This is going to sound crazy, but sometimes I think I care too much. Last week my lovely partner decided it would be totally ok to bite into a rocky road bar. Under normal circumstances this would have meant nothing (except a tasty bite), but he happens to have a temporary bridge (aka artificial teeth) and a warning from the dentist to avoid extremely hard foods, and so this bite resulted in a broken bridge and an urgent trip to the dentist.
While my boyfriend was posting Facebook updates of his toothless grin, I was sitting at work quietly losing my shit. Call it “radical empathy” or whatever, but I am the kind of partner who feels the full weight of my guy’s troubles. This might seem like a nice thing, but I’m starting to realize the intense, crazy levels of worry and stress when he is going through a tough time is not healthy. Sometimes I have a hard time being supportive, because I’m living his shit so deeply I feel like I need support of my own. Often I’m even more worried/stressed then he is, about his own issues!
And after talking to a bunch of female friends, I feel like this overworrying/overempathy thing is very common amongst women our age. One friend is losing sleep over her partners professional anxieties. She spends almost as much time worrying about whether he’ll figure things out as she does worrying about her own career. It’s not that she’s worried they won’t make ends meet. She just, like me, takes on the full weight of his stresses.
This is not ok. It is not sustainable. But how do you learn to care less? Telling myself to empathize less seems terrible. But is it so terrible to just tell myself, “he’ll figure it out?” Sometimes I find myself saying over and over “it’s his problem” not because I don’t care profoundly but because it’s me giving myself permission to let it go. Maybe it’s time I learned that only he can fight his own battles, that he’s fully capable of taking care of his weightier matters. And maybe, in order to be a better, stronger, and supportive partner, that’s what I need to do. So I’d love to know: how do you deal with your partner’s ‘tough times’? How do you distance yourself enough to better support them?
I have no logical segue to what I’m sharing here, other than these cookies are so stupid easy to make they won’t cause any stress or worrying, and that my silly boyfriend probably shouldn’t eat them if we wants to keep his new bridge. Oh and yes, they have a lot of butter, but it makes a ton, enough to feed a hungry team of coworkers, and keep some for yourself :).
mini egg shortbread cookies
- Stand mixer or Hand Mixer
- 2 cups room temperature butter (4 sticks)
- 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour (525 grams)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 cups Cadbury Mini Eggs (or your favourite chocolate candy)
- Put the mini eggs in a large freezer bag, seal, and break into large pieces with a rolling pin. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
- In a stand mixer (or with a handheld) cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Slowly add flour + salt mix to the bowl with the creamed butter and sugar and stir until just until fully combined. Add the mini egg pieces, and stir until fully incorporated.
- Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to overnight. The longer you can chill them the better, as they will hold their shape and sink less.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Shape out about 15 cookies per sheet – about 2 tablespoons per cookie with 2 inches between each cookie. Gently flatten the top (they will only sink slightly).
- Bake, one sheet at a time, for 20-25 minutes, until just golden brown. Cool on a baking rack.