Tired of having spice bottles fall off the shelf when I was trying to extricate one from the bunch, I decided to weed through the shelf contents. Embarrassing to say, I had not one, but three, old bottles of chili powder. Even more embarrassing to say, I uncovered bottles that had to date from the early part of this century. (At least I can almost certainly say none were from the 20th century as I have reorganized that shelf within the last few years.)
Why would I have two bottles of orange peel when I rarely use that spice? What is the purpose of hoarding spice bottles when each spice loses its potency over time?
Whether common or exotic, spices are meant to enhance food’s flavor. Stating the obvious here, but to work, spices must be applied. Purchasing the spice and displaying it in your spice cabinet adds nothing to the intensity of your meal.
I must admit I have not only hoarded spices, but also ideas. I look forward to reading journals and scouring the Internet for new ideas to incorporate into my library program. I’ve created various folders on my computer to store the treasures I find. But if I am just storing these ideas on a “computer shelf,” then I am doing no better with them than I am with the spices I have accumulated. These ideas cannot help my program unless I apply them.
I must make a conscious effort to break the information cycle (seek, read, store) I have created. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with seeking, reading, and storing information, if the purpose I am doing these tasks is not being satisfied, then I am no different than a hamster endlessly running on its wheel.
Have you found yourself in a rut lately? If so, what steps have you taken to break out of the routine?
“We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.” Ian Percy
“Spice Cabinet: Tins with Spices” by Chris Martino
Used through a Creative Commons license