How I Fell in Love with Cooking - My Journey into Patience
I’m a second-year entrepreneur, I work full-time as a server, I’m a piano teacher, a yoga teacher, a partner, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and my own person all at once. I’m not wearing this busyness as a badge (in fact, I’d really like to become less busy), but I’m just saying I get it. Life is busy. I feel tired when I come home from a 12-hour work day. I feel lazy on my days off. And when I’m hungry, the last thing I want to do is spend 45+ minutes cooking a meal.
Yet, despite all of this, I’ve found myself cooking a lot over the last two years. I’ve completely fallen in love with it. And without a doubt, because of cooking, I’m happier, healthier, more conscious of what’s going into my body, and more conscious of how my food intake affects the planet.
Here’s what happened: I became patient, and I started doing less meaningless stuff.
I owe this mostly to entrepreneurship. When Shelby and I were first starting out we had our goals list, our equipment wish list, our five-year plan, and our desired income for the first year. And absolutely none of it was realistic. See, we’re millennials, and regardless of mainstream media, I don’t really find this to be a negative thing. However, one set-back is we both have been used to instant gratification from a young age. So, we [naively] figured our success would be pretty instant. We thought we’d get retreat inquiries with the snap of a finger, and our online studio would be full of members right out the gate.
But, everything turned out to take an insane amount of work. And more than work, it took time. It’s still taking time. It’s just that at the beginning, things taking a while would stress me out and leave me feeling defeated or bored, and now I feel at peace when things take a little longer than expected. Anything worth anything is going to take time. And a lot of it.
And what the hell is the big rush about, anyway??
The only thing we really have on this earth is time, and we all seem to be trying to rush through everything. I’ve come up with a quote that I derived from some Jack Johnson lyrics:
“Stop pretending like you don’t have time to be where you don’t need to be.”
I remind myself of this quote a lot when I’m driving. I’ll be going 42 in a 35 for no apparent reason. That extra 7 miles per hour might, might, get me to where I’m going 2 minutes faster. What’s the point?
I’ve caught myself stuck in such a rush. I admit, I have been known to over commit and stretch myself really thin. I put way too many things on my plate. I’m not sure if it’s because I lack boundaries, I’m trying to impress people, or I’m scared of what will bubble up if I slow down. Probably a little of it all, actually. But really, what’s the point of getting 100 things done everyday if I’m not enjoying the time I spend doing them?
Entrepreneurship has forced me into accepting a slower pace. Truth be told, I’m learning to love it. Sometimes, I don’t have to be productive. Sometimes, it’s okay if the call back is taking a few days. Sometimes… I have permission to relax. I don’t always need to have 1,000 things on my plate to be worth it. If I want to come home from work and spend the rest of my night doing nothing but cooking a meal and relaxing, I can do that. If on my day off, I want to dedicate time to things I really love, that’s totally allowed. Not everything has to be done or figured out right now. Not everything is about climbing the ladder and achieving status and monetary success.
The slow, in between moments are what it’s all about. For me, spending time with food and cooking has taught me this more than anything.
My routine has vastly shifted over the past couple years. Now, about three nights per week, I pick out a recipe and spend as long as I need cooking it. This means that I truly end my work day around 6pm. Nothing on my to-do list after 6pm. Who else has the habit of bringing work home with them and checking emails until 10:30pm? I used to do it all of the time (still do on occasion). You’re not alone, but that doesn’t have to be your normal.
You can expect less from yourself each day. You really can. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or a failure or unproductive. And having days where you’re not completely booked doesn’t mean your worth is any less. It just means you’re slowing down and enjoying the only thing you have on this earth - your time.
My best advice is to take some pressure off yourself. Truly end your work day at a reasonable time in the early evening, and make that your new normal. Clear the rest of your night of any obligations. Pick out a recipe that sounds delicious to you, and then just let it take as long as it needs. Enjoy each of the small moments. Touch your food. Taste it. Breathe it in. Without a giant to-do list looming over your head, you’ll find you feel much more comfortable spending extra time in the kitchen. Making enough for leftovers is always essential (in my opinion). After dinner? Relax. Maybe this means some TV, or yoga, or reading. Whatever it is, let it flow. Don’t schedule it. Let it happen as your body asks.
Do this at least 3 days a week to start. As I said, I’m a server, so I work some nights. Teachers (and other professions), I’m sure you have so much to do after work hours. But three nights a week? You can do it. You deserve your evenings.
Spending time with food will teach you amazing things about yourself and the world. I’m not saying you have to become an amazing chef and cook meals that take copious steps and 3 hours. However, as humans, we all eat. Food is very important. Moreover, our bodies are extremely important. They’re our temples. The vessel that carries us through the journey. The better you take care of it, the more you get to enjoy your time here on earth. Why jam-pack your schedule so much that you feel you have no time or energy to spend on taking care of your body? If you really ask yourself that question and answer honestly, I think you’ll find there is no good reason.
The big takeaways:
Do Less Meaningless Stuff
Bump food up on your priority list
Allow things to take time
Enjoy your life
I really hope this resonates with you and can guide you towards a life full of peace, health, patience, and delicious food. If you want more nutrition tips and recipes, join our growing community of conscious individuals with The Unlocked Studio. Thank you so much for being here and taking the time to read this article.