Hits and Misses ….Lessons from 2011

New Kitchen. New Crew. New Rules.  New Life.

I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss Christmas and New Years and Baptisms and Birthdays and weddings and cruises.

I miss being a good friend, a sister, a cousin, a daughter, an aunt. I miss being in the pictures, and being able to tell the “I was there” stories.

Now, I get to tell different “I was there stories”. Cochon, F&W, photo shoots, Parties (working them, not attending them), Events,  busy nights, busy days, New Dishes, New menus, Staiges,

New and exciting, scary and difficult. Challenges at every bend. Life lessons all the time, every day if you pay attention to them. You can’t hide who you are in the kitchen. I’m learning that I actually quite like myself. I like the cook I’m becoming.

So many changes, The seasons turn, swimsuits to sweaters. So many things that once were, but they are no longer…

Ever feel like all those things that you went through in your life, the trials, the hard times- they all mattered? they all helped train you for this exact moment? That you wouldn’t know how to pull together as a team if you didn’t spend 12 years on softball field? that you wouldn’t be able to navigate the kitchen as quickly and dance around people if you hadn’t been a majorette? That all that sight reading in band helped you to be able to memorize a dish immediately? ROTC in college helped you to swallow your pride and take responsibility for yourself?

Gifts  disguised as something undesirable turn out to be the best presents ever. Inherent truths confirmed. Truths you doubted because of a million different reasons.

Humility is one of those gifts, and a little goes a long way. It seemed like such an unwanted attribute for so long. It took me 30 years to finally embrace this character trait. Keep your mouth shut, and your eyes and ears open. Be grateful. Be light. Be honest.Be Ruthless. Smile. You can still smile, be dead serious and determinedly focused. and It gives you less wrinkles anyway.

Remember that It matters, all of It. Everything you do, everything you say. How you treat people, In the kitchen and out of the kitchen. And forgive yourself when you feel you’ve erred. ask forgiveness when necessary. You’ll know when you need to do it.  Do it quickly.

We roll with the punches, because its really the only way- at least its the only way  Iknow.

You’re mad? Go in the cooler and pound some butter. Literally. Beat it the giant sticks together like you’re a mad clapping monkey. Then, smooth on your lipgloss, and walk back to your station.

Or, Perhaps another way,  breathe… keep your poker face, your composure and don’t let them see you sweat. If you can help it.

Don’t complain. There is way to much to be grateful for to allow yourself to fall into the pit of self pity.

Don’t put people on pedestals. Its too much pressure for them, and you will inevitably be disappointed as they are alas, human. But respect them for the skills they have and the lessons they can teach.

Pay attention.

As it turns out, kitchens can be run successfully, ruthlessly, respectfully, and compassionately. So can your life. Just own it. Be intentional.

and eat more greens 🙂 they are in season now!

 

 

 

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