My 13-year old daughter began 8th grade at our local Middle School this morning. As a stay-at-home mom, the first day of school each year brings a set of contrasting emotions. I love summer and the freedom from a rigid schedule. On the other hand, I am always ready for the comfort of routine that returns each fall with the start of school. I also find contentment each morning, helping my family prepare for their day. As the car pulled out of the driveway at 7:35 a.m., I headed into the kitchen for a bite of breakfast to eat while watching the 7-minute local news update that comes on a little before 8 a.m., the extent of my TV watching for the morning.
I am not a morning person, so the idea of actually cooking anything before 9 a.m. is too much for my mind to handle. However, I recalled seeing an “egg in a mug” recipe on Pinterest, the motherboard of ideas. A quick Pinterest search revealed several microwave-your-egg-in-a-mug recipes. I decided to try a poached egg recipe which the pinner described as “works like a charm”. Hey, no oil and no frying pan sounds good to me! One minute later I had that egg in a water-filled mug in the microwave, cooking for 75 seconds, exactly as described on Pinterest. I even had time to make a piece of toast while the egg was poaching.
As I headed to the fridge for some grapes to top off this impressively fast and healthy breakfast, I heard a loud and disconcerting explosion sound come from the microwave. My first glance revealed water running out the microwave door unto the counter below. That couldn’t be good. Grabbing a paper towel to stop the flow of the water, I opened the microwave with my other hand. My egg was still there – everywhere. Half-cooked egg was dripping down every wall of the microwave. The yolk sat in a puddle of milky water on my microwave tray. And the mug? It was nearly empty, save for a meager dripping of water left on the bottom.
As I proceeded to clean up the mess, my toast grew cold and I missed my 7 minutes of morning news. I considered giving up and having a bowl of cereal and milk, my least favorite morning meal. What ever happened to the “works like a charm” or “doesn’t get easier than this” phrases that had described this recipe? What about that perfect Pinterest picture of what it was supposed to look like?
Not to be deterred by the pile of soppy egg-yolk-covered paper towels on my counter, I decided to try again. I grabbed Egg #2, put a little less water in the mug, covered it with plastic wrap for protection against another disaster, and microwaved the mug in smaller time increments. Guess what – it worked! Adding a touch of ground pepper, a slice of buttered toast and a few grapes gave me the perfect breakfast for the start of this new day and new year.
My exploding egg episode reminds me of another lesson I need to continually remember. Life does not often look like the picture we have in our minds. The day-to-day unfolding of our lives does not usually fit the description of “perfect” or “charming” we had imagined. And sometimes, life is just a mess. So what do we do? We pull ourselves together, we clean up what we can, we ask God for help, and we try again. And again. We learn from our mistakes and we start each new day with hope. So if today you find yourself with an unplanned problem on your hands, don’t give up. Try again. And again. You will be glad you did.