I stood in front of a wall full of buns for 15 minutes as my mind raced a mile a minute trying to decide which ones I was going to pick up. They had to be perfect. I didn’t know how many I needed but I definitely had criteria. They had to be fresh baked, the perfect size, the perfect squishiness, and I needed enough for 5 adults and 2 kids.
For 15 minutes I stood there being overwhelmed trying to over rationalize and complicate a simple Father’s Day picnic and I just couldn’t make a decision. Before this was the deli counter, which was an even worse experience. I have never ordered lunch meat before, let alone for 7 people. I grabbed a number and stood in line staring at all the different meats and cheeses that I could choose from. How on earth do you pick which turkey is the perfect turkey out of 6 different varieties? I had no freakin clue.
My number was next and I had no idea what I was going to do. Lucky for me, a lady pulled up with a cart full of groceries and an over zealous child excited for bologna. I knew this lady was my deli meat lifeline to being able to get through this experience.
When they called my number I told them I wasn’t ready and asked the lady if she wanted to switch. Confidently she ordered a half pound of black forest ham, oven roasted turkey, and mozzarella. All of that sounded pretty safe to me and totally something my family would enjoy. I literally ordered the exact same thing.
By the time I got in the car, my brain had a thousand thoughts flowing through it and I couldn’t make it stop. If you’re wondering what got me to this point of feeling totally overwhelmed and incapable of ordering stupid lunch meat and picking up buns, the simple answer is that it was me.
I get in the way. I take what is supposed to be a fun family Father’s Day and I try and make it perfect. And by doing this, I over complicate it, put too much pressure on myself, and try and make it something that its not.
We are simple people. And yes, my family would have enjoyed elaborate sandwiches, several different types of salads, veggies, fruit, and dessert. But in reality we were so busy that I didn’t have time to prepare all that, even though I wanted to. My sanity was dependent on the fact that I needed to simplify, scale back, and relax. And so, at the realization of this, the actual enjoyment of this Father’s Day lunch began.
On Saturday, we all gathered together around the table celebrating an amazing man who has been such a great example of what it means to be a dad. We talked, laughed, ate, and enjoyed the build your own sandwich bar, 1 pasta salad, and homemade butter tarts. It may have been simplistic, but it was perfect for us.
As I sat at the table staring at all the people around it, I knew that it wasn’t the food that made the day memorable… it was the people. In years to come, we are all going to remember the time we took to get together, build memories, and be a family. That’s the important piece and that’s the only thing that matters.
I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day.