Looking Back on a Great Year and Forward to a Better One

With 2018 just in the next room it’s human nature to both look back on the previous twelve months and reflect, and to look ahead to the upcoming year and think about what we’d like to accomplish.  My last resolution was to stop trying to change myself.   I have never used January 1st a some magical date that gives me the power to morph into something else but I’m going to try to make some changes in the spirit of the new calendar and get myself a tune up and some body work.

I’ve spent time recently reflecting about the past year and saw it as a real down year.  Nothing really happened that was tragic or traumatic but for most of the time I was in poor spirits.  I was feeling the symptoms of depression but never really made the connection that I was depressed.  It wasn’t until yesterday that I made the discovery that 2017 was a great year after all.  A friend asked on Facebook what our peak of 2017 was and I immediately answered “the realization and treatment for depression.”  I suddenly saw that the event was so important and positive that it not only turned my year around it also turned my life around and set it on a  course.

I’ve made a move to change my drinking habits in early October.  I was consuming a lot of alcohol and knew I needed to make a serious adjustment and not drink for a while. As I discussed this with my therapist he told me I need to replace the time drinking and the alcohol with other things like walks or hobbies.  Well I replaced the booze with food and my belly has paid the price.  Although I joined a gym I have not been going as I should and my weight has gotten to be a problem.  Back to the gym and watch the food.  How’s that for a cliché of a resolution?

Another thing I’d like to follow-up on as 2017 comes to a close is to become focused with my time.  By streamlining I’m looking to find those things in my life that are distracting and time-wasting.  There’s a lot of fat to trim when it comes to time management and I started last night by cutting my friends list on Facebook from 869 to 411. I also deleted my LinkedIn account and think I got rid of Instagram as well. Also, the new blog I started recently called dominicsbrain to separate the food related stuff from the non-food related stuff has to go  What the Hell was I thinking?  So what if I include non-food stuff in chefsday? If you’re here for the food then skip the other parts. It’s my blog and I’ll write what I want.

I go grocery shopping a lot because I don’t think about or plan meals more than a day or two in advance.  The nice thing about being a chef is that I can make pretty much anything on a whim and do it without planning. Life is a bit more interesting that way but it does waste a lot of time.  Better lists and better plans will equal fewer trips to the store.

My career as a restaurant chef has been on hold while I have gotten my shit together and figured out how to proceed with life.  I’m in a great position now to return to the kitchen on a daily basis and I’m looking forward to it.  I miss writing menus and creating great food.  A goal for 2018 is to regain a chef’s position and start creating again.  I have a refreshed outlook and a lot of new ideas.  An awful lotta chefs could use the break I’ve had.

My biggest goal for the New Year is to continue mending as many fences as I can.  This includes some relationships I’ve let slip, others that I’ve damaged.  I have gotten a great start recently as I’ve extended the olive branch to several people whom I missed.  The responses have been more than I could hope for.  I have a lot of work to do in this area but it will be a pleasure making connections with those I have disappointed or neglected.  I don’t keep a lot of friends and don’t have a lot of family but I value those I have and they deserve more from me.

2017 turned out to be a great year for me and I believe 2018 will bring some wonderful new experiences.  I hope all of you find the New Year to be fulfilling and generous. Thank you for reading, see you all next year.

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3 thoughts on “Looking Back on a Great Year and Forward to a Better One

  1. I wonder if you’d enjoy a month of cooking and eating only plants? There is a real shortage of professional chefs working exclusively with plants. You’ve said it isn’t easy for you and a little adversity can be like a dollop of miso in a pan of sautéed greens. You’ll likely shed a few pounds too. Zero hard feelings if that doesn’t sound fun. Just thought I’d give it a go. Have a great New Year!

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    • Randal, Thank you for your input and interest. One of the things I’m finding difficult right now is handling all the changes I’m making. A drastic change in diet is needed but I think I’d be setting myself up for failure and compromising the things I’m already working on. While I’m sure I’ll never adopt a vegan lifestyle I would like to reduce the meat and dairy aspects of my diet for more fresh vegetables. My problems right now are sugar and inactivity. I’ve been eating a lot of sweets as a replacement for the alcohol and I’ve beet too lax with going to the gym.
      As you’ve read, I actually have been doing some vegan cooking for my daughter to side-step her dairy allergy. My vegan pizza and my vegan mac and cheese are excellent. I’m working on some other things and hope to incorporate them into my next chef’s gig.
      Thanks again, peace.

      Liked by 1 person

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