Life is like cooking

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Whoops it’s already a month from my last post. I’m lagging behind again on my writing. I didn’t have a regular schedule to sit down and write, I used to just squeeze in writing in between here and there. As my schedule becoming more full, this blog is forgotten. From now on I will schedule time on my calendar to write.

Also contributing to my lack of writing is, I think, I’m feeling like there’s not much more to say. I don’t feel like commenting on events. I certainly don’t feel like commenting on other people. And who am I to comment about books and other writings. So, I can only talk about my own ideas and personal experience. And lately I feel there’s nothing really worth to share.

Well that’s not exactly true. Somethings are worth sharing. I have a lot of notes in my notebooks and journals…  But I was not motivated enough to type it up it into a blog post… I decided to use my free time to do other things, like: reading, cooking, etc.

Cooking is not my forte. I rarely cook until recently. As a full time office worker I used leave home early in the morning and arrive back home at night – too early to cook breakfast and too late to cook dinner, we often just eat outside or buy takeaways to eat at home. As I am shifting into freelance work now, I got more time at home, and I start to explore cooking. Surprisingly I enjoyed cooking, although not so much about the cleaning up. I’m happy when I can prepare my own meal, I know exactly what went in there, it can be as spicy or as mild as I want, and there’s just something about creating a meal from scratch. And I believe that it’s more nourishing to eat home-cooked meal compared to mass-produced food.

I usually don’t follow recipes, I just go ahead and experiment with whatever ingredients I have available. Most of the time it worked, still there were a few times when the resulting dish is barely eatable (but I ate it anyway :P). As I gain more experience in cooking, generally the more skillful I become in selecting and processing the ingredients, resulting in better dish.

I think life is a lot like cooking. We got ingredients and tools, and it’s up to us how we process the ingredients, then the final result will depend on how skillful our processing is. A good cook can create a delicious dish from the simplest ingredients and the crudest tool with his skillful processing, and a bad cook can create a disastrous dish from the most expensive ingredients and the most sophisticated tools if he’s unskillful. The key here is the cook.

A delicious dish is like a good karma – a karma that benefits other people, beings, the earth. Good karma then generates more good ingredients – and with the good ingredients one can make even better dish. A bad dish is like a bad karma – it has negative effects to other people, beings, environment, earth etc… if handled unskillfully it can continues to spiral downward. Like in the TV show Masterchef, a good dish can get one to the safe zone – and a bad dish means one has to face the elimination.

The beauty is, it is always up to us to turn things around towards the better. There’s always a choice – and it’s always up to us. No matter what life has given us – it is up to us how we ‘cook’ it. Up to us how we live it. Up to us to choose our response.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
~Victor E. Frankl

Image: Cooking adobo by Nicole Abalde

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6 thoughts on “Life is like cooking

  1. I know you–like others I see saying the same things–will probably deny it. But, you’re just realizing the lack of purpose for writing here. This isn’t a priority for you. It’s a hobby. And, why do you and so many feel like they are neglecting a child by not writing here regularly? I don’t know. I am just grateful I do not feel the same guilt. I have enough to feel guilty about. I am not worrying about a blog, anymore. That’s right. I used to think like this, like you. But, it just wore me down more than I already do myself. So, I had to let it go. I still write. I just don’t do it religiously.

    Is anyone banging down your door, screaming, “Where’s the next post?! We want more!”? And, even if they were, are you running a free show?

    Who are you to leave comments on the posts of others? You are a viable human being who is wandering the same cyber space as me. You have as much right to comment as I do. And, unless others turn off that option, if they can do so, the comment space is open. If we are afraid to use what tools we are given, what do we become? It’s one thing to question the booby trap. But, not the tool. If the tool turns on you, then you don’t need to use it, again. But, if your mouth or fingers can turn on you, that’s some trick.

    I think it is very exciting to experiment in the kitchen and skip the recipes…but recipes are also there for a good reason. They are guidelines to prevent disaster. They are safe paths through the forest of cooking. They may still not be the most appealing paths; but they are tested and true. If you go into the forest without a recipe, be prepared to eat poison ivy. 😛

  2. You’re right. Writing is just a hobby so it’s not a priority. I think the feeling is the same when I don’t exercise – I feel I’m neglecting my body by not exercising. When I don’t write I feel like I’m neglecting my writing part of the brain.

    Re comment – I didn’t mean commenting on other’s blog post – that’s conversation. I meant a commentary on other’s work (book, writing, art, etc).

    Yes recipes are guidelines… If I’m cooking something complicated I do refer to recipes… But most of the time I cook simple stuff like vegetable soups, sauted vegetables, noodle soup, fried rice and the like, so I just improvised 😀

    • You have to work on using the Reply button. 🙂 Otherwise, I have to chase/search for these comments.

      I feel that way about exercise, too. I just read an article on self-directed perfectionism. It seems we are either yelling at ourselves because WE think we need to do more…or someone has instilled in us this need to do more, and we feel like failures if we do not do just that.

      So, there is a difference between commenting on a book and on a blog post? And, if not in a blog, where would you be making these comments? In a book club? Isn’t that what book clubs are about? You exchange thoughts on the work in hand. If the author/artist is present, sure, there may be some anxiety about speaking one’s mind. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, as a member of the audience, shouldn’t the creator know how their work is being received? I would be horrified if my work was being misused…but, at least, I would know it wasn’t being used as intended and make changes ASAP!

      I actually amazed myself one day when I turned a spicy tomato soup into a good vegetable soup just by adding some fresh celery, onion and crackers. That was my small cooking experiment:P

      I think we both would benefit from having a good partner, or working together. I bet we’d have lots of cooking experiment fun…or make one big frustrated mess:P

  3. Hi Silvia,
    I can resonate with your struggles on blogging consistently. I have been dealing with the same kinds of issues.

    I think writing is firstly an exercise for ourselves. To get out of our own heads, to know our self better, to know our former selves, to get hints about our future selves, to chart our progress through this river of life. To that extent, the more we do it, the better we understand ourselves, and that ripples into all other areas of our life. Of course, we can keep writing away in our private notebooks, but then we lose the benefit of another perspective.

    I love your cooking metaphor – indeed if we don’t experiment with new recipes and ingredients and methods, then we can expect the same taste over and over again. This is the hamster wheel on which most of humanity finds itself stuck.

    Would you like an accountability partner? I sure could use one.
    Chandra

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