April 23, 2023 · 8:51 am
Shortly after discovering a pretty major food intolerance about 15 years ago, I quickly realized that I needed to brush up on my cooking and baking skills. A person can get bored pretty quickly on a rotation of just three “safe” dishes: shepherd’s pie, chili con carne and grilled chicken breast with a tossed salad.
I consider myself a pretty good short order cook with a natural curiosity for trying different food combinations. That being the case, removing wheat from my diet was not a catastrophe to me. In fact, I think it just spurred on my curiosity even more.
I just had to make time to practice more, to locate recipes that appealed to me and to test them until I got the desired results.
At first it was a bit stressful to explore a world without wheat and flour, especially when some of the resulting dishes didn’t look anything like the picture and tasted like cardboard. But eventually, some reliable go-to recipes emerged and things fell into place.
But along the way, I made another discovery. During that incubation period of trying new recipes, I found that cooking and baking can have a relaxing effect on me. Continue reading →
Filed under food, home, Humour, stories
Tagged as baking, cooking, cuisine, curiosity, curious, happiness, hobbies, joy, kitchen, mindful, mindfulness, recipe, recipes, relax, relaxation, serenity
October 8, 2017 · 8:15 am
Ever since I turned 50, not a day passes that I don’t consider what I might want to do in retirement.
It is kind of funny because for the first half of my career, it was all about mentally preparing for the next work assignment and the next career step, hoping to strike to right balance between something I can be good at, something lucrative and sustainable, and something that will keep me happy.
At this stage in life, the hunt is still on, but not so much about the next career step as it is for activities I may be interested in pursuing in my next chapter.
Of course, there is no rush. As I suggested in my post about my retirement “gap year”, sleeping, recharging my batteries and writing for the fun of it will be my top activities in that first year. But at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking note of the activities that make me happy and which hold particular meaning to me.
Volunteering is one of those activities.
Much like with one’s career, I think it is very important to pitch in not only where the need exists but also to volunteer for causes that are close to one’s heart. In doing so, the time spent volunteering should be more fun and energizing rather than draining.
This is what I tried to explain to my dad many moons ago, when he objected to my volunteering just as I was launching my career. In retrospect, I certainly understand his point of view in that it was important to focus my full energy to my burgeoning career. But early on, there were days that I felt that my job was not tapping into my full potential, especially from a creative perspective.
That is why I was looking for other outlets. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Cats, Inspiring, stories
Tagged as accomplishment, activities, animal, care, career, Cats, community, dogs, energy, heart, ideas, in the moment, joy, mindful, mindfulness, opportunities, pay it forward, pet, pets, rescue, retirement, retirement planning, shelter, shelters, volunteer, volunteering, volunteerism