When you want something all the universe conspires to help you achieve it – Paulo Coelho

I just want to work from home in my pajamas! For the past few years this has become my singular obsession.  I’m convinced that it’s not ‘working’ that people are opposed to. It’s the commute and getting ready each morning and being forced out of your cozy bed before you’re ready because you can’t be late. These are the uncomfortable disruptions we dread that cause us to wish our days away as we long for the weekend! Or is that just me?

I wanted to work from the comfort of my home in the worst way. I wanted those lost hours back. I wanted the option to hide from my bad hair day whenever necessary.  I also wanted more time to write and the opportunity to learn new skills. I had dipped my toe into marketing both at my last job and at home through this blog. I wanted to do more of that. And when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.

No, I’m not lighting incense or burning sage, but I do believe that it took more than hard work to get me where I am now. I needed to understand myself and my life first before I could transition into a career that would suit both. And at the risk of sounding hippy dippy, I put it out there…yes into the universe!

Create the life you don’t need to take vacation from

Before you imagine me with flowers in my hair and crystals under my bed, remember like I mentioned last week, I did the work up front. I’m not suggesting that a mere wish to the universe will solve all your problems. But once you’ve done the learning and networking and reputation building, it really helps to focus on the things you want even if you don’t have all the answers yet, even if you have your doubts. Put it out there. Focus on the end result and keep going in that direction.

Mike and I used to talk about me working for his family business when we were mapping out our future together. It seemed like the perfect way to create the life you don’t need to take vacation from. It would allow me to work remotely. All of my efforts would go toward building something that was ours. My work success would directly impact our dreams and goals. It would mean that business trips were also family time. And you all know how important family time is to me. I’m pretty sure I read a million times in a million different career books to align your work with your values (last cliche, promise). And every time I read it, I figured I’d have to work as a missionary feeding the poor. That seemed hard.

Then one day the phone rang

I promise to continue to feed people and help the less fortunate, but it probably won’t be my career. Our master plan to work together for Mike’s company was always in the back of my mind. It felt so far off into the future though. I was accustomed to it not being the right time. Even when I was laid off, I didn’t make the connection right away. Even when I pitched myself to Mike’s sister (President of the company), I didn’t really believe it was time or that it would be for real.

Then one day the phone rang. The role would include mostly writing and a lot of ‘whatever needs doing’ aaand eventually marketing and social media. Was I interested? Was I interested? In all of the ideas I had cooked up in my head up until now? Um yeah. Needless to say I accepted the job.  And just like when I met Mike, I started to realize why all those other options didn’t work out.

The stress started to slip away, and I stopped counting the days since the lay-off. I stopped counting the days until Friday too! I spent weeks head down in my laptop doing all the things you’re supposed to do when you get a new job. I also worked long hours and didn’t have time to cook, but it was good for me. I needed to get back into work life.  And when I finally came up for air, I realized I was exactly where I wanted to be.

So what do you cook to celebrate a new job?

You are the best readers a food blogger could hope for. You’ve been indulging me for weeks! These last few posts have been more self-discovery and less food. But if you really want to know the truth about living and cooking in a place like NYC, there’s more to it than family history and tradition. There’s the stuff that goes on behind the scenes like dirty dishes and cooking ruts and getting laid off when you least expect it.

So what do you cook to celebrate a new job? I have no idea. The call came and went, and life simply fell into place. Much like my last day at my old company, my first day at the new one happened without any fanfare. It also happened at the busiest time in the middle of a tight deadline. Mike and I were both so tired that we barely had time to cook let alone photograph or document our meals. Every dish was a moment in time that we wouldn’t be able to recreate. It was all worth it.

While I was getting up to speed on the current project and picking out my pajamas for the week, Mike did most of the cooking for us. The whole experience called for a lot of ‘what’s in the fridge’ pasta. It’s just what you need when you’re working late and trying to create a new routine. This week’s photo is cheese tortellini with fresh summer tomatoes, earthy mushrooms, white onions and lots of apartment basil. In the time it took to boil water and cook the tortellini, Mike sautéed the vegetables into a fresh and light summer sauce. A little pasta water and basil brought it all together and dinner was served. Maybe we’ll perfect and record the recipe to put in the cookbook someday. That’s a task for another time though. I have to work in the morning!

Thanks for reading and for all of your comments, emails and support.

*Create the life you don’t need to take vacation from – adapted from Seth Godin