My children, I’ve learned, believe I’m the best cook in the world. Of course, I’m not the best cook in the world. But, I do love to cook. I appreciate the methodical process of chopping and slicing and spicing. I wasn’t always good at it, but with time I’ve learned. Now I can invent things. It’s a sign for me that I’ve progressed. I use recipes for inspiration, but rarely in an effort to get something precise. And, I love cooking for others. Dinner parties are one of my greatest joys. And I really, really love food.

Being a good cook is a gift I’ve come to learn to accept. It’s been part of the process of nestling myself down into this type of life. This life of an expat where, since everything constantly changes around you, you have no choice but to sit back sometimes and watch where it takes you. I’ve always liked to cook. I don’t think I ever envisioned, or even desired, to be particularly good at it. It snuck up on me, but I’m sticking with it. I’ve made it a part of myself and that’s actually what I think my children see and why they’ve come to believe I must be the best in the world.

For anyone facing profound change – whether adjusting to a new life in a new home or a new country or simply a new job – there comes a time when we can benefit from spending time mentally and emotionally with the things about ourselves that have snuck up on us. Sometimes so much is changing around us that we overlook all the new traditions, habits or processes we’ve added to our life. Sometimes these new parts of our self are working out well. Other times, not so much.

Learning to accept (or not) those new aspects of our self is a process, one that requires honesty and kindness. Not sure where to begin?

Here are 5 questions to consider asking:

1. What am I doing now that I’ve never really done before?

2. Is this new part of my life something I want to nurture or something I want to let go of?

3. What new experiences await me when/if I embrace this part of me?

4. Am I willing to accept the changes in me that will come from allowing this new part of me to grow or continue to develop?

5. When or if I decide I’ve outgrown, moved on from or lost this part of myself, how will I let it go (or bring it back) in the most gentle and kind way possible?



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