This is your life. Right now.

by Jill Sockman

I love to cook, and over the years have gotten pretty good at it.  No one ever “taught” me how to cook, I absolutely cannot be bound to using a recipe, and the big life is a sequence of momentsdownside, according to friends and family, is that you’ll never enjoy the same meal twice.  But believe me when I tell you, I got it wrong pretty regularly before I started getting it right.  As we start a new year and I begin another journey around the sun, I’m struck by how what happens in my kitchen is some kind of metaphor for my journey in life.  At this point, it’s always something of an adventure, and here are some thoughts about the process.

– Regardless of how good your parents/mentors/teachers, no one can teach you what you need to learn.  We learn best through experience. Trial and error. Getting it right and getting it very wrong. So stop beating yourself up when you get it wrong.  That’s part of the process.

– Sometimes getting it really, really, painfully and utterly wrong is a necessary step on the path to getting it really, really, deliciously and euphorically right.Trust the process.

– There are a thousand “instruction books” in the Self Help section of your local bookstore on how to make up, break up, move up, move on, and move out, but ultimately the map you make in this life is yours and yours alone. You can’t follow someone else’s recipe.  Your process is just that.  Yours.

– The present moment is all you can count on. You can never recreate it or undo it, no matter how hard you try.  So stop worrying and savor whatever you’ve got right now, because it won’t last forever. This is your life.  Right now.  This. Is. It.

So I’m thinking about the New Year ahead, untouched and untarnished, full of potential and possibility.  An empty bowl, if you will, waiting to be filled with the ingredients to create the year ahead.

May you take the time to consider what you have before you and what you’ve learned along the way; may you call on your many resources and vast experience as a guide; may you choose wisely as you begin on this very first day of the year by adding into the bowl of 2014 only the best ingredients.  For me, I’ll be starting with gratitude, love, rest, and quiet.  Not quite sure what I’m making yet, but it’s off to a good start.

Happy New Year, friends.