When you have a disability you know that you have limitations. You know that you can’t achieve everything you want to achieve. You can achieve some things and you can achieve certain levels, but sometimes you can’t get to the top – literally. I don’t know when that reality hit me. I can’t remember the specific event where it clicked. I know that I stopped going to school camps because I couldn’t do most of the activities and I would be left out. I knew that I had to do Year 12 over two years rather than one because the work load would have been too much at the time.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things I can achieve and I do them quite well, but the point of this piece is to write about making the most of the little things. Because I couldn’t achieve certain things, I had to find a way to get a sense of achievement through the little things. You could call it “cheap thrills”.
Last week I decided to have a couple of dinner parties. Hey, I love to cook, and you know, I like to show off my skills from time to time. Cheap thrills, right?
I decided to cook a porcini mushroom risotto because I had gone out for dinner and had the most amazing risotto and I was determined to recreate it. But, of course, one of my guests didn’t eat mushrooms, so that meant I had to make something they could eat. I wasn’t going to change my menu plan just for one person, so I did the next best thing, I took out some bolognaise sauce from the freezer and decided to do two main courses.
Now, some of you may not know that my fine motor control isn’t that good and jumping back and forth is a no-go for me. However, the other week, there I was in the kitchen, chopping up onions, garlic and mushrooms, sautéing brown mushrooms, pouring hot water over the porcini mushrooms all at the one time. Then, when I was frying up with the bits and pieces for the risotto, I was pouring pasta into boiling water and stirring it to make sure it didn’t stick.
For the fans of Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules, you can just imagine the concentration and stress it takes to do all this – and I was doing it! I was on fire and dancing around the kitchen as my iphone blasted songs from Glee.
I chose not to make dessert that night as I thought two mains, a salad and entrée was more than enough for my first dinner party since December last year. But because I achieved this I became a little cocky and thought I could do it again, three nights later, and wait…let’s add dessert to the mix.
Instead of going into the whole story, I’ll just mention that I made my first ever chocolate ripple cake, I may have added too much stock to the risotto and I made racks of lamb, causing the fire alarm to go off more than twice.
What’s the point of this story you may be asking. Well, when I do things like this, I make a point of patting my back and feeling extremely proud of myself. It’s important to acknowledge these small achievements because if I don’t, there wouldn’t be much to smile about.
By the way, Happy Passover everyone. I hope you all had a great night last night and you’re set to do it all over again tonight!