Take a first step. Let the momentum unfold.

Sometimes, we look at the end result of a new endeavor and get stuck. The effort needed to start and the energy required to persist are just too much. So, what can we do? We can take a first step. We can take a second step and a third.
I recall hearing a new year’s resolution a while ago, in which someone wanted to start an exercise routine. She committed to taking this one step every day—after getting dressed, she would put on her running shoes. The next thing she knew, she was outdoors every day and walking. As the days wore on, she picked up her pace, making good use of those running shoes.
For all of us, in time, the momentum builds, and the results become apparent. Making progress and achieving a goal no longer seem difficult or insurmountable. I took a first step a few months ago on a family project.
While wishing my cousin well on upcoming surgery, I heard the worry in her voice. To get onto a more upbeat topic, I asked this wonderful cook and baker for some favorite family recipes. Next thing I heard was, “We should get these recipes into a family cookbook.” We both agreed on step one. Since she would now have the gift of time, she would send an email to all the cousins, asking them to send her some favorite recipes. I was copied in on the responses.
As a wise person once said, “Be careful what you wish for.” Not only did we receive recipes, we received requests for recipes—Grandma Gert’s rice pudding; Aunt Jeanette’s sour cream, chocolate cake; and Cousin Mac’s cream cheese and pineapple brownies. And we heard some amusing family lore. Syd overturned Grandma’s big pot of fish that was slowly cooking atop the stove, and, sweet as she was, Grandma simply started the laborious process over again. Rhoda filled customers’ requests for a banana split at the soda fountain in her dad’s drug store by quietly going lickity-split out the back door to buy the requisite bananas. Grandma’s mile-high lemon meringue pie and other cooking delights helped to win the heart of her daughter’s beau.
One hundred plus pages later, this project is well past step one and has taken on a life of its own. Those who remember the sights, tastes, and aromas of the older generations’ kitchens are keeping them alive for the younger generations and generations to come. By summer, we will have a cookbook—a family treasure—and a wonderful reason to congregate.
What first steps have you taken that produced surprisingly happy results? We’d love to hear.

1 comment
  1. Hurray! The book project I wrote about in January, saying we’d have a book this summer, has come to fruition! A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way is now getting into the eager hands of the many family members and friends who provided recipes. If I do say so, this book is one very tasty dish!

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