How I found my Holiday (and other) joy in the bottom of a jar of pickles!

I will start my first ever blog with a full disclaimer – I am a little pickle-obsessed these days.  As co-founder of Homegrown & Happy, a small company focused on bringing joyful pickled snacks to families across America, I talk about pickles daily. No question, sometimes the conversation gets a little strange – ranging from wildly entertaining new product ideas to inappropriate innuendos that just spark at the oddest moments as I’m explaining why we think our “pickle plan” can help make the world a better place. Firmly outside of any life plan I ever imagined, pickles have become what I professionally live for these days as we work hard to build our business in the right way for all involved. 

But this blog isn’t about my latest professional endeavor, as I’m well-known in my various network to be an aggressive risk taker who is generally capable of finding at least some version of success in most things I try. This is about what pickles have made me think about personally as of late. It’s interesting, when you become involved with a product that is both old and new, simplistic yet complicated all at once there becomes an opportunity to truly experience it metaphorically.

Now while you may be smirking at the seriousness of my suggestion, I can assure you I am not over exaggerating the amount of time I find myself doing this. I’m not sure why, but the simplest explanation for what may be happening to me as I spend my days producing and marketing high quality pickles, is that the process take all the right ingredients for anything great someone may be trying to achieve – discipline, commitment to quality, and patience or time – with the latter not being my natural strong suit. All of this combined with the tangible output of a “perfect batch” yields something very pleasing in the end that allows me to look back with both pride and satisfaction. In short, I think I’ve been starved of this over the years.  And in one word, this has started to bring me real joy.

So now that I’ve shared some background on how I came to be writing a blog in early December 2015 about pickles, I want to share more details on what I plan to do with this new found satisfaction and joy.  I have decided it can and should be magnetic – and have committed to continuing down the path of my own joy-seeking and more importantly, work to share it with friends and family alike. So what’s next? My immediate next step is a new holiday tradition with the little ones in my life (for me this is nieces and a nephew as we have no children of our own) – we will be making pickle bread for their parents, grandparents, teachers and neighbors to put our own Great Gran’s HomeStyle Pickle twist on the folkloric tradition of the magical Christmas pickle and the good fortune it brings its early finder. 

I am starting this tradition for a few reasons, but the biggest one is that in all my recent learning about what I need to find personal joy, one of the areas that I need to make a grander commitment is in time and patience (again, not my natural strength) to experience the joy of those I love. Bread-making takes real time, involves a whole lot of mess, but the laughter and shared joy with my young loved ones will make it worth it x1000. And beyond our own fun, the act of giving those we all care about something unique, with the magical combination of good will and whimsical cheer is a gift of its own, reminding all of us that giving and sharing things from a place of joyful love is what matters most during the Christmas Season. And for me personally, this activity, requiring the patience and time it takes to make bread with young children is where my joy lives this holiday season . . . in the bottom of a pickle jar. Merry Christmas!