Can you believe it………..???! I am actually sitting in front of my computer….. To write a blog post…. Since 4 months…… Wait a second. I've got to celebrate this now! Sips espresso. Kills coconut macaroon - even though it is January.
Right. I am a person of no regrets. I simply cannot see the point of regrets. Regrets are focussed on looking back in a negative way. "If I…." "Why didnt' I…."
I am however a big fan of learning from the past, which I think is looking back in a positive way. That's what I have always done from a very young age. I would find it pretty pointless to go through a 'negative' experience 'for nothing'. Things happen for a reason. That's what I believe. And I take from it as much as I can to turn it around into something positive for the future.
Why this philosophical intro, I hear you thinking……?
Well, early 2013 I set myself a (rather public) and hugely eager challenge of baking the following (inspired by the film about Julia Child - the one with Meryl Streep):
- Tarte Tatin
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Puff Pastry
- Yorkshire Puddings
- Summer pudding
- Chocolate Fondants
- Hot Cross Buns
Now, let's look back………..in a positive way!
I baked the Madeleines, the Hot Cross Buns and the Crumpets at home and wrote long blog posts about those in March, April and May.
In the summer I went to England to attend the magnificent Advance Baking Session at the School of Artisan Food, about which I also wrote a very long blog post in August. During the course I tackled the Brioche and Baguettes on my list, amongst a LOAD of other new breads which weren't on the list above but are now a new experience/skill too!
So that's what I have achieved. I have had a fantastic time baking it, photographing it, writing about it and talking about it. Is it as much as I had wanted to achieve? No. Me being me, I would have wanted to achieve ALL of it. So why didn't I?
The thing is, since I gave up my career as a management consultant the only real structure I follow during the week and possibly also during the weekend is dominated by what the family/kids need(s). I haven't planned any windows of time to start building something outside those activities that is for me. And this is in my hands. I can change this. With a click of my fingers. I just have to do it. And so far I haven't. I have just been on a 'flow' with what's needed around me.
Having set myself the challenges above a year ago, thinking that I would just 'wing it' in between all the other daily activities has made me realise that it simply needs structure and planning. Just like anything else in life you want to achieve.
Rather philosophical perhaps. But you know what? I am glad that it has presented itself to me like this. In my face. Through a set of blimmin made up baking challenges after all… I can be quite ambitious and I have let that part of me go for a while. And that's fine. The situation here at home required all hands on deck for quite a while. And if I am really honest, then I have probably applied my ambition to home/family life anyway. But now it's time to take control of my life again and start building something that requires focus, structure and planning. Quite scary words those.
I am giving myself until St Brigid's Day (1 February) to come up with a plan. A plan that will involve baking and writing. Nothing too ambitious to start with. A realistic plan, for which I shall block out weekly windows of time to make sure that I achieve my goals.
That feels good!
Part of my plan will also be to either change my blog to a different provider or start a complete new one. I am finding the possibilities on Blogger too limited, especially when it comes to layout of photographs etc. Being the aesthetics perfectionist that I am: it has to look good! And I have somewhat struggled to make it look exactly as I want it here.
This is it for now lovely people. Bit of reflection time. Just what January is for.
I look forward!