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I’ve been thinking a lot about money lately–well more than my usual allotment. I’m sure I’m not alone. These days, money seems to be on most people’s mind-not that that’s anything new in our money obsessed culture, but this time, for millions of people, it’s not about making more and more money, but about making enough-whatever that happens to be. Poor or rich, it’s much the same. After all, the rich just have bigger bills. The question I pondered was not about how much (I could live quite frugally if I had to.) but rather, “How do I want to live?”

One of the biggest benefits of the economic crisis (yes benefits), in my opinion, is that it forces us to look at our lives anew. Money, like food, always get’s our attention-especially if we don’t have enough of it, or even if we do, what about the future? There’s the distinct sense that we’re all venturing into the unknown. Can we count on life as usual? Do we even want to? Is there safety in numbers, or is power a better word?

We’re been led to believe that if we work long and hard we will always have enough money to take care of our families. And even if that were true-which sadly, it isn’t for too many people-does it always have to be a choice between work and time with our families; between practicality or passion; inspiration or drudgery? Do we even have time to ponder the bigger questions? Can we still dream-or has that been snuffed out too?

We’ve all had times in which we had plenty of money, but no time; or is it usually time we have, but no money? I choose option #3 both time and money. I much prefer it when money is simply a “non-issue.” Do I dare to dream that some day everyone has more than enough, that money is considered by all to be just a form of exchange and other, far more meaningful questions occupy our thoughts?

Maybe, when we’ve had enough of the madness, when we’re tired of excuses and our own old sad stories, one day-finally-we give up and declare, “There’s got to be a better way.” And then things begin to get interesting.

For me personally (being of a stubborn nature) I usually don’t ask for a better way until I’m completely exhausted, stuck, and in my frustration I don’t know what else to do. Before I can untangle myself from whatever twisted thoughts I may be harboring at the moment, I have to first have a shift (as always) in my thinking. Usually the culprit is just a tiny thought, a simple combination of words, thought backwards or inserted where they don’t belong, which wrecks havoc in my life, much like a computer virus. And then through observation and contemplation, bleep, it’s fixed-a simple twist of a phrase-a readjustment, if you will, and I wonder, why I didn’t see it before?

Asking for a better way has led me to some unlikely coincidences, a burst of creativity and some promising new avenues where time and money are not mutually exclusive. The choice is always ours to make – even when we think we don’t have one. If we don’t choose the kind of life we want, life has a way of doing it for us. In the meantime, I’ll continue living my life on my terms (never liked the rules anyway) grateful that I’m doing work I love, energized by openings I see all around me (every crisis has big, gaping holes) gladly shedding the old and outmoded and dreaming of new possibilities as I step into the unknown and then–garden copy

Life, like a tired recipe, gets mixed with something grand, and a new creation blossoms. In my food world, that means a new recipe and in this case, actual blossoms – zucchini that is.


Chef Silvia


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