Chef John Malik

a writer trapped in a cook's body

#ThrowBackThursday

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I’m a fairly emotional guy.  I don’t mean that I cry often, rather I tend to linger over fond memories.  Perhaps too much.  Maybe that’s why I enjoy looking through old photographs.  Recently my wife asked me to help her find a photo of us from Mardi Gras.  We broke out stacks of real photos and spent a few hours reminiscing.  The memories flooded past in glossy, colorful, slightly faded pieces of our lives.  Four by six, five by seven, and a few wallets; California, Romania, Louisiana, New York, London, and South Carolina.  And I found myself wanting to make memories worthy of a photograph.

Taking a photo used to be a big deal.  You had to carry a camera, film, and perhaps additional lenses.  Then the film had to be developed and photos were printed and paid for.  So one only carried a camera if you were going to do something worthy of the trouble.  Today it’s so easy, it’s not uncommon to share a photo of a peanut butter and jelly in the process of being made.  Where’s the adventure in that?

I want to take more photos like this one, and less of my sandwiches.

Looking Glass

At the top of Looking Glass mountain, perhaps January of 1998. That’s me walking away from a poorly timed camera shot and my wife Amy is holding onto our faithful Jack Russell Terrier, Bonnie.

That’s our Jack Russell Terrier, Bonnie.  If you’re familiar with dogs, Jacks are notoriously high-strung.  They’re smart, energetic, and relentless.  Once they decide to do something, there’s no stopping them.  Bonnie was no different.  If we went for a hike, a swim in the ocean, a long walk, or a car ride, it was never enough just to go.  She had to go faster, harder, farther.  Case in point, in this photo she is as usual, waiting on me.

In our relationships, both personal, and business, we should all have a Bonnie.  A faithful companion that extols us to success.  Someone that we love and respect, someone that we’ll go that last mile for.

In one of my endeavors, I have an entire team of Bonnies. In July, I’ll ride across the state to raise money for the SC Alzheimer’s Association and I’ve got some teammates to encourage and push me to success. Yet I still feel like I’m missing something. I need someone to encourage and push me in my business relationships, and it feels like that’s missing from my life. A friendly competitor, someone to race me to the top of the mountain then pat me on the back when I’ve come in second, or third. We all measure success differently and I don’t use money as a yardstick. Are my kids becoming responsible? Am I protecting my family? Are my clients happy and are they getting their money’s worth? Because life isn’t about the destination, it’s really about the journey and our journey begins anew every morning.  Today I’m going to try and pray harder, run quicker, pedal faster, and make my clients happier. And I’d like to do this while I work towards taking more photos of real adventures, and less photos of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Do you have a Bonnie in your life? Someone, or some dog, that is constantly pushing you to success?  I think I do, I just need to remind them.

 

Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen

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