For several years now, I’ve been canning homemade jams– strawberry, blueberry, and peach mostly. There are nearby farms that produce those crops, and I like supporting the local small farm community here. Plus, I like knowing that the only ingredients in my jam are fruit and sugar. There’s just something simple and uncomplicated and clearly nostalgic about it.
Typically, the process for making fruit jam involves cleaning the fruit, removing the pits/cores, and chopping into tiny pieces (my family doesn’t like big chunks of fruit in the jam). Strawberry jam can take an average of 2 hours to make– which is why I much prefer blueberry jam which takes 45 minutes because I don’t have to chop the berries. Peach jam doesn’t take as long as strawberry, but it does require the extra step of skinning the peaches first. Canning is a process. None of the steps individually is difficult, but it simply takes awhile to get from beginning to end.
So this year I decided to try making cherry jam. As I was standing at the kitchen counter pitting 2 pounds of cherries, my mind wandered, and I remembered a recipe I’d come across recently on a food blog for cherry jam. The author suggested using a food processor to chop the cherries, and I thought I’d give it a try. After all, we do like our jam to have tiny fruit chunks. So I dumped my pitted cherries into the processor bowl, secured the lid, and pulsed the fruit.
What would have taken me probably 15 minutes to do by hand, the food processor took 10 seconds. The light bulb went off in my head. I’ve had the food processor all these years, and it never occurred to me to use it to chop fruit for making jam. It took reading a food blog to clearly point out what’s so obvious. That’s what happens to many of us in lots of different areas of life. Sometimes it takes another person to illuminate what’s right in front of us that we can’t manage to see. We’ve simply overlooked what’s obvious.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THERAPY?
I believe that’s one of the primary objectives of therapy. My job as a mental health professional isn’t to give advice or tell my clients what to do. Rather, one of my jobs is to help them see things from a different perspective or point out things that they may have missed or aren’t aware of. Just like my routine of chopping fruit by hand to make jam, we all go through life doing things the way we’ve gotten used to doing them. And it takes someone else to point out an obvious shortcut, or easier way of accomplishing tasks, or better way of solving a problem.
If you’d like to know how music therapy might be able to help you see life more clearly, please send me a quick message or give me a call. I’m always here to answer questions!