Early in the fall, my four-year-old daughter and I spent a Friday afternoon making a quiche for dinner. Both of my kids love to make things in the kitchen, and though it often takes twice the time when I have their little hands helping me, I know from my own experiences growing up, how valuable cooking can be for a child.
On this particular Friday, I had been feeling rushed and anxious. As many moms would say, there is just not enough time in a day to get it all done. The to-do lists keep growing, chores keep mounting, and little ones constantly demand my attention.
But as I worked in our quiet kitchen, my daughter at my side, I began to slow down and appreciate the present moment. I stopped worrying about all the things I needed to do, and began enjoying a day at home with my four-year-old girl.
And then it dawned on me that I did not want to spend the rest of my life measuring my days by how many things I “get done.” After all, this was my daughter’s last year before going to Kindergarten. Would I really look back on this special time and think how glad I was that I managed to keep the house neat and get all my errands done?
What if I changed my attitude and began measuring my days, not by the amount of my to-do list I covered, but rather by the quality time I spend with the people I love.
Speaking of people I love, I should add in here that these thoughts came to me as I was mourning my beloved grandmother who had recently passed away at the age of 90. She was known to many as an honest to goodness Latin lover, a teacher of the “dead language” for 25 years. She was someone I truly admired for her ability to love other people and live each day experiencing the richness of life.
So inspired by my grandmother’s love of life (and Latin), and my strong desire to soak up and share meaningful moments with my family and friends, I decided to make a promise, a resolution of sorts.
I decided I needed to make more pies.
To begin this journey, I am going to set aside time every week to bake a pie. I plan to cook a variety of pies, everything from pizza pie, to apple pie, to Chinese wonton pie. Each week I will not only bake a pie, but I will write about the experience on my blog, www.carpiediem.com. I will invite others to bake with me (no doubt I will have at least two eager volunteers at my house) and of course, I will plan to share the pies with friends, family, and neighbors. What fun is cooking after all if you don’t share the meal with others?
Other than testing some recipes for pies, what do I plan to get out of this experience?
My main goal is to practice living intentionally. Sure, “seizing the day” is not necessarily all that it is cracked up to be. It is cliché, unrealistic, and let’s face it, sort of cheesy. I am certainly not proposing that we all rejoice in all moments of our lives (I assure you, I was not “seizing the day” last week when my son dropped a bowl of chocolate pudding breaking the bowl and sending brown, sticky blobs all over the kitchen).
I don’t plan to preach that we “live each moment as if it were our last.” It is a nice idea, but truth is, life is sometimes messy and chaotic. No, what I am hoping to do is to take something simple, like baking in the kitchen, and use it to frame an even greater, transcending experience. I am hoping that baking pies can become a structure for meaningful moments with friends and family.
My other goals, the less important ones include:
- Honing some cooking skills
- Discovering new ways to use local produce
- Creating a blog that will be fun for me and others.
- Preparing some tasty pies to share with friends and family.