“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
I saw this quote the other day, and it really got to me the more I thought about it. Turns out, I’ve already been doing a lot of the “things I thought I could not do” – just this year.
1. I never thought I could retire in my early-40’s.
But yet – here I am.
2. I never thought I could make my own pesto sauce.
This may sound odd to you, because I now know that making pesto from scratch is quite easy. While living in Dallas, I had looked up recipes for pesto several time, but I think the food processor business just scared me. Whenever we dined at Italian restaurants, I’d ALWAYS order a dish with pesto sauce. And now, I make my own – and it tastes so gourmet to me, it’s crazy. BTW – swirled with tomato sauce on my homemade pizza? – THE BEST!
3. I never thought I could move to and live in a foreign country.
Fact. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could do this, or even consider such a thing. But yet – here I am… in a country where I don’t know the language and also in a place that has over 300,000 species of bugs!
4. I never thought I could make my own tomato sauce.
Blanch tomatoes? Peel the skin off? Chop and de-seed? That’s way too much work for this girl! Well, I found an awesome easy crock pot recipe – where I don’t have to blanch or peel or de-seed. I just chop the tomatoes up – throw ‘em in the pot, add a bunch of herbs and seasoning, simmer for a while – and presto! This sauce is amazing – and you can keep it chunky when you’re done, or blend it for a smoother sauce. I love it!
5. I never thought I could make my own bread… Or pizza dough… Or pie crust… Or anything with a rolling pin.
Before, whenever I saw the words “knead” or “roll out” in a recipe – I stopped reading, there was no way I was doing it. I must give credit here to my friend Emily, for when she told me she made her own bread and a whole array of other things from scratch and I starred at her in amazement, she was like “what? You can do it too!” She encouraged me to try… And once I did, I was hooked (she was right! I could do it!). There’s some wonderful pleasure to be had – in cooking with whole ingredients and making your own items from scratch. And really – after I took my first stab at things (including kneading and using a rolling pin, thank you very much), it wasn’t so bad. I really could do these things… look:
6. I never thought I could write a book.
I’ve read almost my whole life, since the time I could read, really. But every time I actually thought of writing a book, I was like – no way. How would I start? How could I write to draw people in, or make it interesting? What – I have to have an outline first? UGH. Yep – I am now writing a book (it gives me a thrill just to say those words). And although it would be nice if people like it, I really don’t care – because I am doing one of the “things I thought I could never do”, and I think it’s pretty darn cool, regardless if my book is liked or not (remind me not to care later, when it’s published).
7. I never thought I would zip-line.
And I was right – I never will! The difference on this one is – I COULD do this thing, if I really wanted to, but I have absolutely no desire to, this would not “better” my life in any way. In fact, I’d probably have a heart attack – definitely not good for me. So, no, you will not find me zip-lining (ever). And if I did zip-line (which I won’t) – do you really think I would look like this:
So – what is a thing YOU could not do, and have NOW done? Or are trying to do, in the near future? Because trust me… you can’t say that you “can’t” do it, until you first try. Please comment me – I’d love to hear your “thing” or “things”!!
Ciao! — Jen