Five months in to Ogo Initiative, there have been lots of surprises. Some of them pleasant, some less so. But one area that I thought would be a challenge has proven to be just as expected. Prioritizing what to do and when to do it is, I suppose, often a good problem to have. It means there’s plenty to do, and a lot of it is stuff I enjoy doing. It also means having peace with not doing things I would like to be doing (like blogging more!). It means learning to live life in seasons, to be content that the work in front of me is good work and to have the patience to stay present in the season that I’m in.

When I meet with clients and we talk about goals for their table, cooking and mealtimes, they are often surprised when my first questions are about their values, the season of life they are in, and how they envision mealtime fitting into their current reality. To create more meaningful mealtime moments, cooking and what we put into our mealtime has to slide into a realistic and healthy priority that matches our values and the season of our lives.

If I’m sitting across the table from a client, it means they have already decided they want more out of their mealtime (or they want it to cost them less!). If we are going to change what comes out of the kitchen, we must make changes about what goes into it. To get at this “well, duh” reality, I start by asking what we have to give: time, energy (either mental or physical), or money. Inevitably, many will answer “none of the above.” And my response is always the same: then our goal is not to change what we are doing, but to acknowledge that in this season, mealtime as it is properly reflects its value and priority in our life.

And that is just fine! If you are in that spot where the best you can do is frozen pizzas and take out most days of the week, you will be a better parent, partner and person by coming to peace that this is a season. You will be a happier, healthier person by spending your limited time and energy investing in the people across the table rather than the stuff sitting on top of it. The best thing I can do for you is bless you, point to the things we have to be grateful for, and pay for your coffee.

However, if when you look at what is important to you, where you spend your time, energy and money, and you find yourself out of line with your own values, then we can talk about how to match our priorities around the table to the season we are in. And that is what makes Ogo Initiative and the approach I take to the table so unique. There are no prepackaged answers. It would be much easier to market if I could tie everything up into a nice easy set of pithy formulas and recipes that work for everyone. But your life is different. Your circumstances are unique. Your gifts, passions and values cannot be anticipated and planned for ahead of time.

I want your mealtime to be more meaningful to you. So when we sit down for coffee, I want to hear your story, listen, and ask a lot of questions. And if you are already at your max, I’m going to do my best to let you know your best is already good enough. This is a season. You’re doing great. Pizza is a beautiful thing, too.

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