Last week I shared my concerns over how the financial universe is playing out. It's a scary time. It's a humbling time. It forces one to practice their mindfullness and positive, constructive attitude. I also have been thinking about my cold, dark walks to the store each morning (it really is a retrospective time of year!) and what I'm doing with my life. I mean really - I have a PhD, 20 years of great experience in various forms of management, and here I am baking cookies for a living. We're barely surviving financially and have to figure out where our next meal and mortgage payment are coming from. What the hell am I thinking/doing!?
But, possibly for the first time in my life, the world feels right. Even with all the chaos around us, I believe I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing. I have this cockamamey test that I do. When I'm in the shower, I stand on my tiptoes. Before this career, when I did this, I couldn't stand without wobbling over for more than a second or two. Now, I can stand for as long as I want. It feels like an alignment or balancing of my universe. So every morning that I stand on my toes, I suck up the fatigue, splash my face with water and head down for another morning of baking and cooking.
I think about my friends and family (and my previous self) who get rutted into a career where you get decent money, but you always want more. I did that for 20 years and loved every single job: running the campus fitness center, outreach to underinsured and Sudanese immigrants, ski resort worker, temp receptionist, homeless youth services, youth camps. Loved each and every one of them. And I loved the pay. But, I always wanted more.
So is my purpose in life to bake cookies? Hardly. But is my purpose to bring joy to people through my creations? Absolutely. I've been getting feedback this week on my sugar cream pie that I sold over Thanksgiving. Everyone has been effusively praiseful and thankful because their guests loved the pies. I got to help them create memories. How fun and rewarding is that?! And, while memory creation may not pay well, I believe it will pay for itself in the end.
So here's a few items I've created for sale in the store the past week. They've been flying off the shelf and I'm having trouble keeping up with demand. First, using the rest of my pomegranates from the Mimbres Valley, I made pomegranate curd: I also made this beautiful orange marmalade with blood orange and jasmine pearl tea. nice and chunky with a good mix of sweet and tart. And using the leftover syrup from the lemon peel candying, I made lemon caramels with toasted piñon and French grey salt.
Tomorrow I'll try to crank out a bunch of lemon curd which sells as fast as I can make it. I also want to create French nougat because all of these curds are leaving me with (literally) gallons of whites. As we like to say at the Kumquat...Life's a Banquet!