Don’t forget to celebrate all the achievements along the way

Last September I swapped my abacus for a case of knives, waved farewell to my ever-supportive fiancé (now husband), and followed my passion for food. Without a clear objective of what I would do after a 3 month cookery course, I just went with my gut, probably for the first time in my career to date. I thought it important to record my journey, and thus, this blog was born. And so almost 12 months on, it feels very fitting that ‘Elbows off the Table’ has been shortlisted for the LWI Blog Awards 2016 – it’s like a really lovely birthday gift. Or cake! And it gives me great pleasure to blow out those candles.

This post is about celebrating all the little wins along the way. The past 12 months have been a bit of a whirlwind between working in a commercial kitchen, to becoming a food tour-guide, to becoming a wife, to becoming a Mum (albeit to a new puppy, but still!),to house decoration etc etc. It has been one of the busiest but best years of my life. Despite it being an incredible year there have been waves of panic. A breakdown in the kitchen of Brother Hubbard for example when I realise I am the oldest chef there and as I ferociously whisk 50 eggs for the next batch of brownies, I realise, I don’t even know if my dream is actually to own my own cafe (like every other  fresh-faced 20-something young ‘wan’ in there).  ‘They have 10 years on me’, I keep thinking! There have been other moments of, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life type panic as I lie in bed at 2am googling people I admire in the industry. Don’t worry Jeff, I am solely assessing their skillset and qualifications. I scroll so far down their Linkedin profile so that I can gauge their age based on the year they finished college – yes the accountancy was good for something. (Just joking, it was good for a lot of things, Dad!) I wonder to myself how did they get to where they are and what path did they take? Would this type of job suit me? Have I left it too late to take on a role like that, and so on.

In the rollercoaster this year has been I have been so hellbent on choosing the right positions and career path, that it is fair to say I occasionally forget to take stock and recognise that I have come a long way since my office 9-5. I am reminded of an interview I read with Bressie last week – a hugely successful guy who defies classification; popstar, athlete, author – very inspiring and remarkably honest. His biggest regret; being too caught up in achieving something, that he forgot to enjoy the journey on the way. I think we all may be guilty of this sometimes.  We should remember to recognise the smaller achievements which are so important as they lead us to the bigger milestones. Wouldn’t our time be much better spent enjoying a meal out with friends celebrating the small victories in a particular week or month, rather than scrutinising and benchmarking ourselves against other people’s achievements?

So to cut a long story short, to discover this blog was shortlisted for an award was wonderful. I have been stopped in my tracks. Thank you @BlogAwardsIE and @LittlewoodsIreland for giving me a reason to celebrate this blog and for reminding me to observe the end of a hugely exciting 12 months.  I am really honoured and so very grateful to everyone who reads these blog posts too.

If anyone fancied voting for me, I would be extremely appreciative. The link can be found here. The vote will count for 20% of the overall voting process and closes tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd August, 2016. Thank you so much.

Although I don’t really know where I will be in a year from now, I am enjoying writing these posts and as long as I am feeling inspired I will continue. And for those occasional flashes of despair when it comes to my career change, I take the solid advice of my ever positive sister, Marianne;  ‘Your job is to keep the faith, to trust your gut, to be patient and enjoy the now. The rest will take care of itself’. So, with that in mind, anyone for a slice of cake?!


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