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An exception to every rule

August 10, 2012 in Everybody Else, Expectations, Life

As you already know, for the most part, what is written here at Married to a Chef, as well as on other blogs you’ve probably read on the interwebs, about being connected to these culinary men and women is, for the most part, what’s going on in most restaurant relationships around the world.

It’s not easy being connected to the restaurant world. It can actually be downright confusing and also quite unnerving, if you don’t understand the ins and outs, the “rules”, as it were, to maneuver though this kind of relationship.

Kinda like walking into an intersection with a blindfold on.

Am I right?

The whole purpose of creating this website and eventually manifesting my mission to unite us all is to hopefully give those new to their restaurant relationship a leg up when it comes to how to deal and to comfort and connect with those who are already knee deep, so that we no longer feel in the dark.

That said… I cannot deny or ignore that for every situation, with every rule… there is an exception.

There is the case for alternative circumstances in every part of the evolution of this restaurant relationship. I know… it’s not easy to hear/accept or even read about those significant others who have managed to land what seems to be the actual myth of what most people say about being married to a chef.

  • There actually ARE chefs out there that do cook for their beloveds every night (or almost every night)
  • There actually are restaurant men/women who don’t work 70-90 hour weeks, 6 days a week.
  • There are couples out there who do… regularly have quality time together. *Yes, including frequent sex.
  • Who actually are in a position to be HOME for the holidays.
  • There are restaurant families who actually CO-parent. 50/50… including but not limited to weekend family time.

I know… just reading these exceptions might push on your buttons… make you feel a twinge of the green monster, might make you sad, confused, yep.. maybe even angry.

I know.

I know it all seems unfair. “How do THEY get to be with their restaurant man/woman on a Friday night and I don’t.”

“Must be nice.” when you read about someone whose husband/wife actually enjoys cleaning up around the house or is able to have a getaway weekend.

Sounds so hard to believe when you know that for most of us… we’re living a completely different reality.

Boo. Hiss.

I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling isn’t out of the ordinary and actually… is very common for all human beings.

As much as we’d like to think we aren’t… underneath it all, we’re all wired to want to be the same. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re unconsciously conditioned by our natural instincts, our upbringing, and our societys rules and regulations (in our case, what most of the restaurant industry is like) to have very similar experiences. Not to waver outside the lines, to stand out too much, or to “stir the pot”, but to blend in. It’s why 98% of us have the same challenges in the same areas of our restaurant relationship. With just a little thought, you can probably list five things we all have in common. Why?

It’s ‘the norm’.

A stereotype of what the entire restaurant industry experience is like.

Like the perverbial snowball rolling downhill, the perpetual forward motion of what it’s like being in the industry has gotten us to this point that within reason… we know just about what to expect.

Then someone comes along who seems to be ‘living the dream’ with regards to being connected to their man/woman in the industry, someone who most likely has a very different experience from us. These people are actually living what MOST people (who have no idea) think it’s like, being married to a chef. Almost on cue, we instinctively put our guard up, become easily annoyed and agitated and without thought,  judge them as being weird, somehow presumptious, or wrong. We might even go so far as to take action to criticise and attack them, just so they know that they need to remember they’re no better from us, just because their experience is different.

I mean, How DARE they!

Right? You want to know the most unnerving part about all of this? Underneath our agitation, frustration… even our attack we all want the very same thing.

To be different, special…


It’s no wonder why this is such a confusing and often irritating topic.

  • WE want the husband/wife who comes home for dinner every night (okay, maybe not every night but at least enough so that the kids recognize him/her)
  • WE want to be the one who gets to travel with our man/woman as they stage in different countries, looking for the next exciting opportunity.
  • WE want to be the one with the restaurant man/woman who gets approached to do a cookbook.
  • WE want our other halves to have the same energy at home that they do when they are at work.

We want that to be OUR lives.

And when we realize that RIGHT NOW, it isn’t that way, it’s SO easy to get all riled up and flustered instead of it giving us the EVIDENCE that with a little hard work, maybe shifting our priorities, we TOO could possibly be in those same shoes.

And side note: This is a HUMAN issue. Not a singled out (insert finger pointing at YOU) kinda thing going on here. We ALL feel and react this way. Including myself. I’m always working to see someone who has something I want (hello.. a thriving full time coaching practice) as something to work TOWARD, not something to be angry at because that’s not me at this time.

For example – When I read Caths beautiful posting on what it’s like being married to a chef… I was swept away with how amazing her life was like. It was like I was watching a romantic movie. She worded it so well I could almost SEE it happening before my eyes. Her post has stayed with me, because of the impact it made. Of course, life with my chef doesn’t quite look that romantic at this time, but I appreciated it for being something I could aspire to, if my husband and I really wanted to. I think that’s why I will always remember it fondly.

On the flip side, if we are going by our natural tendencies, it would be so easy to get agitated reading her words. To judge it as being “unrealistic”, even getting upset for flaunting it in our faces.

Why is that really?

Because deep down…past the “It must be nice” and the “Noone really experiences that”… what we’re really thinking is


Whether you admit it or not… somewhere deep inside you, the people and stories you read that agitate us on the surface are merely signaling to us our DESIRES.

Frankly, it’s stirs us up to admit that there are things in our lives that we want but don’t have… and when we see those things in others, it pushes on our buttons that WE don’t have it and so we minimize our disappointment by making comments or lashing out to make us feel better. It’s kinda like saying to ourselves, “Well since I don’t have it,  I’m not going to want anyone to have it and since someone else has it…I’m going to make them feel how I feel that I don’t have it. It’s actually our natural human reaction to


Take your favorite celebrity (or celebrity chef perhaps), they seem to have a very different lifestyle from most of us, they’re what we call “living the life”…why is it that we never get tired of always peering into their lives to see what they’re up to? It’s because somewhere inside of us we ALL want to be seen as SPECIAL and unique as a celebrity. Unfortunately, because of the reason I’ve been mentioning, it’s also why we watch their every move, making sure we are there in case they fall because while deep down we would LOVE to experience what their life is like, it’s a bit too far from where we are now… seems a bit too improbable (maybe even impossible) for us, so the easier, less vulnerable thing to do is to criticize them for their choices as a way of neutralizing the underlying belief that we are sad or disappointed that we are not in their shoes.

*Honestly, it’s why it was important to me to have the monthly featured story with significant others of celebrated chefs/restauranteurs. When they can share with us what their experience is, hopefully it will inspire us that WE TOO… can have a similar experience if we really want it! *more like, if we’re willing to do what it takes to get there.

Again… this is part of the HUMAN experience.

I guarantee you, those who have the things, the family life, the celebrity that you desire… even THEY are looking to someone else… wanting what they do not. (I’m sure even Oprah feels these twinges. Side note: I love Oprah.) I say with confidence that none of us are without this experience. It’s honestly what keeps us moving forward, reaching, searching for what we think will bring us what we desire.

TRICK IS to catch it before it becomes anger/ frustration/ jealousy… into someone to be inspired by, work toward and admire. Instead of being angry at Cath for having this romantic life with her chef, I am inspired that I TOO, can create a similar experience, if I really wanted to. She gave me the EVIDENCE that it actually exists, instead of not knowing at all.

The next time you read or see someone living the life, doing the thing that instantly pulls you to feel that twinge of jealousy or a feeling of “Must be nice”, recognize what is really going on is a signalling inside of your own DESIRES. A good indicator of the direction YOU want to be going in as well. Instead of it leaving you feel lack… let it fill your database with information to chew on and strive to accomplish yourself! *I mean, one of the key VALUES in a thriving restaurant relationship is ACHIEVEMENT

We.. are the movers and shakers in our world.

Because there will always be someone who is experiencing something we desire… whether it be where they live, how much money they have, what kind of help they have at home, or what they do to satisfy their purpose…. instead of looking at that with the thoughts that that’ll never happen to me and letting it push our buttons… let seeing them in their glory give you the KNOWING that you can have it too.. if that’s what you desire.

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”  – Napoleon Hill

But what if… it wasn’t their fault?

July 20, 2012 in Coping, Everybody Else, Expectations, Fears, Life, VALUES


Source: Uploaded by user via Mette on Pinterest

When will it be MY turn?

Ever say that to yourself? Come on… you can tell me. I know you have.

  • When will you make time for me/us? Your family?
  • When will you be off to see our little one grow up?
  • When will you be around to help me get the car fixed?
  • Why am I always the one doing all the errands and YOU get off doing nothing?
  • I have a job too… why are you so special?
  • Why do I still, after all these years, feel like the restaurant is WAY more important than me/us?

I know… most of you reading this can attest to saying these things at some point. I know, because I have seen enough evidence that it is most likely what spins in your mind, most of the time.

Whether you want it to or not.

Let’s just be honest… most of you still feel like you are a victim to your restaurant relationship, yes?

I just recently received an email from someone, having recently gotten married to a chef, is now waking up to the harsh reality that things have NOT changed (still waiting for that “Happily Ever After” to kick in) feeling really frustrated that things are even more ‘the same’ as they ever were.

Maybe you’re feeling the same way. Wondering what you got yourself into…

Doubting  yourself.

Never feeling like you have a say in his/her everyday decisions when their seemingly walking on auto-pilot… doing the same thing, day in and day out. Never stopping. Almost like in a trance.

I know. I want you to know I see you.

And I can admit it too, I’ve been there. I have my moments too.

It’s SO easy to blame them for the things that are clearly not working out, right? Easy to point the finger and feel justified that there isn’t anything you can do about it except continue to argue and stay angry for longer and longer periods of time.

I’ll admit it, it can seem to be. Sometimes it seems EASIER to just blame him/her or their career as the reason why I am unhappy.

“If only he/she would….. (have a regular day off/show me that he/she wants to be with me (our children) on their day off/show me that the restaurant isn’t the number one priority)… then I would be happy”

But that only last so long, right?

We can stay angry for so long, give the cold shoulder for so long then it seems to lose its steam until something changes and we pass by that moment and are into the next thing.

That’s how life works, right? Things keeps moving whether we want it to or not.

This happens to ALL of us. Me. You. Your family. EVERYONE.
It’s part of the human condition.

There is not ONE PERSON here that doesn’t have to continually work to manage these feelings.

Question is…

  • What if there is another way to manage this?
  • How willing are you to consider another way?

Hopefully you said that you are ready to consider another way.

I want to share with you THREE observations that I have seen as common threads between us, sharing how these three things have showed up in my own life, and then give some suggestions to make change in yours.

Okay… here we go.

1. Up to this point, we have NOT had a voice.

For longer than I can imagine… the things that have us stuck in our restaurant relationships have been going on. 30-40 years ago (shoot, hundreds of years ago) As long as there have been restaurants, there have been significant others feeling the EXACT same thing that we are now. That fact ALONE is pretty amazing to consider, right?  For decades, there have been wives/girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends who just had to deal with the ins and outs of this industry. There was no place for us to go to find relief.

That’s part of the reason why I created Married to a Chef. I tell people when they ask why I wanted to do this that I had a vision, before I even began, of a significant other, sitting alone and lonely, wondering when her chef was coming home… IN JAPAN. I knew that this was not just something happening to me in my life. I had an idea that it was happening to SO MANY of us and I thought why not attempt to connect us all.

Personally, I want to thank Hilary for her blog. Her courageous step to share her experience is what initially helped me realize that there WAS a need to find a way to support us in a bigger way. But before finding her, I thought I was ALONE. I had NO IDEA that there was others in the same boat as me.

That’s the thing… for so long we WERE alone.

Why am I saying this as number one?

Because OF COURSE you’re feeling this way! GO EASY ON YOURSELF! At this point you’ve been managing solo… with NO idea how things can be different. You didn’t even know that there were other women and men (I know you men are out there!) that are feeling the same way as you are. RIGHT? That’s why it’s SO important for you to realize, IN the moment of feeling angry, resentful, confused, that you are not the only one.

The underlying message about why you want things to be different is because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to our 9-5 friends and family… looking over at them and how they have the time to be together and that pushes on your button that says that because you don’t have that… that your relationship isn’t going to make it.

This is the number one thing that trips us up… STOP COMPARING YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO 9-5’rs. It’s NEVER going to be the same. Ever.

Doesn’t mean that your relationship isn’t VALUEable! Just means that you have to play by different rules.

**More importantly, learn that you CAN play by different rules. Eventually you’ll figure out that if you don’t find rules that work for YOU and your restaurant relationship… you’re never going to be able to enjoy where you ARE. *And let me tell ya, it can be very fun…being where you are.

2. Your restaurant man/woman is a part of something LARGER than him/herself.

Yep, it’s not like he or she created the rules. It’s not like they WANT it to be this way. NO.

This is what they, themselves, entered into. The long hours, the working to build a reputation… the fear that if they don’t show that their serious enough, that they’ll be forced out?

I am sure they also didn’t know what they were expecting when they were in culinary school. Does any of us? I know I didn’t.

They are doing the best job with what they have.

I bet if you ask them.. they’ll say “Hell no, I don’t WANT to be called into work at the 9th hour just to fix something. or NO… I would rather have a regular schedule than all over the place.”

Just like we have not always had a voice.. they have not created the system. That’s why this is MUCH bigger than your individual chef, restaurant man/woman. This is been a snowball running down hill for DECADES. Add to that the TOTAL misconception of the public when it comes to chefs and the restaurant industry all together, and it’s NO WONDER why we have workaholic, stressed out men and women in our lives who don’t know, THEMSELVES how to stop.

*Personally, this is why I DECLARE to you that it’s become part of my mission to get into culinary schools. TAP THE ROOT. (Mark my words on this – Most likely in 2013)

Yes, perhaps your restaurant man/woman could take more action in their life when it comes to being with family/their health (my next subject) or GOD FORBID, mowing the lawn, but whether they do or do not take action is determined on their awareness that there is something else to do.

Try asking him/her what they would change with regards to their own industry and how they do that, I’m sure they don’t even know where to begin.

Which brings me to my third and possibly, most agitating point. Get ready for some tough love, my STRONG significant others.. I know you can handle it.

3. What are YOU doing to take ACTION in your OWN life so that you can learn a new way of maneuvering this relationship?

Ever hear of the saying “If you point one finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.”

Ouch, right? I know. Trust me, I feel the sting too.

I’m the first one to raise my hand that I need to take my own advice. When I’m SO QUICK to lash out at my husband for not taking care of something fast enough… I never stop to ask myself what I could be doing to help the situation NOT get to this point.

I know… we significant others are already handling so much, right? Now you want to add something else?

My answer to this is if ALL we do is constantly remember point 1 & 2… we will hopefully find a way to remove some of the frustration and resentment… ENOUGH to possibly/hopefully find another way to look at the situation.

If we were able to 1. Remember that “Up to now.. I really thought I was alone but now I know I’m not. That ALONE makes me feel better” and 2. Remember that he/she is a part of a LARGER system… I dare you to see how that might ease up on your frustrations.

Here’s the rub… We CANNOT can’t do this alone… We’ve tried it… it doesn’t work. By way of number 1… we NEED to lean on our own community to find support and relief. Whether that is via a reminder to calm the heck down and walk away from the situation for a moment, or WHEN to get help (ahem, work with me!)

I hope at whatever stage you are in your restaurant evolution, you’ll do whatever it takes to realize this. We might’ve not had a voice in the past but NOW WE DO... so the question now is, “How are we going to use our voices?”

To wrap, here are a few suggestions when you are really ready to put your energy to good use!

  • Find a significant other who lives close to you, and regularly get together with them. You know, the buddy system? When you’re feeling that urge to change the locks while he’s SO BUSY making sure everything runs smoothly, maybe it’ll help to have someone you can call closeby who DOES understand.
  • Figure out what it is that you want to do with YOUR OWN life. My guess is part of that “Why don’t they want to be home with me?” is the fact that they LOVE WHAT THEY DO (even if they are caught up in the larger system of it all) What is it that you LOVE to do? Are you doing it? If not, maybe this is a time for YOU to figure out how you can bring more passion in your own life. If it’s being a mom… how can you share that love and passion in a BIGGER way?
  • If you are the kind of person who really likes being pushed (ahem, raises hand) and likes looking inside to find the things that hold you back in your relationship – You can PARTNER WITH ME AS YOUR COACH and we can work through these things on a one on one basis.

Just so you know.. (or in case you didn’t know) It is I, Kerilyn Russo, who is running the show here at Married to a Chef, me…. ONE person (at this point) I have a BIG dream to reach out and connect with significant others all over the world, BOTH as your resident life coach and FELLOW Significant Other. I created this place for me too… I need support too. As a coach, I have learned HOW to move someone from where they ARE… to where they want to be. I’m sure you know that it’s much easier helping someone else as it is helping yourself, same goes for me. I have my OWN coaches (two at the moment) to help me moving forward. I do not think I’m better than you and let me tell you.. I do NOT have it all figured out by now. Just because I have a few tools/ tricks up my sleeve… doesn’t mean I don’t need someone to use those tricks on me. (*)

Sign up HERE to schedule a ‘FREE TASTE” (aka complimentary session)

Finally… if you ever need a reminder that you are strong enough not just to survive but THRIVE in your restaurant relationship – you email me/ Twitter me… whatever. I KNOW you have what it takes. I do. I know it takes a strong woman/man (again, men… I KNOW you’re out there!) to maneuver through this type of relationship. I DO NOT TAKE THAT STATEMENT LIGHTLY. I believe in you.


(*) This is for the NAYSAYERS. I want to help you but I also want my OWN dreams and goals to come true. How I do that is with a FULL coaching practice.

Fathers Day, Dolce Fa Niente and how to be a tennis champion.

June 17, 2012 in Everybody Else, Expectations, Life, Weekend

It’s Sunday. Fathers Day.

I’m sure it’s no surprise when I tell you I find myself alone this Sunday afternoon. It’s actually my second day of my being in this state – alone, with my own company. Thankfully where I live, It’s officially a GORGEOUS weekend, high of 79 degrees, sun is shining, humidity is low, and the breezes are constant as they flow through every open window of our home. I enjoy my morning coffee while sitting in the sun, feeling the warmth on my face. As I listen to the suburban drone of mowers, I am transported back in time, my teenage years, when the experience of what ‘being home’ meant revolved around family and ritualistic routine.

Few hours earlier, round the 7 o’clock hour, my husband is restless, getting ready for work, knowing where he’s going to be in relation to the beauty of this day. Familiar with his current state, I am conscious not to poke him with the fact that I’ll be home, enjoying this freedom while he’s unbearably hot in the kitchen, moving from behind the line to orchestrating the line, while serving 800 covers for well deserving fathers this day.

As I hear his motorcycle drift off into the distance, I am reminded of the tennis match I will most likely play again today, like I did yesterday. This match residing solely in my head.

I spent most of the previous day in silence, moving from comfy chairs inside and outside the house, happily devouring to completion chef Gabrielle Hamiltons’ amazing book “Blood Bones and Butter” . She sucked me in quickly and left me, standing on the corner…wanting to hail a cab to her, to find out what’s happened since she finished typing the last page.  While I was reading,  I felt twinges of guilt that I “should” be doing something – obligatory errands, grocery shopping, working on my business, ANYTHING BUT what I find myself doing then and there, but like the snap of a rubber band on my skin, my mind flashes to the moment in “EAT PRAY LOVE” when a frazzled Elizabeth Gilbert attempts the practice of “Dolce Fa Niente” which means ‘The sweetness of doing nothing”.

‘It’s okay to do nothing’, I tell myself.

It doesn’t mean I’m lazy.

Seeing as how I don’t have children as of yet, my weekend does not yet consist of non stop movement and unrest, finding creative ways to tell dad how much we care this fathers day weekend, and instead I am at the whim of my imagination for these 48 hours. I imagine if I did have little ones, I would be spending Saturday knee deep in crayola drawings and sentimental expressions of love and gratitude. As an extreme planner by nature, having a weekend with nothing ‘on the books’ is both unusual and therefore uncomfortable to experience.

So, like a nagging grandmother, reminding me of how lucky I am not to have to walk five miles in the snow to school, the tennis match begins…

“If only I was so lucky to have a day to myself without the children around, I wouldn’t be wasting it sitting around.” as I hear the voices of imaginary significant others who are mamas reminding me how ‘lucky’ I am.

Yes, I know…I have it easy.” is how I imagined myself to respond, while keeping to myself “Does that mean I’m not woman enough, worthy enough to enjoy this time doing what I want?”

Even my husband, who cannot sit still for even a second…is uncomfortable with my lack of plans and I hear him too, in my head, giving me suggestions and ideas of what I can or “should” be doing on this beautiful weekend. Getting the sense that HERE would be the last place he would be if he didn’t have to work. (And it’s true… it is the last place he’d be unless if it was from extreme exhaustion or illness)

Again… I know. I say to him in my mind while rolling my eyes thinking, ‘I’m not you, my love. Unlike you, I enjoy and VALUE the presence of my own company.’

Like a skipping record in my mind, I considered, over and over again, making plans. “Who could I call to hang out with?”, was my uncomfortable mantra.

But like a toddler throwing a tantrum, no matter how many times they yell or cry or pound their hands and feet on the ground, shouting what they want. I remained steadfast in my mental response…

NO. Stay where you are. You’re OKAY doing this today.

Back and forth it went. It would temporarily stop until I’d pick my nose up from my book, haphazardly look at the time, see that two hours passed and then the match would resume.

“You’re lazy. What’s wrong with you? Wasting your day READING. Why aren’t any of your girlfriends calling you? Maybe they don’t want to hang out with YOU, ever think of that?”

And then, repeatedly having to talk myself off from that ledge.

NO, You’re okay where you are.

Today, the match resumed as my own fathers day plans fell through, but today, this match was different, having already finished Gabrielles work of literary art, I am now nearing the end of my plan-less weekend, and in process of savoring these last hours as something to look back on as a pleasant memory.

Except if I were being honest, it wasn’t all pleasant.

That tennis match is something we ALL play in our heads. The “should we/shouldn’t we” game when we go, round after round, looking over our shoulder, wondering what decision to make. Leaving us to feel, whichever our decision was (to plan or not to plan) a bit confused, tired and uneasy, never really achieving peace with either decision.

The way one would feel after a tennis match.

From this experience, I have surmised that the way to tell which voice to listen to is the one that brings you PEACE.

I felt PEACE diving into this book, was totally IN the story she was telling… the reason why hours passed without notice is because in that moment I was at PEACE.

When I didn’t feel peace, I was listening to the other voice – telling me what I “should’ve been doing” or how bad I should feel – in those moments I was aware of every single minute.  Dragging on.

I take this experience with me as I make my next decisions… being more conscious which voice I should listen to. And as a question to ask as you too, play a game of tennis in your mind.

  • How would your life change if you made decisions and listened to the voice inside you that brought you PEACE?
  • How can you be OKAY being where you ARE, no matter what the voices (In your life, or in your head) are saying?

Telling you my story, breaking the block and feeling the fear and doing it anyway (PART TWO)

October 18, 2011 in Everybody Else, Expectations, Fears, Life

From Jen at Bits of Truth

Okay, where was I?

oh yea… I was missing ME. (This ended up being a LONG post (If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m a chatty Cathy); Please bear with me, what I want to share is at the end, Thanks.)

Without going into too much detail, Here I am… now in a relationship with a fellow 9-5’r, someone who is available after work and on weekends and interested in doing fun things and I was TOTALLY surprised (and sad) to eventually find that instead of thriving and enjoying where I was…I found myself totally losing ME.

It took a little while (well over a year) for the excitement of his availability to wear off, but after a while, I realized that I totally missed having the time to myself. I missed hanging out with my girlfriends, having an evening to myself to watch whatever TV shows I WANTED, working on my OWN dreams (I also make greeting cards as an exercise in staying creative). I missed not feeling guilty when I DID go out, knowing that my other half was not waiting for me at home.

I won’t lie… I really cared about this 9 to 5’r guy. Loved him in fact. But what he had in physical availability he TOTALLY lacked in emotional availability and after a while I was like SO many other women saying “I would rather be alone, than lonely.” (*I want to give some serious props to Natalie over at Baggage Reclaim for her words of wisdom about Emotionally Unavailable men, I could not have gotten thru that without you! ) It was like EVERYTHING I had with the chef, I didn’t have with this guy, and after a while of missing having the time to do my OWN thing, my friends… missing being with someone who could share his feelings and wanted to be with me. **I mean the chef always told me he KNEW we were meant to be together!

It hit me…

like a ton of bricks one day, lying in my bed, thinking about what the chef is doing and if he ever thinks about me.

That what I always thought was a WEAKNESS (not being able to deal with his odd hours/schedule/tendencies) was actually a STRENGTH (being fiercely independent and driven to never give up) and in that moment I understood my VALUE.

In that moment I craved my INDEPENDENCE back, and I could see how what I thought was LACK (time by myself = not a NORMAL relationship) was really a BLESSING (Time do work on my OWN dreams, do my OWN thang!)

Almost that very instant things started to change for me. Within one WEEK of that revelation, I had reconnected with the chef, broken up with the 9-5’r and just KNEW that I had gained SO much insight from this experience. Two months later, the chef and I were engaged and I KNEW that I was where I was supposed to be. (If you read the post story, you’ll know it wasn’t as easy as 1,2,3 but like I said… a ‘Jerry Springer’ episode. On top of that, breaking up with anyone you’ve been with for three years is never easy)

Fast forward to today, We just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. I can say that I still feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I know that the fact that I can be TOTALLY myself (driven, independent, sensitive (emotional), creative, compassionate, a planner and a passionate dreamer) completely balance out with who he is and the ins and outs of his career. I LOVE that he loves what he does, that he is good at it and that I get to reap the benefits that I almost missed out on, if I hadn’t attempted to figure out if I had what it took. On top of that, they absolutely outweigh the things that inevitably SUCK being with someone in the industry.

You know…

  • His wanting to completely vedge out or play when he’s not working (which means the house is NOT his priority)
  • NEVER getting to talk to my husband while he is at work (The way we communicate is via text – Sound familiar?)
  • Missing him when I see other couples going for a walk down the street after work, or going out on a Friday nite, wishing I could do the same thing.

And when, in those moments when I can’t deal. I now have YOU to go to, to lean on, and to commiserate with, which is why I really wanted to create this space for us in the first place!

Okay now for the kicker…

*Here is where I share my own fears and insecurities.

JUST because I now understand my value, that I am a Highly Sensitive Person who needs chunks of time by myself, that the time that we do spend together is sacred, that my strength (being a planner) is his weakness (not thinking ahead) and his strength (being spontaneous) is my weakness (over thinking EVERYTHING). That we love each other very much and feel like we are EXACTLY where we are meant to be…


*nope. not in the least.

I still have my moments when leaving late Saturday nite for a 24 hour jaunt to New Jersey to visit his family SUCKS and when I have to move holiday celebrations to a day when he’s off. When I’m in my pj’s on a Saturday nite, and LIKE CLOCKWORK, he’ll call me at 9:30pm to say he’s getting off in 30 minutes and wants to see if I want to go get a beer. (again, NOT a night person but sometimes I suck it up and go.) *He usually works mid-shift now so he’s not working till 1-3am much anymore, but still works at LEAST a 10-12 hour day.

(oh yea, I still don’t have a date for New Years Eve/my birthday. You’ll inevitably find me, at some point, checking in at his restaurant that nite, to say Happy New Year and Happy Birthday. I have learned to bring the party to him, so I can at least be there when the clock strikes 12 but it would still be nice to party like it’s 1999 somewhere ELSE!)

I don’t have it all figured out.

I became a Life Coach to help fulfill my OWN dream of helping others. I know being a coach is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and HOW AWESOME is it that I can help others who have been or still are in the same boat I am. (Honestly, I am able to coach anyone, but have chosen YOU, my beloved significant others as my focus, because I feel SO driven to help YOU understand your worth) Yea, I might not deal with him being out, drinking till 3am much anymore but I understand how confusing and frustrating it is not to know if you have what it takes to sustain this relationship.

Being a coach means that I hold YOUR agenda. NOT that I share with you my own. When I’m speaking to my clients, I focus for however long we’re together SOLELY on where THEY are and what it’s going to take to move THEM forward (then I hold them accountable to what it’s going to take to move forward). Being able to help them do that, to understand their worth DOES NOT AT ALL mean that I think I am somehow an expert at being married to a chef and that I should be considered as such.

What I know is the coaching process, NOT what you should do with your life.  I ABSOLUTELY believe that YOU know what you should do with your life, it’s just a matter of excavating through the layers of limiting beliefs and fears around who you REALLY are inside. (kinda like I mention on my philosophy behind my coaching practice called Permission Granted Coaching ) That’s where I come in. Already, my clients are feeling heard, and are moving forward and that is all I’ve EVER wanted for them or myself.

Do I want to see the full manifestation of my OWN dream to be a full time coach and thriving entrepreneur? YES. Does this mean that part of this website is my business? Yes. Is part of that business about finding those who want to become my paying clients or participate in future events/e-courses,etc? Yes. There’s the kicker – I want this to be a win win for BOTH of us.

Besides having a full schedule of clients, I have other dreams for you and me and this website. What I want MOST OF ALL is to be able to coordinate get togethers with you where YOU are, and share a space with you so you know you’re not alone. I want to travel to see YOU. I want to coordinate a yearly global gathering for us, where we ALL get together one weekend to celebrate our strength, and our ability to help each other move forward. Of course it would also be fun to introduce you to wifes and husbands of celebrity chefs, to see what it’s like for them, being in the spotlight.  Those are MY dreams and being with someone in this industry ALLOWS me the time to focus on these dreams, one by one.


okay SO….Why was that so hard to say?

Good question.

Writing a blog means sharing our experience, our wisdom…basically our thoughts. In that sharing, finding solutions to the things that we all are facing would be a good purpose for sharing such experience.  I have been struggling with the thought that although I may be sharing my thoughts (and in doing that offering suggestions), that I will, in turn, be sharing my OWN agenda and will be viewed in one of two ways:

  1. That I am COMPLETELY wrong and I have no idea what the heck I’m talking about. (kinda a “who does SHE think she is telling ME what to do, she’s not been thru what I have!”) or
  2. That I am TOTALLY right on and somehow have the answers to all the problems. (uh, yea no.)

I personally think it’s interesting how it’s either one or the other, but isn’t that how we all usually operate? I’ve already experienced both of these responses since launching this website and I have been feeling at a loss as to how to face this.

So under the phrase “When you don’t know what to do… do nothing”. I’ve just sat still. I’ve let this fear to slow me down and what I want for this site.

But all along, my underlying desire was to connect with you all. To create a resource for people who are in the same place I was, less than ten years ago, and are really struggling to understand what their doing in their relationships. I’m attempting to create what I needed all those years ago. In order to do that, I knew I had to push past this fear that I would be seen as if I know NOTHING that I speak of or that somehow, I was an expert.

So for the record, it’s important I share this with you:

1. I do NOT have it all figured out. I am still learning about what does and does not work for me and my restaurant relationship.
2. Just because I’m sharing my thoughts / feelings /experiences/suggestions, does NOT mean that I think I know better than you.

*ahh, I feel better already.

Going forward, I graciously ask you to remember what I’m sharing now when I write. I have so much I want to share, but I am sincere in my intentions and want nothing more than for you to find something that will help you find your worth. *and maybe get a laugh would be a bonus.

It took a LONG time for my husband, Peter, and I to get to where we are today, and hey, we’re STILL evolving! We don’t have children yet, and from what I hear from many of you, it can VERY challenging being the SOLE caretaker while dealing with the fact that their always at the restaurant (I keep hearing that it’s like being a single parent and that’s scaring me a bit). It brings me peace to know there are SO MANY of you I can lean on when/if that time comes.

At the same time, what I DO know is that this is NOT a usual type of relationship. It has a different set of parameters and most people have NO idea what it’s really like. I almost obsessed to understand what kind of person I am at my core that thrives in this type of relationship. Understanding who we really are at our core, I believe, helps us feel rooted to where we are in our surroundings,and therefore,  in our relationships. Sometimes it helps having someone hold our hand as we seek to gain that understanding. A presence, telling you you’re not alone, that you CAN do it and that you are STRONG.

It is my purpose, my calling ,to be that person, when and if you ever find yourself wondering if you have what it takes to make it in this type of relationship. Not as someone who knows more than you, but someone who wants you to feel PROUD that you CHOSE to be with someone who is also driven, passionate (almost obsessed) and BONUS….whose plight is to make others lives more delicious.

*THANK YOU for allowing me to share.

Didn’t read Part ONE yet? That’s okay… here it is.

Art of Relaxing

June 29, 2011 in Expectations, Life, Weekend

365: May 25, 2009 by Jessi Hagood


With the 4th of July coming up this weekend, I thought we’d talk about something I’m sure plenty of you deal with (or don’t know how to deal with, is more like it). How to relax.

It’s no surprise to find most of you are the primary do-ers in your relationships. You are the one that makes most things happen. Making plans, coordinating, cleaning, and preparing for whatever and who evers is coming over this holiday weekend. Most likely, what you and your family have planned this weekend will mostly be managed by you. Even if you’re traveling out of town, the coordination most likely goes through your hands. Okay, your restaurant man or woman might want to set the menu for the cookout/BBQ/shin dig that you’re having, but the rest of the details have your name on it. (especially the cleaning up AFTER their rampage into all the pots and pans in the house! Right?)

The 4th of July and many other so called ‘holidays’ are usually just reasons to be stressed out while everyone else relaxes. No wonder why we feel exhausted at the end of our long weekend, we need a vacation from our vacation!

Especially for us ladies, we want to make sure everyone ELSE is having a good time so most of the time we take on way too much so we know it’s all taken care of. Sometimes it’s because we’re neat freaks, Type A personalities that just has to have her hands in everything or bottom line “who else is going to take care of this?”.  Maybe it’s because that’s how some of us were raised, the residual role women took with the house and gatherings…leaving the men to the title of grill master (ESPECIALLY if your Restaurant Man/Woman wants to do all the cooking!) and taking out the trash. (Sounds like a throwback to the 50’s but there are many 20s and 30 somethings that are challenging this belief today, I’d like to believe that has somewhat evolved into sharing more of the load) perhaps? (not?)

Anywho… with the holiday steadily upon us, I wanted to share three ways you might bring some ease and relaxation into your plans this weekend. Allowing you to look back with a sense of peace instead of frustration.There is a reason why they call it the ART of Relaxing… it’s an art to find ways in which relaxing becomes incorporated in your celebrating.

  1. Create a game plan – You might be the unofficial coordinator, but you could be like the coach who directs his team to make that touchdown. The Goal is to have plenty of relaxing with your guests WITH them. The mission is to delegate as many tasks to your team so that it’s evenly dispersed. Think of the tasks that would be finished with four (or six) hands instead of two. With efficient delegating, you might be surprised that the dishes are in the dishwasher AS you clean instead of piled up after the festivities are over. (If there are younger children, you could make it a game where they can be your assistant. And if they help shuck all the corn, etc.. they can get the first piece of pie.)
  2. Tell your guests your goal (to relax)/Ask for help – Maybe it’s not your nature to relax until it’s ALL over. It’s that way for a lot of us. Enlist your family in your mission to take it easy, ask them to remind you of what your goal is so you can take advantage of the valuable time spend with your family and friends. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder to create some great memories. You could make it into a game where they hand you your glass of wine every time they see you busy doing something.
  3. It will be there later, Enjoy the NOW – Yes, you might want to make sure everything is done before you sit down, a make sure  the leftovers are put away, dishes are done before you sit down. (Very common for most of us) It is usually those moments after a meal that are the most gratifying, being thankful for being together, sitting on the back porch watching the sunset, watching the kids light sparklers or taking a dip in the pool with the family. Start telling yourself NOW that it will all get done, tell yourself  now that you give yourself permission to leave it there, that your goal is to have that one moment when you realize you are relaxed, and feeling like all your cares are somewhere else, even for a few minutes or hours and be present in your search for that moment, as you go thru your day.Which one do you think would work best for you? Share with us your thoughts on how you’d like to be more relaxed this holiday weekend.

    Whatever you do, remember you deserve to feel just as comforted, as ‘taken care of’ as your guests INEVITABLY feel during their visit. That while it is your house, your gathering that everyone is enjoying, that YOU have the same reason for being there as everyone else… to RELAX.

    Happy 4th of July Holiday! Here’s to the Art of Relaxing!