I’m back from a weekend away with my work-mates that I mentioned in this post (where I also mention lots of chocolate so do head back there!) and we are now smack in the middle of a new week. Catching up with everything left behind does that I suppose. But I am invigorated, or should I say re-invigorated, and ready to seriously boogie…whether it is at work or at play!
Our company has had a team building every year, as most companies do, but this year I wanted something a bit different. Work is certainly never a walk in the park (maybe for some lucky people but not for most) and even in the most dreamy of jobs there are moments of stress, deadlines to be met, goals to be achieved, overtime hours to be clocked in. Let’s be honest, most of us are in, what we might consider to be, “regular jobs”…not the dream jobs of our fantasies (traveling food taster/pig farmer/professional napper needed? anyone?). But I thought, how do we inject motivation into work? How to we inspire vigor and enthusiasm in the workplace? How to we create exuberance on the job?
I realized…the answer is we don’t.
We create it in life…and then it will spill over everywhere.
It starts with the individual, on a personal level. Not really with the “team”, on the “work” level.
That is what I wanted to find for these intrepid, valiant folk with whom I work. Yes, I certainly wanted a lot of bonding and actual “team building” but I also wanted it to be something more, something that involved getting people to think about themselves (their unique selves!) on a personal level, about purpose and strengths and living life and about where their joy comes from.
And maybe it wasn’t as grand or far-reaching as all that.
But I think we came close. I think we may have struck a little gold…at least I hope so.
So here’s a little something to celebrate (and to atone for all the food I ate!).
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cups walnuts, very chunkily chopped (one walnut half chopped in two or three)
- 1/2 cup pecans, very chunkily chopped (one pecan half chopped in two or three)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
- 1/2 cup sliced dates
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
– Mix the oats and nuts in a bowl.
– In a small saucepan melt the butter. Add the Golden Syrup to the butter and take off the heat. Whisk briskly with a wire whisk until the butter and syrup become a homogenous, dangerously sticky, alluring substance. Like this.
– Pour the syrup mixture onto the oats mixture and stir well until thoroughly blended.
– Place the mixture on a foil-lined cookie sheet and spread out flat and even.
– Place the pan in a 180-190C oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes, taking the pan out to stir the oats about thrice during this time. Remove from the oven to cool (I like to transfer the granola to another cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cool).
– When the granola is cool add the fruit and toss until combined. Store in a clean, dry, and airtight container.
I mentioned my new favorite granola supplier before. And believe you me, I love to always have a bag on hand. But that’s not always possible (to busy to drive out!), and I am a big proponent for making granola at home, so I decided to make a batch myself. I was going to turn to my basic go-to recipe but decided to substitute the honey with Lyle’s Golden Syrup (of which I have a couple of tins that I greedily hoard). Since I was going in that (decadent) direction anyway, I decided to nix the oil and use butter instead. In keeping with the “golden” theme I used golden raisins and dates. This may not be (by a long shot) the healthiest granola around, but first thing in the morning, atop some Greek yogurt or doused with cold milk, it can make you move mountains. Or at least be a little more optimistic about the traffic…which in our city, is almost kind of the same thing.
Oh, and if you don’t have Golden Syrup use honey instead.
So breakfast in hand and with resolve in my heart I set out to conquer the world! Ok, maybe not conquer the world, but just place my own unique stamp on my life and whatever it touches. I hope everyone else is feeling something akin to that too. At the very least my wish is that a even just some of us found some new perspective, or purpose, or exuberance, or even just a teensy bit of insight…not necessarily for work, but for and in their own lives. If so, then I can say that it was all worth it! Let’s take this life by storm, shall we? It’s the only one we’ve got!