When I grow up I want to be a kid
Ok, so I'm a foodie. Apparently 'gourmet' and 'epicurean' have fallen out of favour and bring to mind a stodgy or snobbish attitude. The term 'foodie' has also been criticised because "Foodie" is like the infantile diminutive - you put a "y" on the end of everything to make it childlike. If being a foodie makes me more childlike, then I'm well on the way to reaching my goal.
Ask yourself two questions
What do you really want to do with your life?
If you're not doing it, why not?
How many times have you had a great idea and not done anything about it, only to discover some time later someone else has had the same idea and is doing it?
The wife of a very good friend of mine once said to me, "Most of Life is learning what NOT to do". As I think about it, it's very true. How many times do we make a mistake, take a wrong turn and go "I won't do that again"! Hopefully we all learn from our mistakes. Then there are the things that we wished we were doing and that's all they ever are, things we wished for. The only thing stopping you and your dreams is you. I never want to be one of those people who get to the end of their life and think; "I should have...."
I enjoy cooking, wine, traveling and meeting people. I love going to small towns and seeking out that one restaurant that everyone in town says is 'the best'. I love talking to the owner, the chef, finding out what their story is. And everyone has a fascinating story. I love touring the wine regions and meeting the wine makers. What fabulous stories they all have.
So I decided to get off the treadmill, off the daily grind and follow what I love doing. Has it been easy? No. But I've found if you persevere, take one step at a time and live in the moment. What happened yesterday you can't change and what's going to happen tomorrow you don't know, so deal with what's right in front of you.
This all started one evening when after a crazy day at work, my wife Sue looked at me and said “I’m sick of thinking about what to have for dinner and having to cook every night”. I realised we were stuck on a treadmill of “everyday life”. I jumped up and announced "Don't worry, I'm cooking 'sexy steak'". You can only imagine the roll of her eyes thinking "Oh God, what's he going to do now"?
Sexy stake was Scotch fillet on the BBQ with mushrooms (Sue loves mushrooms) and garlic mashed potato. That started our journey to turn everything around, to get back to the days where we sat around Grandma's kitchen table. Our evening
meals became ‘events’. We turned the TV off or on mute, put on music instead and decided to have fun in the kitchen, with lots of talking, music and laughter.
The Daily Grind - Get off the treadmill
Our evenings have been turned around. Cooking every night is something we now actually look forward to. Rather than the quick 15 minute meal where everyone sits in silence in front of a TV, we take our time. The result is a family that actually communicates with each other, learns about food, discovers new music and just has fun in the kitchen. When friends come around, we get them involved in the evening, helping with the BBQ, keeping the music going, helping with drinks.
The result of all this, of course, was that Phil Smith from the ABC Radio in Brisbane hounded me for about two years to come and do a "Saturday Sizzle" segment on his show. I thought the idea was totally silly. 'Food, wine and music' on the radio? Having done a fair amount of radio work in the past, I finally said yes, thinking it would last about 6 weeks. A couple of years later, here we are.
So, all of the above just to tell you this: Whatever you're doing, whatever you want to do, you can. I've had a number of career changes on the road to doing what I finally love.
Thank you for the visit. You're never too young or too old to make a change and I love hearing from folk who have. You can do it!
Don Gillespie: Journalist, Photographer, Broadcaster, Foodie: Born in Zimbabwe. Has lived in Swaziland, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, USA and currently lives in Australia. Has a background in journalism working for a number of newspapers and magazines before joining an advertising agency. Spent 15 years working for an international aid agency. Married with three grown up children.
"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.”
Sir Ken Robinson.