Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Epic Dinner Parties

I am great at keeping other people's secrets, but when it comes to keeping my own life under wraps I leak like a sieve.  I announced my first pregnancy before I even saw the doctor.  With my second pregnancy I think I was able to keep it to myself for maybe two days.  Or maybe it was two hours.  So it was pretty impressive that I didn't tell anyone about wanting to go to culinary school until after I completed the application.  The only reason I told B (I really need a clever nickname for him-suggestions?) before that was because I had my school tour appointment on my calendar and he could see it. 

Once I submitted the application I started to tell people.  Everyone was really supportive and considering how insecure I can be it was a pleasant surprise.  Following words of support people's reactions can be divided into two groups:  a) "What are you going to do with your culinary degree" and b) "We should start a business together!"  It never occurred to me to use culinary school as a vehicle to increase my popularity but I'll take it.

So what am I going to do after school?  I have no idea, but I do know what I DON'T want to do.  I don't want to own a restaurant.  I don't want to be an executive chef at the newest Seattle hot spot.  I don't want to "Beat Bobby Flay".  Maybe I'll find something I'm really good at and open a booth at a farmer's market.  Maybe I'll take my friend up on her idea to get a food truck together once our kids are out of the house and we have time to invest in it.  Maybe I'll get a job at the local bakery so I can surround myself with the delicious smell of yeast and fresh bread.  I have no definite plan other than to learn as much as I can and see where this journey takes me.  But people want an answer so when I'm asked what I want to do once I finish culinary school I just tell them, "I'm going to throw epic dinner parties". 

Now that the initial announcement is out of the way all there is to do is....wait.  There was some mix up with my transcripts arriving at the Institute (note: when applying later in life to college and having previous transcripts sent, make sure they know to look for your maiden name.  Specify it, even if you had already mentioned it on your application) and other than that I just have to go through orientation.  Classes don't start until July for me but in the meantime I have been gearing up and getting mentally prepared for this adventure.  Blog posts will probably be few and far between up until I start classes unless there is something interesting and culinary related to write about (like my one day class a the New Orleans School of Cooking!).  In the meantime I might even learn how to post pictures on here!  Until then, thank you for being patient and checking in with me.  Stay tuned and hopefully we can find some humor in this together!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

How Did We Get Here?

Hello and welcome!
Let me start by saying I never really thought I would write a blog.  I have led a pretty normal life.  Now to me a normal life is fantastic, it just doesn't give you much fodder for blogging.  But there I was at forty years old and I had this itch.  We'll get back to that in a minute.  Here is a little bit of how I got here.

For fifteen years I worked as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and I loved it.  I worked mostly in education but I also had some experience in clinical practice.  I was passionate about my students' success, and all things speech related.  During that time I got married and had two daughters.  I continued to work full time and couldn't imagine not having my career.  And then I burned out.  Increasing demands on educators, especially those of us in special education, combined with a husband whose job required him to travel 80% of the year left me with very little energy.  I lost my motivation and passion for my work and wasn't doing my best.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's the truth.  So I decided to try the stay at home mom thing for awhile, spend time with my daughters who were ages 5 and 2 and recharge my batteries.

It turns out that change is just what I needed!  I was able to spend more time with my daughters, volunteer at their schools, and work on myself for a bit.  Then my husband took a new position in his company and didn't have to travel anymore.  My daughters continued to grow up and now they are both in elementary school.  Pumpkin is ten and Peach is 6 and they are becoming more independent each day.  I started to get bored. 

It didn't look like boredom to me at first.  I napped a lot.  A LOT.  I had trouble focusing on the books I usually love.  I started to worry that I was depressed, but I felt happy and found joy in a lot of things so that wasn't it.  I wasn't at a loss for things to do, I mean there is ALWAYS laundry to do, right?  My husband B listened patiently and then pointed out, "Not that all you do at home isn't important, because it is, but it's not engaging your mind.  You're bored."  Holy cow, that made sense!  So what do I do about it? B's answer was simple.  "You don't have to go back to work if you don't want to, but find something you love and pursue it."

And here we are at the proverbial fork in the road.  If I take the road to the right I could play it safe and go back to work, or get more involved in my kids' school, or do something that fits in with my normal life.  Or I could step outside of my comfort zone and do something unexpected.  I chose the road to the left and applied to culinary school.