Plain Bagels & Plain Cream Cheese

I've been thinking a lot about bagels lately. Maybe because I like them. Maybe because I'm dieting. Maybe because in crazy pandemic times, thinking deeply about bagels is a welcome distraction.

One of my favorite bagels is a plain bagel with plain cream cheese. But I hate ordering it. It sounds like I'm belittling that which I love. Or perhaps it sounds like I'm proclaiming to the universe that I am undeserving of the more fancy bagels.

The truth is that the double-combo of Plain on Plain is a spectacular delight that far exceeds the unfair critical suggestion of its moniker. Said differently, plain bagels are far from plain.

I read recently how people should not chase the new and shiny project, until they finish what they're doing. That's something I used to always struggle with - and have had to constantly remind myself of my familiar refrain: Substitute novelty with nuance. Find what is intriguing, interesting, immersive in the thing that has grown familiar, grown boring, grown... plain.

It's a great trick. The more you search for nuance in the thing you are doing, the better you understand it, the better results you produce. If you take something you've done and hand it to an expert you will delight in their perspective, their feedback, the slight adjustments they'll make to improve it - and that's nuance.

But this isn't a post about finishing projects, staying motivated, or fixing bad habits. It's about bagels.

And my bagels aren't plain. They're nuanced.


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