“There will always be more pans” says my husband, looking at me with a mixture of dismay and amusement. He’s just walked in on me furiously scrubbing a favorite pan with a homemade concoction of baking soda and lemon juice, trying to return it to its former glory. It was not working, and my frustration was admittedly over the top by the time he arrived on the scene.

If you know me, you know I love to cook. You have also probably been (embarrassingly) treated to a tour of my pot and pan collection, because I really can’t help myself. I love them.

Over years of working in the kitchen wares industry, I’ve been able to amass a collection of cookware that I only dreamed about in my waitressing/newspaper stringer days. I’m obsessed with my pots and pans, and that’s not necessarily a good thing, as I found out over Christmas break this year.

The once royal blue pan that I am trying to save is done. There’s nothing left to do to salvage its former glory. It needs to be replaced.

“I’m interested to see how the copper pans perform,” my husband is saying. “They look great. We should try one.”

I nod, eyes on my coffee. But I’m thinking about the pan we have. It is one of the nicest ones I’ve ever bought, back when I was making corporate-job money.

“What if I don’t like the new pan?” I say this and literal tears start to form in my eyes. I’m mad at myself for using this pan I loved. “I shouldn’t have used that pan so much!”

“Honey. There will always be more pans. Why would you not use a pan you like? That’s why you bought it in the first place, isn’t it? Most pans don’t last forever.”

And there it is. Sitting right in front of me. My struggle to break my lack mindset and replace it with an abundance mindset is real and tangible in the idea of replacing a pan. I suddenly realize that I have been working towards this moment, and I take a breath to calm down.

I grew up with hard-working parents who didn’t have a lot of material things, and didn’t really believe in spending money on new items if you could get them at garage sales or antique stores. We made do with what we had most of the time. Often, if we bought something that broke quickly or didn’t work, we were told, too bad. That’s what you bought, you’ll have to make do. We aren’t buying you another one. I am thankful for that upbringing, but I do get very nervous about what I consider to be major purchases, and will spend a great deal of time agonizing about something I know I’ll keep until it’s unusable. I also have a hard time throwing things away. But my husband has a point. There absolutely will always be more pans. I can do this.

A few days later…

My husband returns from TJ Maxx, where he found a lovely copper pan with a dark blue exterior. He tries it out, and loves it. I try it out. It’s actually great. He says that we should experiment with a few more uses, and then get some more in other sizes to replace our other old pans. I say okay.

A couple of weeks later…

We have three shiny new pans in different sizes. They are great. We’re getting in the car to go somewhere, and I notice the old pans in the garage, waiting to go into recycling. I look at the blackened exteriors, the scratched and battered interiors, the loose handle on one. I really did love them. But it’s time to let them go. There really will always be more pans.

“Goodbye” I whisper as I get into the car. “Thank you for serving me so well.”

I can do this!

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