#27

(a mid-week quick post)

If I had a dime for every time some commercial claimed that a product would “change my life” I would be a multi-millionaire, which would actually change my life. Also my bank would hate me for bringing in so many dimes. There have been only a handful of things that have truly changed my life:

  • Closet wall hooks. These provide a place for clothes to ‘age’ while I decide whether to wear them again or wash them. Ten or twelve is plenty. Hooks, I mean, not times to wear before washing. Laura feels that the wall hook system is an upgrade from the floor pile system, but still inferior to the hamper system. Hooks saved my marriage.
  • Stud finder. A device that lets you locate boards inside a wall so you can mount closet wall hooks. Also I sometimes put it on my chest to assess my own virility. Still lighting it up!
  • The realization that despite all the promises made by all the cologne and perfume ads, only one fragrance will ever truly change your life, and that is the smell of body odor, which will definitely change things for the worse, so showering regularly has given me a major boost in life.
  • Ear-hair trimmer. As hair relentlessly migrates from my scalp to my ears this device lets me continue life without being mistaken for Master Yoda. “Mmm. Handsome, I am.”
  • o-yoda-facebook

You totally read that in his voice, didn’t you?

Here’s the thing and it’s bad news, and I’m sorry to give it to you, but I feel like we know each other well enough at this point for me to level: the only way to really change your life is to actually change your life, and actually changing your life takes work, and work is usually hard, otherwise they would call it something else like vacation or sleep or blogging. And by changing your life, I mean changing you, not what you wear or what you drive or how awesome you look on Insta-Chat-Gram-Book.com. We desperately want change, but we even more desperately don’t want to change.

This week I visited with award-winning chef Chad Houser, who decided a few years ago that his purpose in life was not just to make amazing food, but to do that in a way that changes people’s lives. Cafe Momentum was the result. This top-rated, highly reviewed restaurant employs only young men and women who have recently been in the juvenile justice system; graduates of the one-year program go to work in restaurants of all kinds and return to jail at a fraction of the usual rate. Chad would tell you that selling his share in another successful restaurant to start “taking kids out of jail and teaching them to play with knives and fire” was the hardest change he ever made. And he would never, ever consider going back. The best part of Chad’s story is that he is still Chad, still loving food and creating awesome dishes; he just changed his purpose and his focus, and risked putting his money where his heart is, and as a result, he changed his life, and now changes about a hundred other lives every year. He works just as hard as ever; probably harder. And the world is being changed one life at a time.

To paraphrase English writer G. K. Chesterton, “Changing your life has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” Maybe it’s time to do something hard for a change.

 

If you are in DFW you can enjoy an amazing meal and meet Chad yourself. Hours and directions are here. I am about 99% sure this experience will make you happy.