The older I get, the more quickly time seems to pass. This isn’t to say that at ten, for example, I didn’t find myself on the last week of summer vacation, longing for yet another week to spend acting as if the days were endless and my responsibilities few. But it’s different, now. The days actually do seem endless so have a tendency to run together, leaving me with skewed ideas about when certain events happened, or how old something or someone is. The eternal optimist in me always defaults to the fewer is better theory, and I tend to be wrong in those estimates.
Trying to locate particular shots in the libraries of my more than 20,000 photos provides a great example of this. Bear in mind that I have the ability to actually organize my photos in more than a time based sequence, but I haven’t done that, so scroll through them thinking whatever I’m looking for will be easy to find. It’s then I realize the notion of mine being a food centric life proves to be far more than a catch phrase as I scroll through our lives’ events searching for a recipe: the layered ice cream cake for my youngest son’s graduation from high school year before last; a vegetable soup discovered during a weekend getaway to the mountains this past year; and those potatoes. Those amazing potatoes we enjoyed on a trip to Las Vegas after busy season last year.
Or was it the year before?
And so my searching goes with each dish triggering memories of people and places, happy times, and sad events — all framed by the food we’ve eaten. It’s an interesting way to think about one’s life.
Often, I become so involved by the images of our lives events, I forget which recipe I’m looking for, until reminded by something I’ve scribbled in one of my recipe notebooks, or a particular kitchen tool I used to create it. Then the cycle repeats. It’s maddening, but beneficial, being able to take stock of accomplishments, chide myself about what hasn’t been done, or be wistful about fleeting moments surely forgotten had I not had my camera.
Twenty-eleven was a year of learning different than any I’ve had before — a year of adjusting, growing, strengthening, and accepting all that comes in a year’s time. Here’s my top 10 list of lessons learned in the past year — or acknowledged having learned yet again — definitely food for thought.