June 11, 2012
When we redid the kitchen, one aspect I insisted on was a pair of armchairs, set at angles to each other, in a space where other people might put a small breakfast table. They’re next to the sliding glass door that leads to the back yard, and if I stretch just right and the muscles in my arms are working well, I can even open the door for the dogs without getting up. The chairs are mismatched. One is a faded rusty-colored nubby fabric, the other a scratched chestnut brown leather. From my vantage point sitting here, sinking into the cushion and trying to keep the cat off the keyboard, I can see the backyard with pops of orange-yellow flowers (I forget what kind). Without turning my head, I can see the stove, the sunrise orange walls, the colorful tin art on the wall next to the stainless steel hood. Out of my left eye, the Joe Albury half-hull we brought back from the Abacos vies for attention with the framed shot of Calypso under sail, the most dramatic shot of all the gorgeous ones Jeremy took on our trip.
It’s 7 am on a Monday morning. I’ve traveled maybe 50 feet downstairs; in my head I’ve been to the Bahamas and back, and traveled at least 12 years in time. It feels like years since I’ve sat here, and I am wondering why I haven’t done this in a while.
But I know why. Life has intervened. Not that this is a bad thing, but sitting here this morning is making me think about a lot of things.
Between Bootcamp, new clients for Tasty Food, and beta-testing, plus just the regular end-of-school year craziness, I haven’t had time to write a proper grocery list, let alone a blog post or, heaven forbid, an actual piece of, like, REAL writing. Sheesh.
So I’ll do a quick recap. Bootcamp – it’s now over. I don’t actually know if I graduated, though I really hope I did. I learned a ton, pushed past my comfort zone on a lot of stuff (mostly to do with social media, though figuring out how to place this business in front of people ran a close second), and grew my business for the 5th month in a row. There is no doubt in my mind the lessons I learned will serve me well in EVEYTHING I do – because mostly, they were about self-confidence.
New clients. I swear, Bootcamp did me a lot of good. Maybe too much good. As my Beachbody business is growing, so seems to be Tasty Food. I landed a client 3 weeks ago, a client so “large” it has made me think about how big I don’t want to be in terms of cooking for others. They want me as many days a week as I can handle – in fact, they’re looking for a permanent, live-in-in-a-separate-house-on-the-property cook. They have a standing request in with the Culinary Institute of America for graudates. When I went for a house “tour”, the woman showed me all the cookbooks she has, mentioning casually who is the current best chef in the world – and how many times they’ve eaten at his restaurant. (it’s in Chicago, apparently.) Is anyone surprised that my favorite joke these days is “I didn’t get fired today!” In an ideal world, I will find these people a perfect cook and bow out a hero, content to cook for my regular clients and being able to take larger gigs when they come up. For now, though, I am pushing past my comfort limits and getting used to calling the gardener every morning to see what is in season today.
Beta-testing. I almost wrote a blog post on this one. The timing of this project wasn’t exactly ideal, coming as it did during Bootcamp and during a hugely busy week for Tasty Food. I had agreed to beta-test a new website for an author friend, and I had to have my work done in a certain 3-day window. I knew I could do it only on the last day, so I got up early to work on it.
That same day, I was wrestling with a Bootcamp assignment that asked us to post on Pinterest. I was not on Pinterest. I actually had no desire to be on Pinterest. Making virtual pin board where you post things that interest you? What an inane time suck. And I especially didn’t want to be on Pinterest because it’s one of those apps that a) requires you use Facebook to sign in (or Twitter), making all of your Facebook info available to Pinterest – something I am vehemently against – and b) when you use Facebook to sign in, Facebook automatically “upgrades” you to Timeline, their new, absolutely horrible, page layout. Ugh. Just UGH!
At the same time I was fighting this assignment, wasting incredible amounts of time trying to find a way around this Facebook-Pinterest debacle, I was also doing my beta-test “thing”. I had agreed to test the website on both my Mac and my old PC, and I was sent a 3-page list of questions to answer, most of which involved clicking on links and describing what I saw. “3 hours,” I was told, “maybe 4.”
Try 12. By the time I was finished testing all the links, writing down my answers, and then typing up my responses, I had spent a total of about 12 hours on the project. Most of this time was spent cursing the PC; I’d estimate it took me 3-4 times as long as it should have, mostly because I was no longer used to the navigation on that machine. On my Mac, I can click back and forth between pages with a simple keystroke command; on the PC, it was laborious working with the non-responsive mouse and an unfamiliar scroll bar. I enjoyed the new website and got a good appreciation for the amount of detail-checking that has to go into something like that; I also learned the hard way that I won’t volunteer to work on a PC anytime in the near future.
I finished that project, bit my cheek in frustration, and signed up for Pinterest. Which necessitated morphing to Facebook Timeline. I created a board or two, added a couple of pictures, spent some time trying to post a recipe before I realized that is not possible on Pinterest, and promptly had 4 people repin my images – none of whom I know in any way shape, or form. What?
Let’s be clear. I still don’t spend much time on Pinterest. I still don’t want to volunteer to spend any amount of time on my old PC. I still hate Timeline (though I am sadly addicted to Facebook). And Bootcamp is now over. I haven’t gotten fired yet . . .
But what I realized, maybe from all of these, is that comfort is a relative term. I pinned something today on Pinterest (nobody has repinned it . . . and they probably won’t. Who but me is into cow-print aprons?), with no assignment egging me on. I haven’t migrated to the PC, but I gained a huge appreciation for this sleek silver machine I’m working on right now. And I am actually having some fun playing with food presentation for my new clients.
That armchair by the door is more comfortable than ever. Is that because I can appreciate it now that sitting in it is less “normal”
(And in case you were wondering after my last post? I’ve decided what my brand is – “fitting healthy food and fitness into your real life”)