I spent a long time this morning baking a loaf of bread. Decent gluten-free bread is the coeliac Holy Grail and I so nearly cracked the recipe last time I tried it. This time round, I was fully expecting to produce a fluffy, crusty wonder. But what came out of the oven was a bit of a disaster; I forgot the salt and used the wrong type of flour. The end product was a soggy, flat loaf. I had some for lunch because I had used so many nice ingredients putting this failure together, but it just wasn’t pleasant. So frustrating!
It’s human nature to want to get things right first time, but I have always particularly hated making mistakes -buying the wrong parking ticket has been known to put me in a foul mood for hours. Our recent stint of home learning revealed that this extreme dislike of making mistakes is a trait one of my kids shares with me. The other day as I was reassuring them that getting it wrong is normal and fine, I was faced with a bit of a mirror moment. “Really?” I asked myself, “Do you really think that – do you live like that?” It’s all very well me telling my children that mistakes are how we learn, but I often don’t live that way myself. I waste a lot of time on regret and telling myself off for getting it wrong.
So my resolution over the next little while is to embrace mistakes, forgive myself when necessary and take what insight I can from each misstep. This is not a new lesson for me, but I have a feeling that as we come out of lockdown and start to spend more time together, we will all have many more mistakes to deal with – from social faux pas and insensitive comments, to diary clashes and forgotten commitments. I hope I can deal with these moments by learning from them and moving on. I want my children to see that choice in action – the choice we all face when we get things wrong.
My soggy loaf isn’t destined for the bin this time; I’m going to toast it, shove it in the food processor and freeze me some homemade GF breadcrumbs. And when I’m tucking into my homemade fish and chips I’ll recognise the good that came from that soggy, flat loaf.