Regret, Reflection, Decisions, and Anticipation… Happy New Year
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
Goodbye 2010, you were one of the best year’s of my life – no regrets, I sincerely mean that … no regrets. Regret is powerless and defeating, it serves no positive purpose in your life, and can stop you dead in your tracks. Reflection on the other hand is powerful, and can lead you on a path of self discovery that can redirect and transform your life. The more questions you ask of yourself, the more you take the time to reflect and learn from your success and failures- the stronger you become. In my business there is no room for regret, either you learn from your mistakes or just get out of the kitchen. Imagine if you ordered your favorite dessert at a restaurant, and the best part is the sweet sticky caramel sauce. The waitress comes out and says, “I regret to inform you, that the chef burnt the sauce and you cannot have what you ordered”. That would never happen- you see in the kitchen you must “make it happen”! You either learn how to fix it, start over, make it out of something else, or create something new, and even better than what they originally ordered… as is life. Yes, I just compared overcoming life’s challenges to making a caramel sauce, welcome to the world according to Chef Louise.
If I had to choose one word to describe last year’s language it would be “decisions“. I made serious decisions, professionally and personally – some big, some small, some physical, and others spiritual. I’m one of those people who journals… “dear diary” if you will; I keep at least three to four years of my life in a three ring binder (God help me if I ever lose this, better yet, God help the poor soul who is traumatized from reading the mad diaries of a psychotic chef). Sometimes I write prayers to God, complaints or sorrows. Mostly, I write letters to myself from myself, and sometimes letters to others that need to be written, but never sent. More than anything, it’s a place for me to confront my thinking, take a step outside Louise, and empty my mind. Keeping a journal helps me to identify where I am, where I’ve been, how far I’ve come, and to determine where I’m going. Nothing speaks the truth louder than your own voice; it’s humbling to see a reflection of yourself that you must accept – good or bad.
In 2010 I decided to start making decisions to change the direction of my career. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, (still not sure but I’m getting there) so I continued to say “yes” to almost everything. With each yes, I made a conscious decision to act, reflect, and then from that experience make yet another decision …
Yes to working at the Orange County Fair
Yes to reality television
Yes to infomercials
Yes to food styling
Yes to learning food photography
Yes to food journalism
Yes to recipe development
Yes to every networking opportunity available
Yes to blogging
The most valuable decision that I made this year had to be creating and writing my blog. From that yes, opportunity has continued to knock, and willingly I’ve opened the door and said, “please come in”. As for 2011? I believe the word of the year shall be “anticipation”. I will continue to make decisions, act, reflect and live in eager “anticipation” for the next door that will open for me in the coming year, as a woman and as a chef. The single most important thing I learned in 2010 is:
The more I cook, the more I want to cook – it never gets old.
Cooking isn’t my job, my career choice, or what “I do”, it’s a part of who “I am”. I thrive in a world where I live, create, and experience life through food. Here are my personal favorite posts from 2010. ~Happy New Year!