My inner Julia

True fact: when I’m making even the most routine weeknight meal, and my mind wanders as it does when I’m cooking, I almost always imagine a panel of judges (think Chopped or GBBS, Julia Child, Jaques Pepin etc) are observing and commenting on my efforts to each other. They are almost universally impressed by everything from what they consider my amazing ability to adapt to missing ingredients I invariably forgot at the store to my perfect balances of spices (i.e. salt and pepper). They even give me high marks for things like not wasting food. Occasionally instead of imaginary unknown judges, it’s my grandmother, marveling that I can butterfly a chicken, and she also thinks I’m just a wonderful cook.

It occurred to me tonight as I made a truly strange quinoa and leftover chicken salad (used the shawarma marinade as a dressing – the judges liked this idea), that we could all use internal judges who are on our side for once. In pretty much every other aspect of my life, the inner voice can be a real asshole. So I’m thinking of inviting inner Julia or Jaques or Ina to my next conference call so they can give me some inner high fives for the mundane and thankless aspects of work, and they would certainly be welcome cheerleaders in many parenting moments.

If it works for weeknight dinner, maybe it will work for monthly financial review or how are we ever going to get ready for college conversations. How would we feel at the end of the day if instead of an inner voice that said “ugh, that could have gone better” after every meeting, there was this panel that was like “wow, she did a beautiful job side stepping that landmine” or “nice use of humor to diffuse tension” or even “it’s absolutely amazing she did not slap anyone.” They hold up their signs: 10! 10! 10! And the inner critic is sort of skulking at the end, clearly outvoted by the enthusiastic judges.

Maybe we just have to invent your own cheerleaders.

In other news, I have officially spent too much time in my own company. 😂

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