… but its ok, I think I have found it now.
Apart from the Mothers Day cake, it had been a long time between posts. There have been a heck of a lot of things going on, and in the mix, I got a bit knocked about. So to be 100% honest, I have been staying out of the kitchen.
This post is a bit about me, less about cake. So please feel free to skip the read, it’s not really going to go anywhere. Some bloggers I follow use their blogs as a form of therapy. I write this blog to share the cakey love, but mostly to encourage myself to practice, learn and improve. Just this once though, I will try therapy.
I am a simple girl. I live in a smaller city in Australia which makes its money from industry rather than tourism. This means the surrounding landscape is peppered with smokestacks, silos and imposing structures covered in red, black and grey. Its the grey, the smoke, the gloom… that can permiate everything in your life if you let it. I work full time, paid for 38 but actually working 40+ hrs a week as a receptionist/office admin/very bottom of the ladder/fixer of everything/go to girl. Its a good honest job. I drifted into it with no experience, and I struggle every day to keep up with a hefty work load, but it has taught me a lot. Its not my passion. I don’t need it to be. Its what keeps my rent & bills paid, and helps me to feel secure in the fact that I can look after myself.
So here is the thing… I work hard. It takes up a huge number of hours in my week. But I work to enjoy the rest of my life. I am fiercely protective of my home time. I try to fill it with the people & things that I love. Things that make me happy. Bright beautiful things. Things the opposite of grey gloom.
Cakes are part of that. Some times a big part. Sometimes not so much. For those who I share it with, I do it from the heart. Its the only way I know. I’m not here to make money from cakes. I’m here to share happiness. At this point of my life, that’s my truth. And it’s this, that causes a big issue for me. You see, there are people in my life that use me for free cakes. That I only hear from when they want a freebie. Hours and hours spent on specialty cakes, as favors. Now I’ve explained how precious my down time is to me? Well it breaks me a little bit, when I let this happen. When I put time, feeling & effort into something for someone who really just doesn’t want to pay a professional. And I put that on me, because I hate to think people are really like that. So I devalue my time and self. And I break a little. And I don’t cake.
I was asked to do a wedding cake for a friend in March. Not someone close to me. Free in lieu of gift. It started off easy. 30 cupcake tower. Basic butter cream frosting. Delivered an hour away (brought to the wedding with me as I was a guest). Over the course of time it turned into a 2 tiered top cake, on a tower of 40 cupcakes. Each decorated differently, fondant with handmade roses. To be delivered 12 hours away. I will admit, every time the design changed I got upset. I let myself get used. It was my fault. But I was doing it as a gesture of friendship, and to share in their celebration of love, so I let it be ok. As the wedding date got closer, mother nature conspired against our plans. Severe heavy rain pummeled the North Queensland coast. 2 cyclones threatened the area, and dumped an unseasonable amount of rain. Rivers rose, bridges flooded, long stretches of highway were damaged and closed. The road became impassible. My travel plans were blocked by 11 emergency road closures. The bride understood that there was nothing I could do. And was absolutely fine. Luckily her father in law to be is a Chef, so he was more than happy to take over the duty and organise a gorgeous cake for the day. No fuss. No crisis really. Nobody left in the lurch. It all worked out. I was left feeling a bit devistated for missing out on the wedding and seeing our friends into a new chapter of their life. But there was nothing more I could do.I felt bad for the situation, but eventually made peace with it.
Until I was happily looking through their online wedding pics, only to find the cake pictures, with the caption “the cake people canceled the day before” written under them. Not “we missed our friends and wished they could share our day”. I was upset. Gutted actually. Tired. And feeling used. And I stopped caking. If my heart is not there, I cant do it. For the last little bit I have been feeling very “I can’t”.
And what I need to learn from this…. is that I value my time. I value myself.
I will choose more wisely how I give my time. And I will learn how to say no.
Anyone who hand makes something puts their time, their skill and a little bit of themselves into it. That is worth something. Its time away from the people they love. Time that could be spent making memories. Time is all that we have. I personally love handmade. I love the specialness of it. Handmade makes my life more colourful and happy.
So… that has been my little emotional detour. A rambling little story… as I tend to ramble. You know… I actually do feel better for writing it all down. I guess I can see how this does work as therapy.
If you took the time to read this. Thanks friend. 🙂