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It’s time. – PART ONE

February 7, 2013 in Coping, Everybody Else, Expectations, Favorites, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

before you dive in, read here.

I’ve been trying to avoid this post, but it seems I can no longer ‘look away’. It has become GLARINGLY obvious that something needs to be said and any amount of trying to be positive isn’t going to make it better.

I want relief. I KNOW you want relief, so here we go. I’m going to attempt to make this short and sweet, so you can hopefully feel better, faster.

It’s time. We can not ignore this any longer.


  • You’re NOT crazy for thinking he or she is selfish sometimes.
  • You’re NOT crazy for thinking their priorities are out of whack.
  • You are NOT crazy for the moments you think that the restaurant is more important than you and your family.
  • You are NOT crazy for the moments you think they need to grow up.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel sad and angry that you’re the only one who seems interested in what comes next in your lives.
  • You are NOT crazy in those moments when you are considering why you got yourself into this type of relationship in the first place.
  • You are NOT crazy when you are pissed off because it seems you are the only one concerned about your children.
  • You are NOT crazy when they leave the house a MESS, like they don’t even see it there, day after day.
  • You are NOT crazy to wonder if they think of anything but themselves.
  • You’re NOT crazy if you think the ONLY reason why they’re still with you is so you can take care of them.
  • You are NOT crazy when you have to remind them OVER AND OVER AGAIN to do one thing.
  • You’re NOT crazy if you think their friends might not be the best influences.
  • You are NOT crazy when you’re infuriated that they, YET AGAIN, didn’t tell you when they were getting off, and you wake up panicking about where they are in the middle of the night.  *and then come to find out that they just “had their phone off”.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel crazy that you are the only one upset.
  • You are NOT crazy when you are attempting to save money for the future, and they think if they see it there, they can spend it.
  • You are NOT crazy that their family thinks their The Golden Child, which makes you feel even more crazy that you do experience what you do. Talk about second guessing yourself.
  • You are NOT crazy when all you want is a day alone, with your other half.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel SO SAD that you are alone/ not with your other half on a holiday or your birthday. When you see your friends out celebrating with their love, and you’re not.
  • You are NOT crazy for thinking you are not sure you can deal with this the rest of your life.
  • You are NOT crazy for being uncomfortable with how often they go out for a drink after service.
  • You are NOT crazy when you have your weekly plans set, and because they haven’t told you when they’re working (open/mid/close), and are suddenly available, they want you to drop your plans to spend time with them.
  • You are NOT crazy when you think that their co-worker is strangely “too close for comfort” to your other half.
  • You are NOT crazy for getting frustrated when people tell you “How Cool” it is that you’re married to a chef. You want to yell at them and say “NO! It’s NOT what you think!”
  • You are NOT crazy for never quite knowing when you can plan your vacation but when THEY want to do something, they always make it happen.
  • You are NOT crazy that they do something SO nice one day that it makes you doubt your initial feeling crazy, and then, a few days later, it returns back to their regularly scheduled routine and you then doubt yourself that you doubted yourself initially.
  • You’re NOT crazy when your restaurant man/woman reads this and suggests you stop reading these posts.
  • (This one is for me) You’re NOT crazy that the industry does NOT want anyone on the outside to know just how hard it is to be married into the industry, that sharing that might somehow jeopardize the glamorous image that it’s worked SO hard to keep up. You’re NOT crazy for getting serious resistance from those who work night and day to keep the dream alive.

You hear me… YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.

Go ahead and give yourself PERMISSION to not feel crazy. You’re NOT.

Whenever you need a reminder, come to THIS post.

Really… let hearing that you are NOT crazy SINK into your bones.

Give yourself a BREAK today. Okay?

And when you’re READY, REALLY ready…


TELL US IN THE COMMENTS – What else are you NOT CRAZY for/about?





The most important lesson I learned from my chef husband

February 1, 2013 in Expectations, Learning, Life

Before you begin… read here. *Caveat: This is a long one. Get your coffee.

Something BIG happened to me a few months ago.

Something I had never imagined happening.Truthfully, I didn’t even know it was possible to happen to me and ever since it has, I feel like I’ve been constantly in a game of tug of war in my head.

I’m still in shock I even comprehend whats happening and I’m somehow envisioning that I’ll wake up and find out that I passed out somewhere and realize that this is all a crazy dream.

The reason why I am even telling you this is because of my hunch that you too, RIGHT NOW, are struggling just like I have/am still, and if you have the chance to experience what I am, I predict you will feel the same way I’m feeling now.

It’s something that, before experiencing what I experienced… was the SOLE cause for my copious arguments with my chef husband. It’s what infuriated me about him,  was the reason why “How old are you?” passed through my lips, and when the tide was high, still had me wondering if we REALLY had what it took to actually make it, long term.

It’s what kept me on MY side of the fence… and him on his. Without a bridge to connect us.

I wish I was kidding you.

It’s something that I was so… unwilling to budge on; something that I NEVER saw any other way but my own, that the fact that I am sitting here, typing this out is still sorta freaking me out.

It’s probably the same situation going on for you and when you hear what I have experienced… I only HOPE that you will take me seriously enough to maybe give it a try sometime. *Note to self: ha ha, just did it there… keep reading.

Because, my dear significant others, It is starting to change my life.

Let me WARN you…me telling you what I’m about to tell you is not going to magically make all your frustrations with your restaurant man/woman disappear.  What I discovered is SO engrained in the fiber of who I am (probably you too) that I am still struggling to let go of my belief in it, right now.

Ever since experiencing this… It has changed my understanding of my husband, why he does what he does, and has actually brought us closer together, because of it.

I know… “Enough already, Kerilyn… you gonna keep us hanging forever?”

No. I just want to make SURE you’re paying attention because for 90% of us… this is going to be BIG for you as well.

I want to warn you this is going to push your buttons.. you might not want to continue reading. But please do.

This is the ROOT of your frustration.

Are you ready? *I wish I could pinky swear you before you continued reading.

Okay… I never understood why my husband was seemingly OBLIVIOUS to things around him. I always felt like he’s never been concerned with the future… he never really thinks about the past… and is just here. In the moment. He doesn’t really think about much other than what’s going on… RIGHT NOW. I have always felt like he’s walking around with blinders on… only seeing what’s right in front of him.

That said, he’s told me and I’ve heard from some of his staff that when he’s at work, he’s got to be and is ON TOP of everything that happens in the kitchen. Since he is responsible for everything that comes out of the kitchen, I guess he has to take a wider view of what’s going on. Everything coming at him at one time, making on the fly decisions, in order to make the kitchen run smoothly.

You know… donning the CAPE and all.

But as soon as he gets off the line, he’s back to living in the moment without much thought about what’s happening next or yesterday.

Then there’s me.

I’m always thinking about whats ahead for us, the future, my next goal or project or what to cross off my To Do list. From grocery shopping, to planning a family, considering how I plan to grow my mission here, I am constantly considering the steps it’s going to take to get to point B… and am regularly taking action to get there, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Frankly, it’s a full time job to just do that… consider the past and the future.

It has always frustrated me that my husband is always seemingly happy. He lives in the moment and is happy to just go with the flow of many things in his life. He’s rarely upset and is just happy to spend time with me when he can… and since he enjoys what he does, and where he is, he is never thinking about a next move.

 I call him my Happy Buddha.

Source:  Pinterest

Frankly, I never got it and it frustrated the hell out of me.

I mean, there is always tomorrow to think about. Tomorrow and next week, and next year. You know, forward movement, right?

Hell, that’s why I became a coach, for Petes sake.

But no, he’s not concerned about that… he’s just happy to be wherever he is. NOW.

Honestly, It pissed me off. It caused arguments. It easily frustrates me.

It left me feeling like why isn’t he thinking about what’s next? About what we’re doing on our ONLY day off together?

Why isn’t he knocking things off his “To Do” list?

I mean, this house isn’t going to clean itself, man.

Of course he couldn’t really see what I was saying, except to continually ask me to look at which one of us is happy or not.

He’s happy, I’m not.

I’m not happy. He’s right.

I’m so focused on what’s next on my agenda, that I have twisted myself up in a KNOT. And as you know when you comb your wet hair out..

KNOTS are not fun.

I don’t know how I got to this point, but somehow I thought I was “happier” to continually focus on what is next, instead of even contemplating about what’s happening NOW, that where I was here today was no longer an option.

And add to that all the limiting beliefs that are mixed in with thinking about the future… vs. being happy now.

I mean, focusing on myself in this very moment, doing what makes me HAPPY right now means that I’m:

  • Selfish
  • Self Centered
  • Immature
  • Irresponsible


And that’s EXACTLY how I felt my husband was. All those things above.

But he was right, I spent more time unhappy than happy. Frustrated than at peace.

I realized this wasn’t working like I thought it would. Something had to give.

I don’t remember the exact moment that it hit me…but when it did, I had a flash where I thought about RIGHT HERE… NOW. Not tomorrow.

Ironically… placing all my energy on where I am right here in the moment, I surprisingly found myself…. Happy (er)

It was sort of amazing. I felt happy first, then instantly on its coat tails, were also the same adjectives that I listed above.

Mostly selfish and irresponsible. Like “must be nice.”

I find it interesting that I wasn’t able to be happy for long. That I naturally and quickly went back to my default,

Futuristically frustrated.

I didn’t understand it but I wanted to. I was determined to.

So, with a little help from my own coach, I’ve discovered that I, am a HOPE ADDICT.

Yep, you heard me. Someone who is addicted to hoping.

I’m addicted to thinking about the next thing and the next thing… because somehow,

Until I achieve/acquire/attain all these goals I’ve set for myself, I believe I don’t deserve to be happy. WHA????


Let’s dive into this. Are you always thinking about the future? The next thing and the next thing?

Are you always frustrated with your restaurant man/woman because they seem not to even care about whats happening around him/her?

Do you have a hard time relaxing and being in the moment? Can’t even watch a movie without thinking about cleaning up after dinner?  *Psst, most of us are.

When you think about being in the moment, do you naturally gravitate toward thinking you are being irresponsible? Immature?

Do you think that only RICH people have the luxury of being frivolous with their time?

Why is that? Can you pinpoint the root of why you feel that way?

I betcha that it comes from believing that you too… don’t deserve to be happy UNTIL…

You don’t have time to be happy. (sound familiar?)

Happy is for other people (while secretly, it’s all you ever wanted.)

I told you, it was going to push your buttons. I know it pushes mine. For now, we’re going to just focus on experiencing another way, trying to dig out the root of why we feel we don’t deserve to be happy is a post for another day (I mean look how long this baby is already, right?)

Maybe you heard it from your parents, your teachers. *99% of what we believe comes from OLD conditioning.

THAT is the root of the weed we need to search out for and remove to allow for something healthier.

There’s a phrase from a course I’m studying, it says…

“Do you want to be right, or happy?”

If you only had to pick ONE… which would you choose right now?

*I know. It’s okay if you want to pick right. Most of us would.

I know this is sensitive. I know you don’t REALLY want to talk about this.

That’s why it’s the most important thing to me. I want to be happy so in order to be happy, I have to look at why I believe I don’t deserve to be so.

The answer is always at the root, but digging at the root can be messy. Need some different tools.

Then I thought about my husband, on the line during a busy dinner service. Once mise en place is done, stations set, and reservations start to roll in, I realize…

All he has is the moment.

The minute he starts to think about last nites service, or what’s coming next, he loses his flow and tickets start backing up. Right? *I’m not even in the industry and I know this much. I’m sure you do too.

Being someone in the restaurant industry, lends itself nicely to someone who naturally more in the moment.


Which is why… they choose someone that is not like that way to be their mate. (YOU)

Two people who live for today would not not make for a balanced life, wouldn’t you say?

He needs me to be thinking of our next step but I need him to help remind me to be happy today. (even in my resistance to it) BALANCE.

I have been practicing this for a few months now, and when I am able to remember where I am, right here in the moment, even for a few seconds… everything I’m worrying about sorta goes away. At least until I start thinking about the future, worrying about the past again.

The best place I have found to do this, driving. Sitting in the drivers seat, holding the wheel… I am able to focus SOLELY on the moment. It’s actually kinda cool.

Since I am a mere infant in this philosophy, doing this naturally is not something that comes easily at this point. I’m so unconscious about this very moment that I feel quite uncomfortable in it, to tell you the truth. And it only lasts seconds.

One of my coach friends told me that focusing on where we are in the moment… takes the same amount of energy (and the time) to get a puppy to STAY.


Want to try it? Just for a second?

Alrighty. Put ALL your energy on where you’re sitting right now. Focus on how it feels, the seat under yourself. Look at the room you’re in. What is the light situation like? Listen to your breathing. Is it shallow? Look at your hand on the mouse (or on your phone), focus on where you are right now. Just where you are sitting is the only thing that’s important. Can you see yourself in this moment? Anything wrong with it? Say to yourself, “I am here. I am here.”


Stay in that moment as LONG as you can. If you’re like me, as long as you can STAY in the moment, everything else drifts away.

Even if it’s for few seconds.

How does this feel to you? Can you see how important this is to our happiness? To our lives? While I’m pretty sure I’ll never fully embrace being totally in the moment, I’m positive that adding this philosophy to the recipe of my daily life WILL allow me to be happier more often.

Nothing wrong with achieving, attaining, pursuing… but remembering to be happy NOW, while we are in process, is almost the key to enjoying the ride.

I vow to keep practicing everyday, and in doing that hopefully the present moment will last a bit longer.

Maybe you want to practice this with me?

While yes, living on the frustrated side of not understanding my husbands way of being has not always been fun, but I can see how, by getting to a point where what I was doing was no longer working, I see the gift that he’s given me, just by being himself. When I am able to be in the moment, even for a second, I can feel that happiness is already there, inside me. I don’t have to look anywhere else to find it. I have taken to texting my husband “I am happy”, when I have these moments, it’s helped us enjoy each other more when we do spend time together.

I know he can see a difference. He is happier (if that’s even possible) because he has a generally happier wife.

The best gift I never knew I wanted.

How about you? Is your restaurant man/woman oblivious to “the plan” you’re always working on? How do you feel most of the time? Happy or not so much? How is that working for you?

2012 Married to a Chef Holiday Gift Guide

December 8, 2012 in Celebrate!, Life


Can you believe we have LESS than 20 days till the big guy comes down the chimney? Amazing, right? How fast this year went, right?

We also have what…less than two weeks until we’ll see if the Mayans were right after all?

If somehow their prediction was askew, we’re in the holiday season and that means attempting to come up with a solid gift for our restaurant man/woman. Usually this ends up being a bit more difficult than we would like, and we end up flustered, wanting to give them something interesting but not something overtly culinary.

I thought I’d come up with a list of a few things I came up with, sort of out of the box ideas that I believe would peak our beloveds interest.

Finally, I want to end it with a few items for YOU. Because you do so much, manage so much and it’s high time you celebrate your own successes throughout the year.

PLEASE, tell us your favorites, link to them, so we can have even more to choose from!

Happy Holidays!

For your Restaurant Man/Woman

Seasonal Produce Calendar by UnCommon Goods – Maybe your man/woman would like to have this handy dandy guide to put in his kitchen to teach his staff when to use the freshest veg/fruits.

Bacon of the Month Club – I know a chef or two who loves trying out different bacons from all over the world. Most likely yours will to. Plus it’ll be an added bonus when they get the surprise in the mail, all year long. Another option here.

Join a CSA – (Community Supported Agriculture) Since your restaurant man/woman is probably not the one doing the grocery shopping, why not have locally grown produce brought to you (either you can pick it up locally or it can be delivered to your door), so WHEN he/she is available, they will have interesting ingredients at home to work with.

Point and Shoot SLR Camera – We know that our men and women like to keep track of their daily creations, why not give them something small and easy to use to do that with.

Rolling Foot Massager w/ Heat – We have one similar to this already plugged in and slipped underneath our couch for immediate relief after a terribly weeded shift. The look on my husbands face after 5 minutes on this is divine, and somehow I’m feeling better too.

The Splendiferous Array of Culinary Tools Print – from Pop Chart Labs – Anyone that uses the word Splendiferous is alright with me. Would look nice in a frame. If that one doesn’t suit your fancy, check out the other ones in their collection.

A kickass handmade knife from Joel Bukiewicz at Cut Brooklyn – Check out this awesome video about his passion.

*Sound something like the passion your man/woman has? Yea, thought so.

Vintage Knife sharpener

Then there’s the usual:

Themed Chef Products like T-Shirts, Hats, etc… I especially like some of the products over at Tasty Cotton

Subscription to Gastronomica.

Just to name a few.

And for you…

Book, Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – I THOROUGHLY enjoyed reading Gabrielles book of her NJ/NYC journey into becoming the successful chef and restaurant owner that she is today. Reading this was a cross between reading Under the Tuscan Sun and Kitchen Confidential. (Don’t kill me Gabrielle, I’m not an official literary critic.) It was also like I had a small opportunity to peek into the world that I only get to look at from the sidelines.

I am Enough Necklace – As I type this, I’m wearing mine right now. It is an AWESOME reminder, especially when I’m looking in the mirror, that I AM Enough, even when I don’t feel it. AND, many women have asked me about it and I can tell, it reminds them in that moment too.

*actually, anything from Bella Kai would be a wonderful gift to yourself. And, no, I’m not a sponsor of hers.

A schnazzy new FiloFax organizer- yea baby. I mean, since you’re already handling so much already, why not have something SCHNAZ to keep it all in, right?

A monthly subscription to BirchBox. It’s a $10/month subscription (that you can cancel at anytime) They ship you, each month, samples of the newest beauty products that you can try out. I just started it a few months ago and LET ME TELL YA, if you are the kind of person who loves surprises, you will LOVE seeing that pink box in the mail! The hope is they will introduce you to new products that you may or may night want to incorporate into your own routine! Only thing to know is due to popularity, there is a few month waiting list to get started. No matter, it’s TOTALLY worth the wait.

Finally, how about a day OFF!!! How bout you dash over here, find a sitter that feels right to you and take the day OFF from the kids!! If your mother or aunt or neighbor down the street is happy to watch the kids… LET THEM! Put it on your new Filofax on a Saturday and go… do something for YOU!

Just came across this list from a fellow Significant Other (via Hilary over at Desperate Chefs Wives), with her suggestions for gifts for this Christmas season – check it out here. Maybe she can give you a few more ideas to go with!

Finally, why not treat yourself to one hour with ME! Someone who understands EXACTLY what you’re going through and is trained to help you get from where you ARE at the end of 2012 to where you want to be in the new year. In the month of January am I offering one hour of dedicated YOU time with me for the price of $75.00. HALF of what my usual rate is.

*Having trouble with the PayPal above, click here to be directed to check out.

Whatever you end up getting, for your restaurant man or woman or for yourself this Holiday Season, I want you to know that I KNOW you are strong, that you have what it takes to THRIVE in this type of relationship and I am HONORED to stand by you, as a fellow significant other AND your resident life coach to help you create the life you ultimately desire.

Cheers to a DELICIOUS holiday season.
In gratitude,

Kerilyn Russo

 TELL US: What do you find as successful holiday gifts for your restaurant man/woman? Inquiring minds want to know!!

The number one reason why you’re upset ALL THE TIME.

November 28, 2012 in Expectations, Life

Let me first say that OF COURSE we do this… we don’t have any other example of what OUR kind of relationship looks like, so we default to what we see… what we know.

You probably didn’t even know there was another way of creating the rules. You probably seamlessly saw, from the movies, your parents relationship and the daydreams of little girls everywhere, what a “normal” relationship looks like and that, my dearies, is what you are holding your relationship up against.

It’s why you are feeling what you’re feeling now.

Square peg in round hole.

Doesn’t fit, right?

But boy, don’t we keep trying to make it fit. Watch a child attempt to do this and in no time, he or she either gives up or goes into nuclear meltdown mode. That’s probably how you’ve felt. Seeing all your family and  close girlfriends with their boyfriends and husbands, girlfriends and wives help cook dinner in the evenings, go grocery shopping, be around to mow the lawn on the weekends and even though they might not enjoy it, knowing everyone is coming over to watch the Superbowl at their house.

How many times have you had a nuclear meltdown because you couldn’t make it fit?

There’s the rub…. *are you sitting down?

It’s NOT going to fit. Ever.

I know that you want what you see with your girlfriends (or your brother/sister) in 9-5’r relationships. I know you want some semblance of the vision of the American Dream (or wherever you are in the world) of a spouse, a house, 2.5 kids and a dog. (Caveat: There are always exceptions to this vision)

As long as you are connected to your man or woman who connected (most likely at the hip) to the restaurant industry, you can come CLOSE to this dream, but darlin’, it’s NOT going to match your expectations.

You are going to attempt to beat him or her into this round hole and the end will be YOU BEING THE ONE UPSET.

*We ALL do this. You, ME and our fellow significant others reading this.

It’s TIME to put down the square peg, pick up the round one and find a way to CREATE NEW RULES that actually WORK.

Does this make sense?

Even if you’ve been with your restaurant man/woman a while, the ease to which we instinctively compare what WE have to what we see around us is apparent.

It’s why the phrase GRASS IS GREENER is in existence.

All of us, whether we’re aware of it or not, is unconsciously taking mental notes of what our life is “Supposed to” look like.

We create expectations based around what we think it “should” look like and end up having a breakdown when it doesn’t meet up with the image we’ve been holding onto for so long. Like the square peg in round hole.

We see what’s “out there” and think to ourselves that’s what it has to be for us as well.

Here’s an easy example: I know for me, when I was single, ALL I wanted to be was in a committed relationship (because I SAW where I thought I was “supposed” to be, and now that I’m married… I have my moments when I find myself daydreaming about what life would look like if I was untethered. (Usually revolving around money and geographic location)

The thing is… this unconscious/subconscious look book creation of what our life is “supposed” to be is NOT going to end.

  • When we’re dating our restaurant man/woman to when we’re married.
  • When we’re married and about to start our family.
  • Whether we’re feeling successful in our career and in our bodies or not.

It’s always up against what we “should” be doing. It’s going to go from one subject to the next.

On and on.

We will ALWAYS need a reminder that it doesn’t HAVE to be that way.

We will ALWAYS need to check into our current set of rules and see if they’re currently working for us.

If they are not, then it’s time to do some adjusting.

And here is a secret… it doesn’t have to be hard. Creating new rules for you doesn’t have to be this horrendous feat. It can be as simple as getting out a piece of paper (Actually, why don’t you print out this sheet I created HERE) and start creating NEW rules for yourself.<