Yesterday I was putting the final touches on a ‘Year in Review’ newsletter (my first newsletter since May yikes bad blogger!) and I was stifled on what to write about my 2015. If I’m honest it wasn’t a particularly momentous year for me. Which I’m actually okay with. What stifled me was the thought that perhaps I shouldn’t be okay with that. And sadly I mostly stifled by the thought who wants to read the post about my acceptance of a boring year. In the end I deleted the paragraph and stuck with the 2016 goals (which I will get to), but after sleeping on it here is what I wanted to say about my unmomentous 2015.
What 2015 meant to me…
As the sun sets on 2015 and I come to realization that it was a quiet year for me. I have come to the equally quiet conclusion that we all need years like that. Quiet years allow us to think about the next moves we need or want to take in life and the bigger picture as to where those moves might take us. It seemed all around me my friends and family were having a very momentous 2015, which could have challenged my acceptance or made me feel not so great. But instead what I found was my quiet year allowed me the space to celebrate and support my friends and their achievements and milestones – new jobs, moving to a new country, traveling to new places, becoming a mom and celebrating the first birthday of their first born. It was an amazing year for those around me and I was thrilled to be their cheerleader, photographer, innkeeper.
My quiet year also gave me the opportunity to learn from others and to appreciate their passions. There are some seriously cool people out there, who took bad-ass leaps of faith to do what they love and not follow the beaten path. Taking the time to connect with them and be inspired was a big push in the right direction for me.
You see as odd as it sounds my milestone for 2015 was figuring out what I don’t want for my life – professionally and personally. It took a few unexpected twists for me to reach that personal milestone, but I reached it. Starting out 2016 I feel calm about my future. The anxious uncertainty that I have been dealing with the past few years seems to have disappeared. Now perhaps I’m in a haze of Christmas cookies and red wine and the harsh realities of January will bring it all crashing back, but I truly don’t think so. But maybe keep your fingers crossed for me – at least until February.
As for what 2016 and my future beyond will hold… that I am still figuring out. What I can say with certainty is that I want to get back to doing what I love, which is cooking and writing about it (Oh and drinking good wine while I do both!!) As I’m sure you have noticed with my infrequent posting these past few months those unexpected life twists I mentioned above took me away from my little kitchen. Not only did I not have time to cook, it seemed when I did venture back into the kitchen it was a complete failure. Truth is burning nuts is never going to restore joy to anyone.
So returning to that pesky question of what 2016 goals should be… I plan to focus more on just cooking, and getting it out to share with all of you. Cooking things that I like and that are relevant to me and my life, and not just because it is national taco day (I do really like tacos though). It is often said that finding a unique voice in blogging, especially food blogs, is challenging. At times this year I found myself falling into the trap of cooking what was seasonally appropriate and telling equally appropriate versions of my life. Truth is I really like this food writing thing and this year I got caught up in taking a general path to making that happen. But all that happened was I lost my interest and passion for what I was cooking and writing. What I lost sight of is that I like the unbeaten path, I like the adventure. Doing what others are doing has never worked for me before so why should it now?
There were still a few posts I’m really proud of this year like my lamb ragù recipe in which I discussed what it meant to me to be a responsible meat eater. If you haven’t read it, please do, and if you haven’t cooked it, please do. Spoiler alert cooking a neck isn’t that bad!
My goal in 2016 is for better or for worse to get back to doing what brings me joy. When I’m in the kitchen and something is burnt or didn’t photograph so well – you are going to see it and just maybe we will learn from my mistakes together. And when the lovely husband and I are not so lovely – you are going to hear about it. Because cooking and life are, and always should be, a journey…
All the best in 2016!