Chestnut Do Over

Oct 02, 2020
 

LEADER'S FIELD GUIDE

I dug into the tiny white paper bag and tasted my first chestnut. How do expectations and repurposing play into our much-needed Do Overs?


One of our family traditions is going to New York to see a musical the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. As you know, I love New York and I have a crazy pair of pants with the I ❤ NY logo printed all over them to prove it! During one visit to the city, I insisted on getting a bag of roasted chestnuts. They smelled delightful and though I love nuts, I’d never tasted a chestnut. In exchange for what seem to be an exorbitant amount of cash, my dear husband presented me with my very first-- and maybe last bag of roasted chestnuts.

Oh, they were so hot, they warmed my hands even through my gloves. As I carefully navigated the uneven crosswalks and steam vents on my way to 47th Street, I dug into the tiny white paper bag with all the dexterity allowed by my chilled fingers. The taste… was… bitter?! Wait a minute! That is not what I had romanticized this experience to be!

Roasted Chestnuts will be soft, buttery, and slightly nutty. These mild flavored nuts have a lot of moisture and make for a nice chewy bite. - Vindulge

I need a chestnut do over! What about you, have you ever had an experience that made you want a do over? A second chance? Just one more try? Be sure to consider: 

  1. Expectations: Sometimes we just get a bad batch of chestnuts, and sometimes our expectations of an experience distract us from the rich experience itself. Positive expectations can be healthy, but constantly comparing what is happening with what we thought would happen simply dilutes our fascinating journey through life and work.

    Expectation develops somewhere between visualization and anticipation. Visualization allows us to direct and practice the best-case scenario as we imagine possibility on the theatre of our minds. Anticipation ranges from a noxious anxiety to a cheery excitement.
  2. Repurposing: When an experience disappoints, we often want to forget the whole thing. After tasting that yucky chestnut, my eyes darted around in search of a trash receptacle… Meanwhile, I quickly discovered the remaining toasty chestnuts made excellent hand warmers! Repurposing, or giving an experience a new meaning or purpose, is liberating.

    Repurposing emerges out of creativity, ingenuity, and positivity. Expectations and repurposing each play a role on the stage of life and work. The question is, “Will they play a villainous role or heroic role in today’s story?”

Expectation develops somewhere between visualization and anticipation. Visualization allows us to direct and practice the best-case scenario as we imagine possibility on the theatre of our minds. Anticipation ranges from a noxious anxiety to a cheery excitement. …And, repurposing emerges out of creativity, ingenuity, and positivity. Expectations and repurposing each play a role on the stage of life and work. The question is, “Will they play a villainous role or heroic role in today’s story?”

We continued onto a captivating musical, followed by our usual scurry through Time Square. We departed Manhattan Island watching the bejeweled skyline shrink from the top deck of the ferry. As the cold wind reddened our cheeks, I realized, what was so eloquently enshrined in Nat King Cole's Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire could have lost it charm. Instead, it set the foundation of an even more enchanting memory.

Resources: Cottage Life Recipe: How to Roast Chestnuts Over an Open Fire; Video: Nat King Cole's Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (3m:10s).


by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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