The last four days have been truly wonderful, days that really do fill me with the kind of gratitude the season is all about. I got to spend a lot of time with a lot of wonderful people for the holiday itself, and I got to spend a lot of time with my sister during the other days off, and I got to do a lot of cooking, and I got to go to the Opera (Madame Butterfly is exquisite!), and I got to spend a lot of time just writing and reading and generally enjoying myself.
I’m not especially excited about going back to work, but when I expressed this sentiment to my Aunt (a steadfast font of wisdom in my life), she pointed out that it finances all the other sorts of fun that I have. While that’s true, just needing money is a lousy reason to try to get out of bed in the morning. So I have to appreciate what I have. I have to take this gratitude that I have for all the things I’ve experienced over the last four days, and all the things I’m hoping for in the future. I have to take the gratitude I have that I do have such a good job, and turn it into a desire to get up tomorrow morning. I have to appreciate everything that my work makes possible; even if I don’t particularly enjoy every moment at work, the job is teaching me a lot of useful things. I am growing professionally in a way that none of my previous jobs enabled.
Cultivating appreciation is an excellent way to drive progress in all areas of your life. It’s through appreciation that we put smiles on our faces; appreciating where our previous goals have brought us is what motivates us to continue setting more goals, to continue striving forward. Appreciation and gratitude are the sorts of things that we can’t have enough of in our lives, and Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s perfect for reminding us of the importance of them.
I baked an almond tart and mushroom calzones for the Thanksgiving I went to, and both came out well. The almond tart came out amazingly well, though it took probably twice as long to make as I was expecting it to. I had someone ask for the recipe! I always consider that the highest compliment. The mushroom calzones were good too, but I was kind of rushed towards the end because they also took longer than I was expecting, and at that point I had to hurry to get to the party, so some of the calzones were overstuffed and some had barely any filling at all. I guess in baking, as in many other things in life, you should just always expect that things will take longer than planned.
Appreciation for things round and stuffed; appreciation for all things.
Featured recipe: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/italian-almond-tart.html
Featured recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jamie-oliver/calzone-recipe2.html