Can anyone relate? It feels like I've got a hundred things on the go, and while my head isn't physically whipping back and forth, both my focus and attention to detail definitely are.
I know I'm not alone...c'mon, we're all overscheduled, whether we're single or coupled, family or no kids. Life is...busy. All these conveniences to save us time seem to do little more than free up more time to cram something else into. Am I right? Who's with me?!
So my plan for the last hour of my day before the kids come home and I start my #testkitchen dinner is to write to you as if we're sitting across from each other with a cup of coffee in hand. Let's make some decisions together. What's important to you? Why do we do this thing we do; this busy, busy, busy/on all the time life thing. When I was a child, summer holidays seemed to stretch on forever...now those 2 months are gone before I even close my eyes. How do we recover when we stretch ourselves so thin? Is there something we need to let go of, or are we doing all right?
Here's what's most important to me: all the things I do with my life, personally speaking, my goals and aspirations, my dreams and hopes- I think about how they're going to impact the lives of those two amazing human beings I helped to create. The world they're growing up in is so different than the one I did. Sure, the same bad things happened, but we were slower to hear about them, and the impact wasn't as pronounced. I grew up running around the neighborhood with my little brother and neighborhood friends and played all the time. There wasn't the constant fear of someone doing something bad to myself or my brother. I didn't worry about guns at school or being home alone. I knew everything would be fine.
I want my kids to grow up in that place, where they know it's all good. They're safe, they're loved, and they can have the freedom to be kids, to run through the sprinkler during our (very short) summer, they can go biking on the green belt, they can play soccer or go to the park. They can play minecraft, watch you tube videos of people playing minecraft (does anyone out there understand that?), take lots of pictures, cook with me, read amazing books, eat amazing food, go camping, and explore the neighborhood.
But I'm also doing this for me. I'm a wife and mom, and still my own person. While I am passionate about good food, I need to do more than just sit around and eat it. I want to teach people about making healthier choices, take classes and get degrees to increase my knowledge, experiment with different food flavours and pairings, travel and expose the kids to the foods, flavours, and cultures of people around the world. I want to improve the quality of our life, and ultimately leave something of myself behind that's enduring, whether it's the recipe book collection I've started working on or the indelible impression all these #testkitchen meals are leaving behind in my kids' minds.
I want to show off a bit too, demonstrate to the kids that being an adult isn't all work and no play, that you can have hobbies you love, enjoy your job, and still be a responsible grown up. I discovered last fall that I'm a dancer. I loved my first foray into tap, and I plan on dancing until I'm no longer capable of doing it. The first competition last weekend was a terrifying and amazing experience, and I'm so proud of myself for doing it. I think at 40 I've finally started figuring out what I want, who I am, and who I want to be.
So that's my story. Let me refill my coffee cup, and I'll wait to hear yours when you're ready to share. I'm all ears.