Dehydrated. Not destroyed. A triumph. Not, in fact, a travesty. It’s just a shame I hadn’t known my Michelin starred abilities when I threw the bacon in the bin and freezer-dived for good old fish fingers! You see, I saw the ‘Oops I got distracted and left it in the oven too long and dried it out’ bacon. Last week, however, I saw a Masterchef semi-finalist being taught by a pro how to dry out bacon just as I had (what do you mean , Oh really?) Yes indeedy, they dried out bacon, shredded it, served it with something, called it Dehydrated bacon served with something and, Bob’s your uncle, it was a fine-dining dish – not a kitchen disaster after all! If only I’d known then what I know now. Truthfully, I’d still have chucked it in the bin anyway ’cause really, who wants to eat dried out bacon – even if it is a delicacy in a top London restaurant? (Disclaimer – I have never tried the fine-dining dish in the restaurant so honestly, I can’t really compare the two, but, for the sake of the illustration, please bare with and forgive my presumption!)
This new-found knowledge got me thinking – how often do we write off a situation, only to discover that instead of it being a mess, it is or, will become, something wonderful? How often do we see a situaion as hopeless when all we really need is a little perspective; to see it from a different angle; perhaps from a backseat and I suspect it may even help, to see it with the benefit of that great medium we call hindsight.
The frustration and fear when you discover that the University Hall’s place you so wanted falls through. Only to end up elsewhere, meeting some of the best friends you will ever have and, dare I say it, the one who will be the reason you end up bumping into your future husband.
The ‘What now’s?’ when the sale of your house falls through, leading to the house you were supposed to be buying going to someone else. Only to end up somewhere totally different, not compromising on the things you’d always declared were top of your must-have in a house list but for some reason you had been willing to do without on the fall-through house.
The three months when you are off work, unable to do anything but watch life move on around you, amazed to learn that the world does not stop even if you do (and, that although dust does not disappear on its own, it does not actually weigh so heavily on the foundations that they crack and the roof falls in!) A time that gives you the opportunity to see life in a way you haven’t quite viewed it before; a time when you are able to weigh up what’s most important to you in life and how, there might actually be a way to live life and enjoy it… maybe not with everything you want, but in a way that allows you to enjoy the things and, most significantly, the people who are most important to you!
The night you think you really can’t deal with this situation anymore; that there doesn’t seem to be a way around circumstances that are making you miserable and, your family suffer as a consequence of your mood. Then, suddenly, some time later, the realisation that the advice people gave you that sometimes the solution to your problem is right under your nose and that, as long as the bills can be paid, there are a lot of changes you can make to focus your time, attention and energies on the things in life that actually make you happy. Discovering that ‘martyr status’can be traded in for actual real-life happiness and contentment!
The past 18 months has, for me, been some of the most intensive learning time that I have had. I have studied hard and learned much. The subject matter? Me. Now, I have to be honest and say I’m not a ‘go and find yourself’ kinda girl and I don’t believe that I have been taking a year and a half to find myself. I do believe though, that the events of the last while have allowed me to see myself in a different way. Talking with trusted friends, praying and allowing God to make His ways clear, realising that peace and contentment can be a state of mind and not just words on a page. I’ve started to realise more and more that we need to stop looking around us at what others are doing, how others are coping and how they handle life. Simply put, they’re not you. You are a one-off and so, what is right for one person, may not actually be right for you. Just because ‘they’ seem to be able to do it all, doesn’t mean you’re built for that!
For many, the phrase ‘You only live once’ (YOLO for those of you who are down with da kids) means be wild, do crazy things, take risks with your life… but that’s not how I see it. For me, YOLO means just what it says… we do only have one opportunity to live this life so, what’s important to you? Not what’s important to your friends. What do you want out of life? Not what the people down the road want out of life. What matters most for you and your family? Not what matters most for the ones you follow on social media. You! What are the things in this life that you don’t want to miss? A good friend of mine has a saying which I love: ‘Not my circus; not my monkeys.’ Stop looking at the acts the other circuses you come into contact with are putting on. Concentrate on your own monkeys – do what’s right for the people in your Big Top!
Maybe, like me, a little distance/ hindsight/ seeing life from a different angle has helped you to get a different viewpoint. Maybe, like me, some of what you saw to be disasters at the time they happened have in fact turned out to be blessings in disguise. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t look at sadness and tragedy and think, oh well, sure it’s all for a good reason. Believe me, as I look at the horrendous events in Nepal I can’t help but wonder why. What I am saying is, that for me, I’m realising more and more that this is a life we live only once and sometimes, I think, we need to stop and consider what’s important to us and how, when things happen that we don’t like or when events seem to throw a spanner in our works, maybe, just maybe, it will turn out better than we expected.
So, before you despair, take a moment to see the situation from all angles. You never know what rainbow could break through your cloud. And, the next time you’re about to throw your bacon in the bin remember, it’s not dried out; it’s Dehydrated. Simply shred and enjoy! But please, take it from me: have a box of fish fingers on stand-by, just in case :o)