Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grinding Spices….

As a young woman and since, I have always been a keen cook. One Christmas, more than 30 years ago, I was suffering from a too-thin wallet, and decided that my only option for gifting was an assortment of pickles, relishes and chutney that had been put down in the summer season.
The recipients were truly delighted, and as everyone knows, home-crafted anythings are dear to everyone’s heart!

Cooking classes for children were begun in 1978 and continued until 1985. Students and parents alike were excited with the mastery of how-to and menu planning. A stint hostessing an International class for adults evolved from in-depth study of countries, their cultures and their foods. Sampler baskets of spices and varying spice combinations were offered at boutique stores – with requests for more.

For anyone who has used it, a mortar and pestle garners personal satisfaction and a sense of calm when rough is rendered smooth. At this particular juncture in my life, I am rediscovering the pleasures of preparing meals at home and rekindling my imagination. In this winter of 2013/2014, there are more grey skies and bluster than sun and sparkle, so yummy aromas pervading the house evoke both anticipation and, almost oppositely, calm, contentment, and a sense of stability.

As I take stock of staples and how to tweak treats, I am not only doing physical preparation of food – my mind is also nurturing and defining career opportunities which will be  perfect recipes to both produce income and offer people skills and customer care that are often essential ingredients in business development. Inadvertent failure to include them leaves tasters with a sense that “there’s something missing but I’m not sure what”. Everyone’s personal and profession occupation requires well-formulated combinations when grinding spices.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Looking Back…..

I recently read an “advice column” response to comments from a woman who had been widowed, committed to a relationship within a few months thereafter, and was heartbroken and “couldn’t stop crying” when the new partner ended their twosome.

Many men and women sometimes feel “unsuccessful” or “incomplete” if they aren’t half of what’s perceived as a whole entity.

When one looks at one’s own reflection in the mirror, do we recognize ourselves as the egg white or the egg yolk half of a partnership; or more affirmatively, as our own whole egg?  Whether it be marriage vows or an unofficial pledge, when one person commits to being the partner in a relationship, it’s a given that some compromise is an implicit presumption. So do we lose part of our identity as well?

The various life stages we grow through are, ideally, an ever-becoming process of the real person, blossoming into their best. Some people seem to always go with the flow, we can’t see evolvement; others are super-strivers to cultivate their personal and professional potential. On occasion, we feel at odds, but back-pedaling isn’t an option so we feel stuck.

The hubbub of the holiday season behind, and now in a new year where every page is still blank, most people intend to write their own book. Intentions are as real as pens and pencils – sometime there’s a block of short-sightedness that holds us back from setting down that first word!

Indecision and lack of clarity reflects in our face – others can see that something’s amiss. If our life’s journey includes wading through a swamp and we are mired down, think of it as a Temporary Assignment we’re obliged to complete.

That shell we grow is in self-defense, protecting inner thoughts and outward actions. “This too shall pass”, and the day will come when the face you see in the mirror is the real you looking back.