Miserable Kid and Perfectionism

This kid looks miserable.

kid with hand decorated sheet cake

I don't know how old I was. Based on that haircut, probably about 8 or 9 years old.

My mom, bless her heart, helped me bake the cake and make all the different colors of frosting (By "helped" I mean she most likely did all the baking. There's a ton of frosting so I suspect I mixed that). I had an idea in my head for decorating the cake. It was so ALIVE in there. All the beautiful colors, the magnificent overflowing cornucopia, the joyous statement of "Happy Thanksgiving!", the beautiful border of realistic looking flowers.

The actual decoration fell short of my expectations. There's that darn perfectionism.

Some things the kid in the picture needs to hear:

Have you ever decorated a cake before? No. Well then why are you beating yourself up over the outcome? You did a pretty good job for an 8-year-old who hasn't been to culinary school. And you did all that from your head? Not too shabby. No it didn't live up to your expectations. In hind sight, did you have all the knowledge and tools to create something to match your expectations? No. You did the best you could with what you had. Did you learn something from doing this? Yes. You learned you can draw pretty well from your head, in frosting, and you learned where your knowledge gaps are so you can collect information to fill those gaps if you want to. Did you enjoy playing with the frosting and hanging out with your mom? Yes. Well then it was time well spent.

Happy Holidays everyone :)