June 29, 2020

Buns Out: What Baking taught me about Happiness & the Power of Trying something New.

“Everyone able to read, is capable of cooking or baking.”

That’s what a close friend always told me and I always knew that he was right, but never really tried. 

Here I am, stuck in a tropical paradise far away from home. I was planning to fly to Germany in April, but that never happened due to COVID-19 and airports being closed.

Being stuck in my apartment, I started thinking about all the treats I was craving from my hometown bakery: bread, buns, pretzels, cakes, and whatnot. 

Then these wise words came to my mind. Why not give it a try? I got all the time in the world.

After searching the internet for some recipes, I went to our local Costa Rican supermarket and got everything I thought I would need.

Ready for my first attempt making my own bread. 

Unfortunately my lack of Spanish vocabulary led me to buy the wrong flour. Accidentally, I made the only type of buns that I don’t like too much: whole grain buns. They are healthy and all that, but I was craving those unhealthy buns made out of white wheat flour.

Nevertheless, my girlfriend had a huge smile on her face eating the whole grain mini bread filled with local cheese. 

After that little disappointment, I got the right ingredients and was able to bake exactly what I was longing for. My girlfriend was also excited when our apartment started smelling like a bakery again. She was surprised by my baking skills and so was I.

Even my local rescue dog Snoopy seems to like my bread a lot. Who would have thought? 

I know, it’s not rocket science and everybody can bake, but it was more than that. I tried something new, enjoyed doing that, and created some happiness for the ones around me.

Instead of throwing a pity party about missing home, I was able to create parts of that feeling in my jungle cabin, and share it with others. All it took was a little flour, salt, yeast, and water. 

I never thought that I was able to do that, but then I tried and it worked out. Throughout the next days, I found different recipes and my next goal will be to make cinnamon buns. 

It is a lot of fun, saves me a good chunk of money, and most importantly, it makes me feel accomplished.

As they say: It’s the little things that can make us happy. 

Maybe that does not only apply to baking?

Every time we try something new there will be things going wrong. Maybe things will even get a little messy (try to get sticky dough off your fingers when water gets shut off for no reason), but eventually we will get some results.

Making mistakes is part of the journey toward learning something. It’s a bummer when it happens, but often a good laugh when we look back at it. 

Being stuck at home invites us to explore new things that we might have never thought about. 

Start drawing, learn an instrument, get a Kombucha starter kit, write a blog (write on Elephant Journal), or start making food that you desire.

Be creative and dare to fail.

It won’t be the end of the world and nobody is ever going to hear about it, unless you tell them. Either you get some good results, a good laugh, or at least an afternoon without worrying about the pandemic.

Creating something is an empowering feeling. When we are too agitated to meditate or do yoga, we might find joy in other activities to fill the emptiness caused by the lockdown.

Looking at our little achievements makes us feel better about ourselves. Not only because our friends and family might enjoy our new offerings, but they will definitively appreciate us having a better mood. 

Once we are doing something, we stop overthinking our lives and we get out of our heads. It is almost like meditation, just a little easier. 

What do we have to lose?

Let’s start exploring what we can do to be of benefit to ourselves and the people we care about. 

Let’s try something nobody expected us to do and see what happens. 


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