Pictures from Venice & Rome in 2001.
*I heart the Trevi Fountain*
I was watching Food Network at the gym this afternoon while on the elliptical machine and after Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals, the next show was a Food Network Challenge, The National Beef Cook-Off.
They showed a short video of one contestant, Kristin Snyder from Hawaii. She happens to be a professional harpist who likes to cook and has won contests. She prepared a dish - Ginger Beef and Noodle Bowls but that isn't what I want to write about.
In the video, they showed her playing the harp outside, then in her house cooking and she said her mother was a great cook and she enjoyed cooking and entering contests (and she's won some nice cash prizes). This reminded me of a quote attributed to Angelina Jolie, "The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy."
My thoughts went a little like this ("Stop me if you think you've heard this one before" Song by The Smiths~1987):
I don't have to make myself crazy figuring out what my CAREER should be. I'm fortunate to have a job that I manage well. I can use all that career energy to keep making a LIFE; keep learning and trying and creating new things. When I cook spaghetti, to test if it's done (al dente and not mushy) I throw a noodle to the wall and see if it sticks. I like to use that litmus test to see what other things I like to do might 'stick'.
Just trying to live our lives the best and fullest we can is what I think it comes down to anyway. Whatever your faith or beliefs are may come into play here, but my perspective is that God has given each of us gifts and talents to use, that can both glorify Him and bring fulfillment to us as we use them. Some are lucky to make a living with theirs, but more importantly is simply using what we have to the best of our abilities in positive ways.
The pictures above remind me of one of the greatest experiences of my life. When G and I went to France & Italy two months after we met, my first time to Europe ever, and a month after 9-11 happened. It was a time of visiting places I'd only dreamed of. It was a time of transition, meltdowns, inspiration, hope, and stretching my comfort zone. Travel is a great way of waking you up to life.
So it's interesting now that we are looking into buying a home, the feelings and thoughts that surface are not so different from those during travel. After all you are looking in new areas possibly less familiar, and with different intentions and questions, actively-engaged in life.
P.S. Note to self: Please remember to treat your loved ones as best you can. Also remember to reach out and help others once in awhile - from a smile, to a kind word (spoken or written), or share some bread.