Do you like to cook?
I love to cook. I usually have a main ingredient in mind and then start perusing the fridge and the cabinets to see what else is on hand that I can toss in the pot. I think about what protein I want, what fresh vegetables I have and the spices that will bring it all alive.
Preparing dinner is my down time at the end of the work day. I usually drink a glass of wine or an ice cold IPA while cooking and sing along to my favorite tunes. I start a meal while still thinking about what else to add to it and the final product is often nothing like what I had in mind when I started. I will stop what I am doing to run out to the garden to pick some fresh basil, parsley and tomatoes or at the last minute prepare some type of sauce or salsa to top it all off.
You see, I am not a perfectionist when I cook in the kitchen. I am more of a creator or a sculptor.
Laughing out Loud!!! Ok, Ok. That is a stretch. No one has ever accused me of being an Artist in any way, shape or form.
Honestly when I cook, I wing it. I love to wing it. Sometimes dinner turns out amazing and my honey tell me it is a “top 10” meal. Other times it is not exactly inspiring but it is always edible. I continually learn and try new things in the kitchen and that makes it interesting and fun.
Many years ago, I had a roommate who would wonder how I could cook without a recipe to follow. How did I know what ingredients to add? How did I know if I had added enough or too much? How did I know how long to cook it for? My friend didn’t really like to cook but she did like to bake. Baking is different, baking is more like a science. I don’t enjoy baking nearly as much as cooking!
For most of my adult life, I have followed the rules and did what adults do. I went to college, got a job and worked 40 plus hours a week to earn a paycheck. I bought a new car and a cute house with money I didn’t have and went into debt up to my eyeballs. I was following the recipe that many of us follow and was on the path to creating a wonderful life.
The problem was I didn’t want that life. I felt stuck in a job I didn’t love, working for a company I didn’t respect to earn money to pay for a house I didn’t live in and stuff I didn’t need. I felt stuck because I needed the paycheck, I needed the security that comes with knowing how much money would be automatically deposited in my bank account each week. I felt stuck because I needed the health insurance my job provided. I felt stuck because I didn’t have confidence in my ability to make a change.
I was following the recipe to create a wonderful life, like a baker, instead of winging it like a … I don’t know what.
I do know that since I shook up my life, my happiness quotient has sky rocketed. I have learned to wing it outside of the kitchen and that still gives my goose bumps. I am getting ready to take off in a few weeks for my bucket list dream vacation and didn’t need to ask for time off from work or max out the credit card to do it.
My brother, Number 9 stopped following the recipe of life and is learning to wing it also. He is busy planning a 3 day hike in the Catskills or the Adirondacks. He might even go during the middle of the week!
If you think you need a recipe to cook or think you can’t cook – shake it up! Look at some recipes for inspiration but then put away the book and wing it! If you don’t have an ingredient substitute something else. I love to taste as I cook to see what it needs. I add a little, then a little more. When I add too much of something I use my “phone a friend” and get some advice.
If you aren’t thrilled with your 40 hour a week job, a mortgage and debt up to your eyeballs – shake it up!
Responsibly shake it up! I started by reading blogs written by people who wanted to or already had retired extremely early in life. I added their frugal knowledge to my frugal knowledge (thanks Mother Fran) and paid off my car, my school loans and built up my emergency fund. I did my research regarding my options to get rid of a house I didn’t want but couldn’t sell or rent and took care of it.
Once I knew the direction I was headed in I winged it. I knew I wanted to be debt free. I knew I wanted a wonderful partner. I knew I wanted to be close to the lake and my family. I knew I wanted to work for a company that I respected doing work I enjoyed. I knew I wasn’t going to get there following the same old recipe that I had followed for years.
Choose health, choose wealth and choose happiness by shaking up a few things!
You are living the only life you get. Don’t just go thru the motions of living. Do some soul searching to figure out what path you want to be on and then trust yourself to get it done. Take a few small steps outside of your comfort zone. It is the only way you will live the life you dream about. Start today, start now. Trust me, it is worth it!