Anything worth having takes effort. A beautiful home. A successful business. A deep friendship. A happy family. There are no shortcuts. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a battle. Yes, you have to put in your time and effort, and with a good process, what is worth having can be yours. Anything worth having is worth the effort.
Pizza is an important food in both Diem’s and Michael’s lives. Diem often would have personal pizza parties with her daughter, niece, and nephew, each building their version of the perfect pizza. Michael and his daughter held a weekly Saturday pizza making routine from her earliest days of being able to climb onto a stool to help at the counter until she left for college.
When you are working with pizza dough, you start out with a bowl of lumpy, sticky, gooey dough and you know there is no way that is going to turn into anything good. The seasoned pizza chef, or anybody who has made their own pizza dough at least once, knows that with some patience, a few additions of a little more flour now and then, some more patience, a few minutes of kneading, and a bit more patience, that lumpy, sticky, gooey mess becomes a smooth, silky ball of yeasty dough ready to be transferred into a bowl, covered with a towel, set in a warm corner of the kitchen, and grow into the dough that will ultimately be tossed, or rolled, or turned into the perfect pie, waiting for just the right toppings to be added to make that week’s version of the perfect pizza. It takes practice. It takes patience. It takes a process, but it’s worth it.
Another thing making good pizza takes is trust - trust in that process. Just as with the beautiful friendships and happy homes, there are no shortcuts. Michael learned that they day he tried making pizzas as a thank you to friends for allowing him to spend a week at their house. The occasion would be a build your own pizza party for his hosts, himself, and six others. He was working in an unfamiliar kitchen without his usual brands of yeast and flour. Adding those variables and the crunch of having everything proofed and formed in time for the main event to the usual stress of the process should have made him more conscious of the need to trust the process. Of course he didn’t and when came the time that everyone was expecting to bite into a perfect pizza, they had instead, something to bite into that was more akin to perfectly topped large round crackers.
It’s the same way with cultivating a friendship, growing a family, or living a life. There is a process to follow that makes getting it right almost automatic. Knowing when to add a little more love, or a little more discipline, knowing how long to work at smoothing the edges and knowing when to stop and let something grow on its own are the steps to those processes. Those are the steps that cannot be rushed, cannot be hurried, and certainly cannot be skipped. They make the processes that make a life a life worth living.
There are no shortcuts. You put in your time and effort and you trust in the process, and what is worth having will be yours. Even a good life. And yes, even a good pizza!