Monday, November 7, 2011

Life Lessons in Unlikely Spots

Joy the Baker, you rock. I love reading food blogs - really baking blogs, but I don't absolutely discriminate. I mean, I like food. A lot. I really like things that taste good. I am all about flavors. I eat too much, but not indiscriminately. I will not waste my time on something that doesn't sing to me. There is, however, a lot of singing, thus the problem. But I digress.

I really enjoy Joy's blog. And I am not the only one. She is uber-popular, one of those blogs that everyone knows. My style is not the same as hers, my life is not the same as hers, even my tastes run a little less alcoholic. And naturally, adding a little bacon to everything is a non-starter. But I enjoy reading and learning from her. And today's post that gives advice to bloggers just sang to me, and I didn't even need to eat anything. I walked into the post expecting to get some great and useful tips about blogging, and instead found some really insightful life lessons. Who'd a thunk. And here's what I learned:

1. You have to love what you do. I've said it before, but it bears repeating - for everyone. I know that if my baking turns into drudgery, I will walk away. Not the kind of "Oh, I don't feel like doing this tonight" feeling that we all have once in a while, but the soul-sucking dread that comes with a job that you really, really hate going to. Haven't we all been there before? Never again, I say.

2. Be kind to yourself. It's okay to treat yourself nicely, even just treat yourself. That's a hard one for me (I know some people who would disagree, but that's a whole different story), but I am trying to find a balance with that.

3. This is my favorite: "Work hard to make it look easy…. and just be ok with the fact that it’s totally not easy." The first part is kind of how I have always liked to do things. The second part is genius. When people see things I do and tell me I make it look effortless - it has actually happened - first I feel happy. Then I get annoyed. Nothing is effortless, and often the most hard work goes into things that seem simple. Just because I don't always show the strain doesn't mean there wasn't any. But I have to live with knowing that sometimes no one else will realize that. I know what I have done, and how hard I work, and that should be enough. Unless I am going to start playing the "sprinkle flour all over my face and apron before I serve the Rice Krispy treats" card, I need to just say that this is work. And it wouldn't be called work if it was easy - it would be called vacation. There would be a chocolate on my pillow, and continental breakfast waiting for me every morning. But shockingly, there just ain't. I am just going to go with Joy's conclusion: "I made sacrifices and I created time and… now I just sleep less." And I can live with that.

Thanks, Joy! You made my day, and gave me a lot to think about.


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