Wednesday, August 10, 2016

You Know What You Know

I have been making oatmeal for The Fella's breakfast for a while. It is not a complex task: two cups of boiling water plus one cup of rolled oats, cook for fourteen minutes, and voila, oatmeal.

Well, maybe it is a little complex. It took me a while to land on the fourteen minute cook time. You see, the package says to cook them for ten  minutes. You know what you get when you cook oatmeal for ten minutes? No? Me either, but it's not really oatmeal. It's ... a very wet substance that looks in no way like something you should voluntarily ingest.

So I experimented. And after some trial and error, I discovered that fourteen minutes with the oven burner set to four made a perfect bowl of oatmeal. Yay for me!

My mornings were like clockwork: put the water on, empty the dishwasher, pour the oatmeal into the now boiling water, stir, eat my own breakfast, and by the time I was done with my meal, the oatmeal would be done. Brilliant. I love a routine.

The world at large, it seems, likes to screw with my routines. Because The Fella has been instructed to eat exactly half of that amount of oatmeal daily now.

No big, right?

I mean, it shouldn't be a big deal. Half is half. One cup of water plus half a cup of oatmeal, cook for seven minutes, done.

I knew it.

But I didn't believe it.

What if seven minutes ended up being too long? No one wants overcooked oatmeal. I stared at the boiling water and then, poured the oatmeal in and set the kitchen timer for five minutes. Five was probably right, I reasoned. I'd come back and check.

You need seven minutes, my gut said.

But what if I DON'T, my brain argued.

You probably know how this ends. When the timer went off after five minutes, I checked the oatmeal.

It needed ...

... two more minutes.

I KNEW IT. And I knew I knew it, but I didn't trust what I knew. I think a lot of us do this -- we don't believe in our own intelligence or experience or power. We doubt ourselves, and because of this, we make more work for ourselves. We make other people question us when we question ourselves. We are afraid to step up and show what we know. We don't act confidently.

It needs to stop. We are all smart. We have all had experiences that we have learned from. We all deserve to stand tall and proud and lead the way when we know what to do. No one should question you when you say you know how to do this, you know how this works.

Especially you.

And especially me.

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