The Perfect Fried Egg

 

Recently another new-ish friend invited me to join her for a New York Times Insider event. Even though I had no idea what a NYT Insider was it sounded very important! In my determination to say “yes” to new experiences I immediately signed up and learned, much as I hate to admit this, Insider status is available to anyone who gets the print and online versions of the NY Times! Even though I discovered that my elite status wasn’t so elite after all it was well worth saying yes.

The evening featured a discussion with the charming and very funny Times Food Editor Sam Sifton and Julia Moskin, one of the top food reporters.  Both were excellent speakers and seemed to be having a great time telling us about their current work and their years as restaurant critics.

Sam regaled us with one especially amusing story (at least it was amusing to Sam and to us) about Julia’s determination to make the perfect fried egg which involved 17 attempts, OY!  In my humble opinion, no matter how much I might desire that “perfect” specimen, 17 tries might be  a tad excessive (fortunately my reputation doesn’t depend on it!)  Just in case you too are devoted to egg perfection this link will show you the details -I have to admit the eggs do look delicious!  http://cooking.nytimes.com/guides/18-how-to-make-eggs

We also enjoyed hearing about Julia’s participation in the tasting of the Times Thanksgiving recipes, wine included, which appear annually in the Food section- what a tough job!  Lo and behold when my Thanksgiving edition of the NYT arrived a few days later there on the front page of the food section were featured articles and recipes by  Sam & Julia (see I told you I am making new friends everywhere I go!).

 

Sometimes A Word Can Change Your Life

 All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware…..

Martin Buber

 

“Mission” is a word that has the potential to change your life. Sometimes you immediately recognize that you are fulfilling a mission, sometimes you are further along before you realize the road you are traveling is indeed your mission and sometimes your friend Louise points out that seeking a new “mission” might be one of the reasons you are writing this blog!

Having stepped down last January after serving for 14 years as the Executive Director of a non-profit whose main purpose was helping families cope with the imminent loss of a loved one from a dehumanizing disease it seemed totally absurd to think of writing this blog as anything more than a fun and creative outlet.

That thinking changed when I agreed to participate in a free Life Coaching session with my aforementioned friend Louise, a very accomplished artist, marketing expert and Life Coach who needed to conduct and record a test session with a client in order to qualify for her next level of Coaching accreditation.

“Of course I would love to participate”, I replied, especially since it only involved a phone call and not traveling to a warehouse studio in a deserted section of Brooklyn to model clothing for a fall fashion portfolio (which was the case last time I agreed to accommodate a friend). Modeling clothes could not be further from my comfort zone but I couldn’t think of a reason to refuse other than blurting out the truth, that I completely recoiled at the thought! However I discovered, as I had many times before, it sometimes pays to take risks, lo and behold that is where I met and became instant friends with the stunning Louise!

But I digress….

For our recorded session Louise asked me to prepare an agenda consisting of  areas in my life I felt I needed help with. The first challenge was narrowing the field! I finally settled on help sorting out my feelings  as I completed my first year as a “retired person”. Having spent much of the year exploring many of the incredible options available in New York City I knew it was time for me to focus. After listening to me ramble for what seemed like a long time, Louise helped me understand that I appeared to be struggling with a way to define this chapter of my life, especially after such a clear and focused previous chapter.

The epiphany occurred when she commented that  to her it it felt that I can function better when I am “mission” oriented. Wow, she nailed it! Thinking about our conversation I also realized that by adding one more syllable the full context of my struggle became crystal clear.

In addition to a “mission” I needed to give myself “permission” to enjoy the creative process writing a blog brings and to embrace this very different time of life.  I hope my blog will provide a smile, maybe conjure up a sense of recognition as I write about my experiences which, in some instances, created unusual learning curves and who knows, maybe I can even help a few fellow travelers discover their own “secret destinations” (assuming one or two people read this and join the conversation as opposed to only family members and close friends who are obligated!).

A one hour session with a trained, insightful listener helped to clarify my vision for this new life. Thank you Louise, I am truly grateful!!!