Friday, May 29, 2009

Got Hope?

The sun has set on my days at Hope Care Center and I feel compelled to share a few of the many, many lessons learned in the last year, a year that brought enormous change in my personal life -- greater changes than I've ever experienced -- as well as my professional life. Did I seriously say, "professional"? Why, yes I did. Because that is what I was. A professional cook. And that is what I will become. A professional health care provider. Geez...that's kinda heavy...even for me!

Okay.....lessons:

  • All of those little tastes add up. Quickly. Or maybe my clothes were just shrinking. It's hard to know.
  • I was forced to abandon my attachment to being an at-home-mom for the sake of moving out of an unhealthy marriage. It seemed an impossibility 18 months ago. Now it's hard to imagine my life any other way. Finding ample time to give to the children remains a challenge yet I manage to fit every bit of love I gave them over the course of a long homeschooling day into a few short evening hours.
  • A [good] work ethic is not a universal attribute.
  • You can live with AIDS or you can die with AIDS. These days, you have a choice. The medications are manageable -- for many, just one or two pills a day. There are, of course, a multitude of exceptions, but HIV/AIDS is considered a chronic, not fatal disease.
  • Freshly sharpened knives are dead sexy. Gotta love Ambrosi Bros.
  • I believe there are many people in this life who are my soul mate. Chef is undoubtedly one of them.
  • I love love love to cook, but don't necessarily wish to cook professionally again. I miss digging for creative, healthy recipes and concepts that tickle my taste buds. I miss looking in a fridge with little other than condiments and creating something delectable. I miss my own kitchen. Ultimately, I don't feel the passion required to create unique dishes for a picky public. Finicky kids are another subject.
  • Even if I'm unfamiliar with a menu item, give me a vague idea of what I'm going for and I can have a more-than-reasonable facsimile ready by 5:00 p.m. Always.
  • Saran wrap might as well be Kleenex. I have discovered "food service film" and will never be the same again.
  • "Please" and "Thank You" are among the simplest, yet sweetest words in the English language.
And the biggest lesson of all...
  • Neurosyphilis is a bitch.

I will likely amend this post again and again as I recall some of the many wonders (and an occasional horror) I experienced in my tenure at HCC, but I wanted to honor my last, emotional day with this note. I'm sure I'll pop in on occasion, probably even subbing in the kitchen now and then. And I will treasure my days there, even the really crumby ones. Always.

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