I love deep chats about life – and each time I get to meet someone who inspires me with their life perspective is an opportunity I greatly treasure.
Yesterday was one of those moments, when I met up with my friend Hui Min who took me to visit the International Monetary Fund.
Over delicious Cuban fare at the IMF food court, our two-hour conversation began with jobs and life in DC, and slowly transitioned to life dreams and the importance of doing what we truly believe are important to us.
When our chat veered into the topic of our families, I told her about my Aunty Catherine’s passing two months ago. I described how watching Aunty Catherine lose her life to cancer at the young age of sixty-four was a shock, inevitably a wake-up call.
I told her how my beloved Aunty’s unfortunate passing on propelled me to decide that I wanted to make my life count.
As we shared our views about life, and why we each do what we currently do, I found myself agreeing with what she said – life is simply too short to do something you don’t love.
While her words were simple, and may not seem anything out of the norm, the wisdom behind them is deep and appealed to those who don’t want to live an ordinary, normal life.
We talked about a friend in a sales job that sleeps an average of four hours per night because of work demands, and how my friend barely has any time to enjoy life, because work always comes first.
Is money really worth selling your soul like that, even if you were raking in a six-figure salary?
So many people in today’s society follow the typical path of climbing up the corporate ladder simply to be able to maintain a particular material lifestyle, postponing the enjoyment of life until after retirement.
But, the question I have is, what if retirement never comes, because life happens and you’re diagnosed with an incurable disease?
What if retirement eventually comes but you no longer have the energy that you once had to indulge in activities that truly bring you happiness and fulfilment?
And even if retirement time comes rolling around the corner, why do you really want to wait for so many years to pass doing things you don’t love before pursuing things that are really worth your time and effort?
I never thought that I’d leave the safe path of finance to venture into the non-traditional route of freelance writing and food photography, but that’s what I’m doing now, and each day I’m learning to live more with less.
That’s why I took a leave of absence from my job in Buenos aires, and am here in Washington DC, giving a shot at a life which isn’t dictated by a 9-to-5 office schedule, and doing what I love best.
I’m letting myself go with the flow, hustling day in and day out, and allowing life to simply surprise me.
To learn and grow with the seasons of life.
And since it’s pumpkin season, let’s roll with the season and eat pumpkin bread.
This recipe is barely adapted from the one over at Amy in the Kitchen, and yields a large loaf of extremely moist gluten-free pumpkin bread.
It’s fragrant, tasty and topped with pumpkin seeds that are toasted for a crunchy bite.
It’s extremely filling, great for a crowd and perfect for the chillier days that are headed our way.
Grab a slice and enjoy this moment with me, won’t you?
- 3 cups of gluten-free all purpose flour blend
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2 cups of brown cane sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup of raw pumpkin seeds + extra for sprinkling on top of batter
- Pre-heat oven to 375 deg. Fahrenheit (190 deg. Celsius) and line a large loaf pan with parchment paper
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, and mix well together, then set aside
- In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas, eggs, pumpkin puree and the brown sugar together, then beat with a mixer until smooth
- Pour the dry ingredients bit by bit into the wet ingredients, and stir together until just combined
- Slowly fold in the ⅓ cup of raw pumpkin seeds until evenly distributed
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, and sprinkled extra raw pumpkin seeds on top
- Bake in oven for 60 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (if top of bread starts to get really brown, cover with aluminium foil until fully baked.
- Let bread to sit in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on cooling rack
- Allow bread to fully cool before slicing (remember: a warm loaf is a fragile loaf).
- To store bread, wrap in plastic film in the refrigerator for up to a week.