Just quickly


Dear little sister,

I'm finding this whole writing each other letters thing to be surprisingly difficult. I sat down under the impression that I would just “quickly write you a letter.” today. This is the third letter I start in a row, and hopefully the only one to actually get somewhere. I have no idea why I expected this to be easy? Anyone who has ever tried to write anything knows that even just putting words on a page is hard work, let alone ones that say something important. Forgive me  if I don't even attempt the latter today. Considering the number of postcards I have bought, stared at holding a pen, and then set aside "to write later", I think just sending you anything is a success. 

Have you ever done that, where you look at a final project and decide you could do that too? In half an hour? With none of the actual ingredients at hand? Please tell me it’s not just me (It’s not. Just look at one of our favourite websites).

On a more serious note, looking at the final product and failing to consider the work that went into it is a mistake I have made a million times. I’m going to make it a million times more. Turns out it takes longer to write an article than it takes to type the words, and the prep time of "10 minutes " applies to experienced cooks in a kitchen they are familiar with. Sure, I can usually improvise something that gets me part way there, but many quick solutions rarely add up to a good one, and I find that crafting an item of quality takes time, time for the skill to grow and time for the item to be made. Yet time and time again, I convince myself that I can quickly and easily replicate something, only because someone else makes it look easy. It’s a recipe for disappointment, and a recipe for dissatisfaction.

I suspect our current culture is partially to blame for that. We are surrounded by consumable products, kits solutions that allow anyone to reproduce even pieces of artwork with minimal effort, and articles entitled “5 quick steps to …” that promise a quick solution to even profound problems. But do these really satisfy us? Are these the sort of things we are fondly going to think back to, for years to come? Are these really solutions that will change our life? I find the thrill wears off quickly, leaving behind a hollow emptiness and a craving for more. 

Here is what I would like to do: I’d like to take on a long-term project, the kind that won’t pay off for years. I want to curate my time and energy, and find something to grow into. I want to know what I am aiming for, and then take the time to develop my ability, at a sustainable pace. Happiness, I find, is closely tied to meaning, and time feels less fleeting when we anchor it down with strong memories and accomplishments. I admire people who have a passion they work on for 20 years, a topic that follows them for years. But what? What do I care about enough to give that central a position in my life? Suggestions welcome.

All the very best, Ricarda

PS: I made another attempt at making the oat biscuits, lowFODMAP style, and failed. Harder than it looks! I'll try again.  

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