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Thoughts On Cooking And Living

Joined: 1/2/2012
Posts: 118
My husband and I love to entertain and have a pretty solid game plan when we decide to cook for friends. As soon as the e-vites go out, our fun begins. Although we can make dinner for two in about fifteen minutes, a "company" meal might take a week – seriously. First we look for inspiration – cooking magazines, Pinterest, what looks good at the market, or seasonal fruits or veggies. When something peaks our interest we build the meal around it. Next is the division of labor – shopping, table setting, prep work, and the completion of each dish. Our “to do” list helps us stay organized and get everything to the table without a lot of fuss (and mess) in the kitchen on the night of the party.

Of course it doesn't always go like we planned. There have been failures and disappointments, but, we love having a shared hobby, so we keep working at it. One thing that we have learned over the years is that the process of planning and cooking a meal together is more important to us than the eventual outcome. When we made that discovery, we became less anxious about the final product. So what if a recipe doesn’t work or someone doesn’t like shellfish – we’re not cooking for the Queen and no one will go home hungry. The joy factor increased in leaps and bounds as we developed a simple plan for success through trial and error. Of course, we want our friends to enjoy the food we prepare, but it really is not the most important part of the experience for us.

That's sort of what retirement feels like. We made some mistakes in the beginning by getting overly involved and being results oriented. We were still in “work mode” and consequently, spent a lot of time trying to find fulfillment in choices that simply were not right for us. At some point, we regrouped, asked ourselves some tough questions, faced a few realities and started focusing more on the process of living our retirement years. We have not become complete commitment phobic’s, but we definitely shy away from anything long term. When we do take on a project, we put things in proper perspective and do the best we can without feeling like the outcome rests entirely on our shoulders. Just like being in the kitchen, we realize that the real joy of retirement life is in the process of living it. You can make it harder on yourself than it need be, or you can relax and enjoy the ride. These days, our journey is uncomplicated and joy filled – bon appétit.
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