It’s supper time. When I enter the kitchen with the intent to cook, it goes a little something like this: I pour over cookbooks and online recipes for hours (sometimes literally) and try to find an elegant meal that even Mario Batali would envy. I get overwhelmed and find my self (still) with an empty stomach. I then turn to pantry staples: Cereal, bagels, TV dinners. After a while they all start loosing their appeal. Sure I’m full, but am I satisfied? Not really.
The same scenario is also starting to pop up in other areas of my life. For instance, last week I thought it would be fun to learn how to ski. So I started doing some research. After 45 minutes, I had a dozen tabs open in my browser (resorts, gear, technical videos, reviews). It was all so new, but I felt like it was too much. Overwhelmed, again, I closed my browser and turned to my standby entertainment, video games and British television. Sure, I was enjoying myself; but I went to sleep that night feeling rather unfulfilled with how I spent my day.
It is important to dream big. But sometimes it can feel like a goal is looming over you, smirking, as if it were saying, “Look at how small you are. You will never be able to reach the summit of my slopes.”
I want to be able to cook an amazing meal from 100% from scratch, but my skills are not at that level yet. So I started with something simple: homemade pasta sauce. I limited myself to a few minutes of browsing for recipes and then I took the plunge and just made it. It was served with store bought spaghetti and pre-made garlic bread. But that pasta sauce was mine and I was damn proud of it.
We all have to start small to reach the summit of our goals. Will I ever get to Winter Park, or Vail, or A Basin (still too many choices!) to learn how to ski? Maybe not right away. But next time it snows, I’m digging out my old red saucer sled from my parents basement and I will feel the sting of arctic air as I race down the hill at my neighborhood park. And I will come home at the end of the day, satisfied that I took the first step up.