Most of us common, everyday, get-a-meal-on-the-table-as-fast-as-possible cooks don't give much thought to a balance of flavors on the plate. We're more about protein and veggies and filling hungry stomachs on a budget. And most of us common, every day, get-my-list-of-to-do's-done people don't think about the ingredients that make up our lives.
Like it or not (and who does?), we need the bitter. It keep us grounded; teaches us compassion, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. It offers us opportunity to grow and mature; become better people.
Sour happens. If not every day, most days. Your sour might be hearing that alarm at 5:30. Ugh. But if getting up at 5:30 gives you time to go for that run or pray and meditate or do yoga before the day gets crazy, it's well worth it.
Salty adds pizzazz to your every day life - laughing with your co-workers or creating a colorful spreadsheet (if you have to build a spreadsheet, why not be creative about it?)
Umami is that place where we all live most of the time: getting done what has to be done. Checking the have-to's off the list.
These are the flavors that make up most of my life and probably yours too; but I was recently reminded of the one thing I tend to forget over and over and over. I'm such a do-er, such a list-checker-off-er, so goal-oriented that I forget to balance my life with the sweet.
For me, the sweet of life includes writing kidlit. Sadly, I get sucked into the (not) all-important goal of being published, of gaining fans who will make me the next J.K. Rowling (haha), and of dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" that conventional writing wisdom says you must do to be a success. I lose sight of the sweetness of writing, and it becomes a chore.
So as you plan the menu for your 2019 life, remember to add the sweet. It doesn't have to be every day. It just has to be. What do you love to do? Make it happen. Your soul needs it.