January 3rd, marked the first year anniversary of this blog. When I started this blog I imagined the day I would be able to say that I’d been doing this for one whole year. I imagined lots of celebratory words and exclamation points in the post that would mark this important milestone. Instead, I have been contemplating whether I should even continue on with this blog. You see, the day before Christmas eve my oldest and dearest friend lost her battle with cancer. She had lived courageously with this disease for five years, all the while remaining herself and facing whatever future lay ahead for her. When she died, cooking food and taking pictures of food seemed frivolous in comparison. A silly way for me to indulge myself by doing something I thought that I was good at.
I talk to myself quite often, mostly when I am alone. I ask myself questions that I don’t have answers to. A question I have asked myself hundreds of times is ‘Why are we here?’ By “here” I mean here on earth. Why are we here? When the moon is full and bright in the dark sky I stare at it and I am fascinated because it is not like some gigantic lollipop being held up by a stick that goes on forever. That perfect orb is floating in space the same as the Earth and thousands of other planets with nothing holding it up but gravity and possibly hope. So I have to wonder we can’t possibly be here on this beautiful planet to just get up in the morning, go to work or school and move about the day mindlessly only to lie down, get up and do it all over again. What do each of us do every day to justify us being here on earth? What am I doing besides taking up space? How can I make my time here on earth more meaningful? Because once you die that’s it, game over, your time to do it here on earth is up.
How do we make our lives and the lives of others around us more meaningful? What do you do everyday that’s worth the effort? When I think like this that commercial comes to mind where one person held a door open for another person and then that person did something nice for another person and next thing you know it had started a long chain reaction of people being kind to one another. If we each got up every morning and did a simple kind act for another person that person will pay it forward and so on and so on.
All I did after learning of my friends passing was cry and cook. Cooking is very organic to me, a routine built into my life. When I was cooking I didn’t cry. At that time I hadn’t put up a post for the holidays and I didn’t know if and when I would be putting up another post, it just seemed so unimportant at that time. The only thing I could think was how I would never again hear my friend’s voice.
Every once in a while a tiny part of me, tucked deep in my soul called “the glass half empty” will raise its ugly head and start me to thinking ” how can one person possibly make a difference?” All the donations to charities and your fifty cents a day never seem to stop children from going hungry or diseases from ravaging a person’s body because sure enough no matter how much you give there will always be someone new looking for your fifty cents a day.
No one who knows me calls me Kat. When I go out and I see people I haven’t seen in many years and they call me Kat, I know it’s because they are following the blog. The other day while in the library I met an old acquaintance who called me Kat but used to call me Kathy. A while back in the supermarket I met a girl I used to work with, she hugged me and told me how she loved the blog especially the stories and how one day she would try one of the recipes. I respond like I always do by urging, and told her you can do it I know you can just start with the simplest recipe first. These encounters always make me smile. They make me feel like I am helping someone in some small way. When I hadn’t put up a post in almost 2 weeks I decided I at least owe my readers an explanation as to why I had been missing. It was then I started to think of the random encounters, the e-mails of encouragement, how people who hardly ever cooked and were know telling me that they tried a recipe, the pictures I receive of the recipes they have tried, and right then I knew how it could start with one person. When I got my year-end blog review I saw that I have readers in Brazil, London and even Australia! So this blog will continue because of you, my readers, some of you who look everyday even when I have not put up a new post and some who have searched the blog even before I have had my morning coffee. As much as I can I will try and do something that makes a difference. No matter how small.
The blogosphere can be a beautiful thing. There are so many interesting people to read about. I recently came across The gratitude Project. It is a movement where you are encouraged to look for the blessings surrounding you everyday. In other words, stopping to smell the roses or even to stare at a beetle. Some are taking photographs and some people are just recording what they see. From this experience they say you will become happier and less stressed because you will recognize that every day there are blessings around you, no matter how small. I love this idea and hope you will all join it with me and help spread the word.
In the past few weeks I have been confronted with so much change, some small and some that have shaken up my life. The store I have worked at and that has brought extra meaning to my life will be closing as of January 15th. For the last 4 1/2 years I have worked with a group of wonderful women at Williams Sonoma. I can honestly say it never felt like I was going to work. It felt like a get together with women that you love being around. Women that I had the opportunity to learn so much from. Women that I will miss dearly. How often does anyone get lucky enough to say they love what they do and the people they do it with?
On Tuesday January 3 2012, we, Felicia’s parents, brother, sister, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends said goodbye and laid her to rest. There was much laughter and tears as we remembered Felicia. I know I won’t stop crying anytime soon because she will be missed and not just by me. I loved her and I will never forget her.
With the New Year will come many changes to the blog. Besides cooking and stories I’d like to hear from all of you how we can make our lives better and the lives of those around us. If we start small, we can reach all one person at a time. Happy New Year and many blessing, love Kat.