A Page from My Journal (Deeply Personal)

There has been a quiet evolution going on inside of me for awhile now and today, I want to share a little bit of that–not because I want to “get really vulnerable with you today” like I’m sure you’ve seen over and over again in videos, emails and social media posts, but because I feel like at this stage of my life, it’s time to say something and maybe, just maybe, you’re in the same place.

It’s a noisy world out there–really noisy. There’s so much vying for our attention. So much so, that endless selfies, Instagram models, videos with no shame and constant stimulation fill up our inboxes and newsfeeds, making us feel inadequate, old, embarrassed, less than–we compare ourselves to all of this.

Photos of everything all meticulously staged, makeup tutorials to learn how to contour your face to perfection, YouTube “stars” doing everything from singing to making complete asses of themselves as long as it goes viral, Facebook Live for this, Facebook Watch for that, Twitter rants, Instagram stories, Pinterest pinning forever…

How did it ever get like this?

We are (apparently) insatiable. The more we consume of this stuff, the more there is to serve up.

And yet, we don’t know our neighbors anymore. The coffee klatch is a thing of the past–no more chatting over backyard fences or borrowing tools or a cup of sugar. Maybe that happens in some neighborhoods, but those are the rarities, not the norm. The rest of us drive through life without really talking to anyone anymore–we can do that for our banking, food and then ultimately, drive right into the garage without anyone seeing us.

We shop from our laptops, use the grocery delivery service, and if we’re feeling like it, get restaurant food delivered straight to our homes with the simple press of a button on the phone app so we don’t have to leave.

We’re hunkered down in our perfectly appointed Pinterest dressed homes whose doors only open to pick up the latest Amazon delivery. We take pictures of the dinners we make, make a perfect pout in our posed pictures, showing everyone how happy we are for Facebook and Instagram.

Who we are is now defined by what we consume and how we consume it. We are data for big companies, a phone number for endless solicitors (does anyone even answer their phone anymore?), and a moving target for researchers who want us to consume even more of what they are selling.

This is what I want to say about all of that–I think underneath it all, is a deep need to find meaning in our lives, a hidden desire in our heart of hearts that yearns for a real connection. It is a quest for finding our own unique tribe, our “people” the ones who get us, accept us and embrace us, warts and all.

I’ve been reflecting on all of this for awhile–in both an overwhelmed and underwhelmed sense–let me explain.

You see, I’ve been in the online space for over 20 years–I was a freelance writer in the 90’s and began my writing career writing for online publications, as well as magazines and newspapers. Those were simpler times to be sure, a lot has changed.

It was through a long chain of events and one really great idea, that started Saving Dinner in January 2001–although it started beforehand in 2000–I just didn’t have a website! At that moment, the menu planning industry was born and I never looked back.

Saving Dinner has been like my third child–I’ve nurtured and coddled this big baby of mine through the years and look at her now, she’s 18 and all grown up. I love Saving Dinner, I love what she stands for; a heart-centered mission to bring families back to the dinner table. I love Dinner Answers, our program to do all the heavy lifting for busy people so they can eat healthfully and on their own terms. It’s good work what we do and it is timeless and important.

But today I stand before you and tell you this: I am not content to just hang out in the kitchen anymore and to keep cooking endless chicken recipes in my skillet.

I’m coming out of the kitchen, Dani.

No, I’m not abandoning my precious Saving Dinner, nor will I ever–she is still mine, but like all children, they grow up. Saving Dinner can stand on her own two feet.

I have a lot to say and I’ve decided to start saying it.

This past birthday–I turned 60–and it made me realize it’s time. And you can tell me 60 is the new 40 all day long (and maybe it is?) but that birthday triggered a burning desire in my heart to want more for my life than another crockpot recipe. I want to give more from my heart and to be all I can be.

How this is all going to play out? I have no idea…just that I am responding to a deep seated call that it is time to create a legacy, whatever that looks like.

So if you see me without a skillet in my hand and talking about something that is near and dear to my heart and it strikes a chord in you, will you let me know?

I don’t want to be “more noise”–I’ve said that before, I truly want to connect and lead the tribe that is waiting to assemble.

My heart is restless for real, not the #nofilter stuff and all the other endless hashtags proclaiming authenticity.

I’m on a personal quest–reading, meditating, praying and seeking wisdom. I’m hungry for this stuff, thirsty for true meaning and depth. I’m here for a purpose that is beyond my kitchen and I’m just putting the world on notice, that I’m ready–whatever that means.

Thanks for listening to me today. 🙂

And BTW, I love hearing from you and answer personally, every single email that comes my way. Feel free to drop me line. <3


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