Carla M. Brown |Speaker| Writer|Educator|Coach|

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Mexican Apple Pie & Revelations for the Mind

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mexican apple pie

While Houston’s Apple Walnut Cobbler is clearly at the top of my favorite desserts list, the Mexican Apple Pie at Cantina Laredo on Westheimer is easily a contender.  The decadent pie filled with sauteed apples anchored  by a perfectly textured crust is rivaled only by the brandy butter poured around its iron skillet base that sizzles like the most scintillating fajitas.  It seems the steam sings its glories as it races to the heavens, broadcasting its intoxicating caramel like smells.  It sharply contrasts the perfectly cooled cinnamon ice cream that races for its rendezvous with the pie beneath.

As I found myself pleasantly lost in the abyss of things that please my palate, it occurred to me that we often can distinguish many things that tickle our passions in life (for me, FOOD, writing, church work, family).  That is, we can readily gush about things in which we find the most joy.  That being said, do our passions align with our professions?  We spend most of our days (for those of us in the workforce) spending hours at a job that just might consume us.  Often seeing co-workers more than family, we live and breathe in our respective industries.  My question is, how’s the air?  Is it fresh and invigorating?  Do you wake up ready to go to work with a smile on your face, eagerly anticipating the day’s adventures?

Or do you dread it?  Run from it?  Sometimes ignore it, with the hope that the doom and gloom of the darkness will somehow fade away?  Even if you “like” your job, are you fulfilled?  Make sure that what you enjoy most, is what you pursue – because life isn’t just about working, it’s about fulfilling your purpose.  I’m reminded of a treasured friend whose acquaintance I met in the teaching profession.  While talking about our daily affairs we began discussing one of my favorite topics – food.  She vibrantly articulated her passion for baking, and her face lit up like a Christmas tree in the winter.  I could see her passion was clearly at the forefront…now, she’s pursuing it to the fullest degree.  So much so, that her signature lemon bars are distinctly featured at regal giant Nordstroms in the Woodlands and Galleria (see http://www.mysweetlux.com)

I said all of that to say, it’s a New Year.  In addition to our resolutions, let’s  share some revelations.  Life’s too short to drown in drudgery.  If you have a dream that’s been tucked away in the back of your mind, brush the dust off of it and write it down.  It may be worth pursuing, no matter how challenging the journey.  If your position is misaligned with your passion, perhaps it’s time to find a delectable detour into your destiny.  In essence, if you’re not fulfilled – what are you going to do about it?  Your future awaits…  Share your plans – and stick to them!

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8 thoughts on “Mexican Apple Pie & Revelations for the Mind

  1. Excellent I feel like you are talking directly to me. You are truly gifted as a writer

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  2. Got my dreams on my 2015 Vision Board thanks for the inspired post

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  3. That is a complicated question with no simple answer. All I can do is speak on my situation and experience. I work 72 hours per week as a fireman, and photograph 2-3 weddings per month through my own wedding photography business. This takes me away from home an additional 24 hours a month on average. I have a wife and 4 kids, 15, 13, and two three year olds. The work is a means to an end. Fortunately, in my job, there is not much more I would rather spend 72 hours a week doing. I LOVE my line of work. My place of employment, like others, has its ups and downs. I pretty much live with six other guys 3 days out of the week. I eat there, sleep there, shower there, and relax there.

    72 hours a week, paid hourly with overtime, makes for a nice payday. I look at spending time with the family as quality over quantity. I can stay home 30 more hours per week and watch Barney reruns with them, or I can work that 30 extra hours and take them to Six Flags when I am home. However, there is a balance. I have friends who took contract jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan providing fire protection services, and they are making in excess of $250k per year with paid travel home four times per year. I seriously considered it.

    So to answer the question, the air is fine, for me. Mainly because I actually like my job. I use the time away and the down time at work (in between emergencies) to do things I enjoy or things I need to work on. When I was in school, I did homework. I might edit wedding photographs or play PlayStation. I might read a book or watch a movie with the guys. We play basketball and work out. Once I get home, I feel like these things are somewhat out of my system and I am free to devote myself to my family for the 24 hours that I am off. I typically come home around 8am and wake my 3 year olds. I play with them and feed them breakfast in order to give my wife a break. I might take my 13 year old son to the gym to play basketball or watch a movie with my 15 year old daughter. I explained to them even when they were 4 and 5 years old that I wasn’t going to be home as much as their friends’ parents, but the time that I would be home was going to be awesome.
    The firefighting job pays the bills and puts food on the table. The wedding photography pays for all the extras like vacations, dance lessons, AAU basketball tournaments, etc. I have spent literally 6 months out of the year away from home since my three year olds were born. But in that three years they have traveled, seen a lot of the world, amusement parks, dance lessons, the whole 9. They will even go to Disney Land this summer and Disney World next. I believe in my heart that these will be happy memories 20 years from now. I feel like I can be home just to be home, playing dolls and coloring with them, just to say I was “there for them” growing up. Or, I can put in some work and make the time I am home with them memorable.

    72 hours per week I am at work at the fire department means 96 hours per week I am at home. I do my best to make it count. One thing struck me a few weeks ago, however. I was getting dressed to leave for a wedding a few weeks before Christmas. My little girls had a Christmas list a mile long. I told them I was leaving to go get money to buy them more Frozen toys. One of my daughters, three years old, looked up at me and said “I don’t want Frozen toys. I want you to stay home and play with me”. If I hadn’t already been paid for the wedding that would have been plenty for me to just stay home.

    So long story short, I try to keep a very happy balance between working to provide and facilitate, and being available at home.

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    • Cedric, I’m glad you are learning the art of balance! It is a delicate dance, indeed. It is wonderful to see the priority you place on your family, and endearing how you cherish your spouse. Most poignant to me is that your daughter values priceless time over pricey objects (no chastisement intended – I think your gifts were amazing!). It shows the depth of her love for you. You are a gem. May your family fulfill your heart’s desire…many blessings to you and yours.

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  4. First, I’m going to have to try the Mexican Apple Pie, and I don’t even like apple pie! The description alone made me quite curious, not to mention the brandy butter.

    Fortunately, and secondly, I can say I am working in my passion. I was, too, that person working merely for a paycheck. I worked in corporate, climbing the ladder, trying to run from my calling.

    I had my epiphany, or revelation, while I was pregnant with my son. I knew I needed to be fulfilled in my career, and that’s when I decided to make a change.

    I knew it was meant to be because the road was like new pavement. Classes were fit with my work schedule, and I had no trouble paying. People struggle with certification tests, but I passed every one on the first try and with flying colors! When I had to seek employment, special ed is hard to find, and although it was unfortunate how the position opened, it did, and it just so happened 2 of my instructors were assistant principals at the school. I got the job without question!

    One thing about being in education is you can’t be in it for the money. We truly don’t get paid enough for what we do. It must be a passion, or it won’t be a long term career. I LOVE what I do, I hardly miss days, and that’s what makes me go back day to day and year to year. No one can do my job like me, so I need to be there. This year is an exception. I’m taking 3 days for me to get away. Lol!

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    • Cathy, I hope to help many people get to where you are. You use a phrase that I so often hear from one of my closest friends…”calling.” I’m convinced that in many ways, that’s exactly what it is. Your passion calls to you. Even when you try to escape it. It finds its way on your path. It reminds you that it’s there. It taps you on the shoulder and waves at you quietly. I’m not sure that it ever leaves your side – whether you humor it or not.

      I had a pregnant-epiphany, too. It pushed me to get my dba while I was on maternity leave. Little did I know it’d be one of the most liberating things I’d ever done. It was a good friend who insisted I go, because she believed in my ideas and talents. So she stood with me in line, with my baby in a stroller, determined to help me see it through. It’s one thing to get a check with your employer’s name on it, and something completely different to see your company’s name in the upper left hand corner. That was the beginning of me pursuing my passion.

      You’re also right about education. You gotta love it, and I do – as well as the many avenues available to pursue in it (which I’m working on – smile). The classroom opens your eyes to a wealth of significant issues. Most importantly, I’m glad that your job gives you the fulfillment that compels you to return each day with greater fervor than before. Enjoy your 3 days off…you’ve earned it well. Thanks for sharing…!

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