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What’s the point of spending so much time achieving something and not being able to enjoy what we did to achieve it?
I love food and almost everything connected to it. For instance, I love eating food and watching it being cooked, especially if it is being cooked for me. Yet, I have rarely tried cooking myself. This is why I am a big fan of cookery shows, even though all I can do is watch people cook, and not get to eat any of it.
The process of watching the stages of first assembling the ingredients and then chopping, peeling, dicing or whatever needs to be done to the ingredients, so they can materialise into yummy looking dish, fascinates me immensely. Since I was so greatly inspired by all the shows with my orbs [eyeballs] constantly glued to the TV, I decided to put all the ‘expertise’ gained into practice, and one fine Sunday afternoon stepped into the kitchen to bake a cake.
As I gathered the required ingredients, I imagined putting the finishing touches to a perfectly gorgeous cake. I hummed to myself as I went through the process of measuring and sifting the ingredients and imagined the reaction of my family when they saw the perfectly gorgeous cake. The sight of which would leave them wide-eyed with admiration before they took a bite, a bite that would have them licking their fingers as they asked for more.
Oh, how that pleasant thought made me smile, until I looked down to find out in horror that the egg and sugar mixture I was manically whipping away at, had curdled. Wait a minute, that wasn’t how it was supposed to be! On the show, it had looked all creamy and fluffy!
Nevertheless, I enthusiastically whipped away some more and when done, added the remaining ingredients and slid the cake tin into the oven and blissfully resumed my train of fantasies where words of praise for my perfectly gorgeous cake had reached far and wide by now.
When I peeped into the oven a little while later, the cake batter was baking all right though it seemed rather flattish. It looked nothing like the puffed up golden dome it had looked on TV. When I finally slid the tin out of the oven, I realised that my to-be perfectly gorgeous cake was anything but. The cake sank, and along with it my hopes of becoming a cooking whiz.
I did realise though that I thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting together the cake. It was an amusing experience imagining myself to be a celebrity chef on TV. At least it gave all of us at home something to laugh over together as we sat around trying to salvage even a tiny edible bit of the cake. In retrospect, and after I finally got over the embarrassment, I could honestly conclude that even though the cake did taste like an old shoe, I had fun baking it.
Food is my weakness and just so that it doesn’t show, I working off the calories in the gym, when I am not inventing crazy excuses to miss workout sessions, that is. To egg myself on, I befriended two of my fellow gymmers and we decided to become workout partners. The two sisters and I vowed to monitor and motivate each other to reach our respective fitness goals. Though the sisters looked very alike, the differences between them couldn’t have been greater. One enjoyed her time at the gym, by relishing every step of her workout, being open to suggestions from one and all and befriending acquaintances, [she so reminded me of, Happy, who was one of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs]. The other was her complete opposite, she marched into the gym, extremely focused and rather sullen all the time, and went through her workout furiously and mechanically, [reminding me of Grumpy, another of the Seven Dwarfs].
When we compared notes at the end of three months, we realised that though Happy hadn’t lost as much weight as she would have liked to, she had a clear skin, a better posture and lots of friends at the gym. On the other hand, Grumpy, who was just half a kilo shy of her intended weight, a fact that she grumbled and mumbled about till we screamed at her to stop, had gotten grumpier than ever.
It was then that I realized that Grumpy and Happy could easily represent most of us. In most cases, we are so focused on fulfilling our goal that we forget to enjoy the journey that takes us towards it, just like Grumpy. If only, like Happy, we learnt to enjoy the journey. After all, a journey that perhaps opens up the windows of our mind and heart and brings us face to face with our flaws and virtues thus educating us should be as gratifying as reaching our destination, shouldn’t it?