasty bits of burntness in your desserts, but it did make a decent topping crumbled over Greek yogurt. Lesson learned, though: stick to the an-eight-year-old-can-make-this microwave recipe.

In another life (or a few months ago), this disaster would have ended with me cursing my crappy oven and telling myself I must be joking if I consider myself a good baker. But this time, I let the pieces fall where they may (some on the floor, during the cutting stage), and filed it away as a lesson learned in not overcomplicating things. Even, perhaps, a lesson in sticking to what works, rather than searching for something better, more gourmet. 

Coincidentally, this morning I also woke up to an email telling me I wouldn’t be invited back for a second interview for an admin job. Although I “interviewed extremely well” and would be “clearly competent,” I didn’t perform as well as other candidates on a 45-minute prioritization exercise. Even though I didn’t really want this job, I was still a little upset that I failed. I immediately searched for online prioritization exercises, hoping to better myself somehow.

Then I stopped, realizing my automatic tendency to perseverate on bad news, to judge myself more harshly than anyone else would. I reminded myself that this just wasn’t the job for me, and there probably was someone more suited to doing it than I was. And that’s actually okay.

So to balance out the day, I’m heading out into the sunshine (a rarity this past week) to enjoy a cup of afternoon coffee with some friends, and I’ll leave my fear of failure behind. After all, I failed not once, but twice today, and it’s still turning out to be a nice Sunday.



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