Friday, September 12, 2008

On Biscuits and Leadership

I love fall.  Now that we're somewhat settled into the routine of school, I'm slipping back into a rhythm of life that feels very familiar.  For some reason, fall brings out the 'mom' in me just a bit stronger than usual.  Or perhaps it's more that I return to some habits that resonate with my maternal side.

I cooked this week.  A lot.  When the kids were younger and I considered myself a stay-at-home-mom, I was usually fairly focused on meal preparation.  I grew up in a house where we ate a 'real dinner' almost every night of the week - usually meat, a carb and a vegetable.  There were exceptions:  when Dad was traveling out of town, we got to have salmon patties, spaghetti, fishsticks or chicken and rice - all stuff my dad wouldn't eat.  And now, I realize, all stuff that was a heck of a lot easier to prepare for my mom!

I digress.  

It's interesting that I cooked this week, because now that I work full-time, there are too many nights when dinner is on the run, thrown together - anything but thought out.  There's pizza, usually once a week.  Sometimes we fend for ourselves and have sandwiches.  I don't always feel good about what's on the table - especially compared to my own childhood.

But fall is here, they're back in school, and I'm getting back in touch with the 'mom' deep inside.  And so, I have cooked.

We had steak.  We had grilled chicken.  We had brisket and pinto beans.  And we had stew and biscuits.  All home-cooked, no pre-cooked sauces or spice mixes or anything.  And I feel like a bona fide mom.  (Just don't ask me about the laundry...or the baseboards...or the windows...or the bathrooms...or anything else that requires cleaning...)

Sydni was born in July of 1994, and not long afterwards I started work as a consultant for Pampered Chef.  Lonnie stayed home with the kids one or two nights a week while I did shows.  I liked it; I loved the products, loved getting out with adults and really loved being able to contribute to the family by making the van payment while Lonnie was working and going through grad school.  I was good at what I did - I was passionate and excited, and it translated to good sales and a 'promotion' into leadership as I started to build a sales team.

I worked for a year or two and then got tired.  Leadership was hard.  I had another baby.  Life got a little more demanding.  I gave it up.

But I loved Pampered Chef and I loved the stuff I learned and the products that I still have, to this day.  And I learned a lot about leadership, never realizing that over a decade later, those lessons would impact my life so greatly.

The point of this story?  I'm not sure, except to say that I cooked homemade biscuits this week - from scratch - and I used Pampered Chef tools.  I think my baking powder needs to be replaced, because my biscuits ended up more like fat saltine crackers than biscuits.  But as I cooked, I felt nostalgic.  I thought back at where I'd been and where I was now, and what I have carried with me.

There are things that you get to keep, no matter what your losses might be along the way.  And some of those things - like leadership skills, loving what you do and cooking for your family - last for a lifetime.

In fact, they become a lifetime.  

Even if they don't turn out quite right every time, I still know how to make biscuits.  And I get to keep that.


Jayne said...

I think we start getting in to the "hibernation" mode this time of year too. Stay home, get comfy and warm. I admire your liking to cook Beth and wish I had half that desire. Your biscuits look beautiful, and I'll bet they were yummy.

Connie K. said...

Yay, homemade dinners!

And Pampered Chef rocks! I would love to go back in time and see you do a PC Kitchen Show. Perhaps someday we can work that into a skit on stage...

Kelley said...

only YOU could write about buscuits and make me get emotional.... this is definitely a lesson to look at your glass half full...

Kelley said...

ya ya ya... I know.... I spelled BISCUIT wrong.....

vicki said...

Beth, I remember you coming and presenting the Pampered Chef stuff at my house. It was so fun. You were very good at it. I still have my stuff too and when I use it I think of you!!! I am starting to enjoy cooking more than I ever did. You are right. There is something about this time of year that makes me want to cook. I think it's the slightly cooler weather. I love baking anyway and when the weather is cool, I like making muffins, cookies, brownies and stuff like that. Now that there are only two of us and neither one of us NEEDS anything like that, I have to find people who can still enjoy those things so I can cook them. Enjoy that family while they are all home , it goes by in a hurry!