a good project is like an adrenaline shot into an otherwise often routine existence. i die a little when i have too much routine, and so in the spells where i don’t have a trip, event, or (regrettably) a crisis happening, i self assign a task or challenge – a nice meaty one i can sink my teeth in to. it needs to be big enough that it takes planning and more than a few steps, but small enough that i can see it to completion before i crave another change. it’s rewarding to satisfy both the planner and scanner in me at once.
when i’m free to set the objective and deadline, my extracurricular exploits flow from one to another, with minimal overlap. but sometimes exciting projects find me, and come with a pre-stamped due date. and occasionally many opportunities come at once…and i tend to say yes more than no.
it seems that i have quadruple-booked myself this weekend. which translates into double-header all-nighters. so since i’m up anyway, i decided to take a few minutes to debrief a bit. or perhaps just marvel at the insane number of ways i’ve over committed myself. each of these projects requires my full-time attention, ideally. the perfectionist in me that demands excellence without compromise is screaming right now. behold my four ring circus:
ring one: my raw chef mentor and dear friend mandilyn canistelle, who trained me in the fine art of living foods preparation, is writing a book. The Raw Food Feast: 7 days through the Rainbow will be released in April, and she’s invited me to be her sous-chef on the pre-production, which includes recipe testing as well as planning each shot that will be photographed. over the past three weeks i’ve spent over 75 hours with mandy and a team of helpers refining every detail of the recipes and how they will be presented in the book. this weekend is the culmination of all that work, with three whole days of photography. every dish must be prepared, plated, and captured with step by step shots for each recipe. we have a professional photographer, a videographer (for the publisher’s behind-the-scenes), and a food stylist flying in to make this happen – and i should really be there for all of it. if only i were running a one-act show.
ring two: 30 of my female family members are descending on okc this weekend for a girly saddic reunion. as one of the locals, i would normally be helping to coordinate the airport pickups, hotel rooms, and entertaining activities. seeing as i’m a little tied up, my mom & sister have carried that baton, but at a minimum i want to be present for every minute of the story-telling, belly-laughing, baklava-eating, picture-sharing fun. too bad i’m supposed to spend 8 hours each day at mandy’s, plus…
ring three: with almost no effort on my part to advertise the new biz, i’ve found myself with three editing jobs: one includes some ghost writing, one is volunteer work for my church, and one has good potential to lead to bigger assignments. all three have immediate deadlines. although i had intended to pursue growth on the language training side of the services i offer, i’m thrilled that this aspect of Communicate Clearly is blossoming. too bad the projects are all flowing in during rush hour.
ring four: this is the center ring, the main act under the big top. i’ve been hired to develop living foods program for a lifestyle center near loveland, colorado. this center welcomes guests with life-threatening conditions and incorporates healing therapies and a healthy lifestyle into a holistic treatment. they’ve requested an 18-day menu plan, training for their kitchen staff, seven cooking classes to offer the guests, plus an educational event for their community that includes an hour lecture and 3 hours of demonstrations with tastings. i’ll be spending the month of march at their facility to implement the plan. oh, and we’ll be serving 3 meals a day during this time. um, wow. wow that they’ve commissioned me. wow that this is a really big job. actually, four really big jobs in one. did i mention we finalized this contract less than two weeks ago? so when i haven’t been in mandy’s kitchen or trying to maintain my day job and side jobs, i’ve been buried under my recipe books developing menus and classes and training.
i leave monday morning, so somewhere between cookbook production and family reunioning, i’ll need to find some time to pack. should packing for four weeks count as a fifth circus ring?
i’ll most likely be scarce on the interweb for the next month – a few weeks without ambient awareness should be good for me. carry on, cyberworld; i’m checking out!