Mastering the Art of…..

Howdy, Y’all.  I’m back on my home blog with no shortage of things to write about.  The trip was fantastic and aside from seeing my boys, I’m not happy to be home.  I’m thinking I have a sort of gypsy blood in me from somewhere.  My wanderlust is nearly incurable.  The idea that I’ve lived in the same place for my entire life almost makes me want to throw something.  There are so many beautiful places out there.  Why should anyone stay in one place forever?  I realize that there are those of you who disagree with me.  Some people are perfectly content to stay put.  That’s cool.  I’m okay, you’re okay and such.  And no, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon – unless someone offers me a great deal on my house.  Then, well, who knows.

Sometimes the best way to remember who you are is to be pulled from the environment that you know best.  Getting plunged in the middle of unfamiliarity is healthy in helping you find your way.  Everything feels fresh and new.  This happened on our road trip and I loved it.  The long hours in the car gave me time to think, the nights spent on an airmattress at a camp site helped me realize how much I let this house (a house that I really don’t even like very much) control my life.  It’s become an anchor that weighs me down.  And yet for the past 10 days, I did fine without it.  Now for those of you who are thinking, “Holy cow, she’s lost her mind” I can put your fears at rest.  I do realize the importance of stability for my kids.  They would not be happy living on the road.  Therefore no need to worry about me selling everything and taking off just yet.  But I also won’t let my kids define me.  They are the most important things in my life – but I can be a good mom and still like who I am.

One of the highlights of the trip was the night we spend in New York with Kambri Crews.  If you know Kambri and her story then you can imagine where I’m going with this.  Kambri is the queen of reinvention.  She has a book coming out in January that will share her story with the world but I had the privilege of reading her manuscript.  Her story is full of laughter and tears and spirit.  She drug herself out of pain and hopelessness time and time again and became the person she wanted to be.  I admire that so much.  How did she not get bogged down in the struggle?  I’m sad that when I knew her in high school I didn’t know (and sadly probably wouldn’t have appreciated) her story.  I’m so happy now, however, that I do and am able to call her a dear friend.  And I’m so grateful that her story had the power to motivate me to move forward and I suspect it will have the same effect for countless others.  Are you really living the life you want to lead?  Do you know that the truth is that there’s no limit to what you can do?  The universe doesn’t have rules designed to keep us in our place.  Nope, we do that to ourselves.  We settle for mediocrity because it’s comfortable but at the end of our lives, will we truly be happy with that?   How many of us live for the right now instead of the down the road?  I know I’m guilty of it.  Guilty of lazily accepting what is and wanting for something more to happen.  The only things I need in my life to be truly happy are my husband and my kids.  Other than that, I’m open to anything – and often overwhelmed with the choices.

In reframing my perception of the world, I’m trying to adopt the philosophy that everything happens for a reason.  Even if it doesn’t, I think I would benefit more from thinking that way.  It’s a hard leap for me to make.  I’m cynical and sarcastic and belief in serendipity doesn’t come easy for me.  But I think I can change that.  I think I can run with opportunities that present themselves if I think they were put there for a reason.  I think life would be easier and more fun to live.

On this trip, one of our big detours was to Washington DC.  This part of the trip existed for really one reason and one reason only – I wanted to see Julia Child’s Kitchen.  I can’t really explain it.  There are a lot of great chefs out there and I knew this was really just going to be a kitchen.  But there’s something about Julia.  She was everyman’s chef.  She didn’t always know what she wanted to be – she was near 40 when cooking first crossed her mind.  A late bloomer, so to speak.  I can relate to that.  And she was fearless.  I want to be able to relate to that.  That is my goal.  I want to be fearless.

We hadn’t shared much about my desire to see Julia’s kitchen before we left for our trip.  I tried to keep many details to a minimum so the blog could be fresh for people to read.  About a week before our trip, Kambri had mentioned that she had won a big basket of goodies from a party she had attended with her publisher.  There was something in it that she wanted to give me.  I was excited to find out what it was.  Then last Saturday night, as we’re sitting on the patio of her lovely home in the Catskills, she brings out the new anniversary edition of Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I was thrilled.  No, I didn’t have it.  Yes, I was so excited to be getting it.  Then Ty told her about our trip to DC and Julia’s kitchen and Kambri said she got chills.  You see, she doesn’t believe in coincidence.  To her, there was a reason for this and I’m going to believe it too.

So, now added to my 50 before 50 list is cooking through the entire thing.  No, I won’t do it in a year.  That’s been done – though for a much different reason.  I won’t sacrifice my health and well-being.  I am now trying to lose the weight I gained leading up to this trip and cooking through this book quickly wouldn’t be good for that.  But I will get through it.  I will learn from it.  I will reconnect with my love of food and cooking.  I have a passion that I’ve let wane because things got tough.  I hit some bumps in the road and I lost my way.  Well, no more.  I love to cook.  I LOVE to teach others to cook.  I love the look on other’s faces when that take that first bite of something truly delicious.  And if I made that something delicious?  Well… all the better.

I also believe that there are no limits if we’re doing what we love.  Where will this new-found ambition take me?  I don’t know.  But I’m very excited to find out.  At this point, I’m open to most anything.

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