You Aren’t A Superhero. Stop Hurting Yourself Trying

Good morning, friends and neighbors.

I’m finally attending to my side work, and not a moment too soon. It’s starting to get a bit too real out here.

For reference, “side work” in this case doesn’t mean I just decided to start cleaning down my tables, scrubbing floors, and organizing the walk-in in the bakery. That’s an expectation of kitchen life. I use the idea of “side work” as a metaphor for self-care. The stuff that isn’t necessarily anyone’s job, but it needs to get done or things get pretty gross pretty fast.

In everyday life, “side work” is things like making dentist appointments, cleaning your house, balancing your check book… and in my case, getting myself back in front of a psychologist.

Lately, my stress levels have been a bit higher than usual. A large contract is coming the way of my bakery, and my team is central to completing it. Over the time we’ve had to prepare, there’s been delays, meetings, and higher priorities left and right. Then, in the final week we have to prepare- we don’t have enough ingredients, and won’t till the end of the week.

I’m frustrated, I’m stressed, I tried to avoid this situation happening. In the end, it’s going to be me working extra hours trying to make the deadline- and I’m more pissed about not making the deadline than I am the extra work.

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“Anywhere I Lay My Head” – The Endless Quest for “Focused Chill.”

Good evening, friends and neighbors.

Tonight I’m writing from a corner seat of The Nerd Out, which is- oddly- the right mix of quiet and busy.

My feeling has always been that if you are going to write about life, you should surround yourself with life. It’s why I do my best work in cafes and bars.

Tonight, though, it’s because I can’t get myself to relax and focus enough to write at home.

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The Way of the Warrior

Good morning, friends and neighbors.

Not long ago, I decided I was going to go on a bit of an Eastern Philosophy bender and read all the texts I could get my hands on.

It may have been my state of mind at the time, or just a desire to spend more time reading interesting stuff and less time trawling social media.

In the past, I’d read and re-read several Buddhist texts- a couple sutras, the Dhammapada, and the Buddhacarita. I’ve also previously read (and love referring back to) the Tao Te Ching and Dogen’s “Tenzo Kyokun.”

In this latest push, however, I decided I was going to tackle some of the more well-known works: Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”, and Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s “Hagakure.”

It was… a lot, and it got me thinking-
“Why do we look to books on war for lessons on life?”

hagakure quote one becomes two

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“Light ’em Up”- The Envy of Passion, and Why We Love The Weirdos

Good evening, friends and neighbors!

It’s probably a good thing that I’m trying to work my way into being a writer as well as a baker. Since I was a kid, I always loved telling stories.

About anything that I happened to find interesting.

Whether people were interested or not.

Storytelling came to me early. “Reading an audience” took some practice and development.

That’s not a bad way to develop though. Too many people get brought up being taught to rein back something that they never know the true power of, and consequently, NEVER learn its power or are afraid of sharing it when they do.

Passion, after all, is very powerful.

It’s beautiful, dangerous, infectious… and lets us be alive.


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Some Brief Thoughts on Discipline

Good afternoon, friends and neighbors.

I actually have a bit of a commute with my new job- 40 minutes on a bus, that I usually pass by reading one of my growing pile of books.
After yesterday’s blog post, however, I realized I had a few more thoughts on the subject of goals, and specifically the discipline in achieving them.

So let’s give blogging-by-smartphone a try.

Selfie on the bus

Blogging In Motion. Truly it is a new world.

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To Build A Better Baker: Reps, Rolling Pins, and Finding A Reason

Good evening, friends and neighbors!
Ostensibly, this is a baking and food blog. I am, after all, a baker and culinary professional. I am used to, and in fact EXPECT to, get a lot of questions.
Most of them, however, are about fitness and weight loss- particularly mine.
How do you keep so slim while working in a bakery? I’d be as big as a house!”                “How can you stand to be around all that butter and sugar?”

Or, worst of all,

What diet are you on/pill are you taking to keep so trim?!”

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Discipline- In The Pursuit of Perfection

     Good evening, friends and neighbors!

The other day, my girlfriend and I were talking about our work over dinner. She’s a piano teacher, specializing in teaching very young children, ages 3 to 9. At this age, the children don’t learn to read music so much as listen and learn by ear, memorizing pieces and which keys make what notes to play them.
As we were talking, she mentioned that one of the hardest things to teach students of any age isn’t so much the material, as the characteristics of a pianist- attention to detail, feeling the music, investment and passion in playing, and most of all the diligence and discipline for practicing.


    I couldn’t help but smirk and agree. “Discipline” sounds like a dirty word these days, recalling images of ranting, groundings, spankings, and generally other forms of punishment that parents are warned they shouldn’t use on their kids because it will turn them into cold-hearted, dead-eyed shamblers of the twilight world that is their fate.

“Calm down, Damien…”

But I’m not talking about that- at least, not directly.


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