What would you do if…


So yesterday I was chopping limes- for what seemed like hours, but was actually a lot less than that.

My sister helpfully suggested that if I had a thermomix, it wouldn’t have taken quite so long. True, but it would have also increased the average cost of each jar quite markedly.

I’ve resisted the pull of the thermo- partly because of the cost, but also because I enjoy the mechanics of cooking. I like smashing herbs and spices in mortar and pestles (or is it pestle and mortar?) to watch them and smell them gradually transform into a spice paste. I like to knead and work bread dough and find the warmest part of the house to let it do its rising thing. I like methodically turning a shopping bag of ingredients into something that’s fresh, nutritious and (usually) tasty.

Listening to music and dancing around the kitchen or trying out new methods of avoiding onion tears is all part of the process. And, by the way, chopping with swimming goggles on or with a wooden spoon gripped between your teeth doesn’t work.

So, yesterday when I was chopping limes, I was doing my nerdy thing and listening to a podcast.

It was about this woman who, as the result of a mishap with anesthetic had lost her memory, completely, for a period of time- it was 6 months or so before things began to come back to her. Partnered up, with two children, a high-powered job, she had no recollection of anything.


After a few months she went back to work and even though she had no corporate memory, she re-trained in her old job and was possibly even more effective than before.  Even though she no longer recognized her CEO.

This wasn’t any average job- she was a Change Director/ Six Sigma Black Belt Specialist. As one whose been both a Change Manager and also been through the Six Sigma training, let me say this- there’s some serious technical knowledge involved in this stuff.

The thing is, she was able to come in, look across all the changes, processes and projects with a completely fresh eye. All the corporate memory, political machinations, and pre-conceived opinions that might normally be lurking at the back of her brain weren’t there.

Because she had no memory, she didn’t have any memory of failing- as a result, her work was not influenced by the fear of failure or rejection or any of those things that normally subconsciously influence decision making.

Likewise, she says that she can look back and see her relationship as being stronger than it was before- not just because he hung around and built new memories with her, but because she had no recollection of what it meant to risk yourself in a relationship and she couldn’t remember how it was not to trust.


Now, naturally I don’t want to make light of this- I can’t imagine how it would be feel to be starting from scratch memory wise- how simply terrifying and debilitating and disempowering it must have been…and how fortunate she was to be surrounded by people who had her best interests, love and care in mind. The outcome of this story was a happy one- and it could have been very different.

It did make me wonder about first times and how they don’t come back again- for most of us- and how we take these for granted. Especially when it comes to relationships- you know, that first glance, first touch, first kiss, first time. We get a first time every day with the sunrise, yet how often do we notice it?

Anyways, it also made me wonder just what I’d do if I didn’t know what failure or rejection or hurt or heartbreak felt like. I probably still wouldn’t buy a thermo, but…

What about you? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

12 thoughts

  1. As much as I like the idea of a thermie, I love all the manualness of cooking as well. Much for the same reasons I prefer to sweep rather than vacuum. I imagine if I was without fear of failure I would just write and share my mind like there was no tomorrow
    Leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses from #teamIBOT

  2. I’m with you about the thermo I think the people that have to cook for large families they are great but I enjoy the process

    1. I also think they’re great for people who wouldn’t otherwise cook from scratch. It makes real food accessible for them- & that’s a great thing.

  3. I love the idea of cooking manually (I think) but was absolutely hopeless at it. Which is why I am in LOVE with my thermie. It’s become a part of the family. As for loosing my memory – it sounds terrifying!!! xx #IBOT

    1. My sister is the same re her thermie- & she has heaps of kids so she gets stuff made that she would never have done otherwise.

  4. My dad had no short term memory by the end of his time… but it was more that he couldn’t remember what he’d done that day or just before or the week before. I felt like that would be very disempowering, but I also wondered if it meant you’d have to live ‘in the moment’. The idea of starting afresh sounds appealing, but I suspect it’d come with the bad as well as the good. She would have forgotten her children and their births and not remembered people who’d ‘crossed’ her.

    It’s amazing that she was capable of relearning her job though and had the same skill set.

    1. I know. In the podcast she talked about how awful it was not to remember what she wanted to remember. I guess the good thing was it all came back. The thing for me was sure, it was all disempowering, but at the same time, looking back she found it completely empowering. Weird contradiction.

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