Something is happening to me.
Something involving recipes and careful preparation and one small finger cut and many, many dishes (lord, why so many dishes?).
Something with organized closets and never before used kitchen gadgets and goodies like Starbucks cards found in newly cleaned, old purses.
Be warned: you may not wish to read this post if you're even the slightest bit hungry, or have an aversion to Martha Stewart-esque women...
You see, in the past week alone, I've produced homemade (and flavorful) crock pot marinara, vanilla almond granola, and peanut butter (!!...never going back to Jiff, for reals) to be jarred and used in the following days.
I've mastered juicy, skillet pork chops with sweet onion, sweet potato, and honeycrisp apples.
I've whipped up "light" apple crisps for my friends to enjoy at brunch in my home, simultaneously satisfying their sweet tooth's while making our bungalow smell delightfully like the inside of pie.
I've ripped out recipes from magazines, made specific and non-wasteful grocery lists, and pined over homesteading blogs wishing I, too, could have farm fresh eggs from a coup out back. I've even daydreamed about the possibility of a few chickens lovingly kept in our alleyway, but conceded our neighbor William Sonoma would likely crush this dream before the city or occasional raccoon did.
And yes, those would be mustache shaped beer bottle toppers hanging above my spoils, because nothing makes sharing a brew with a friend more fun than them "wearing" a mustache with each sip...
Not pictured? "Healthy" chocolate chip cookies (baked for B on his first day of school, as per the loving tradition of my Marm), sweet potato and goat cheese frittata, tortellini soup, zucchini pasta with kale pesto, handmade turkey burgers served with an avocado salad, and so much more.
With my Otis Redding Pandora station and a glass of red wine or hot tea with lemon (depending on the time of day, as I'm not yet *that* kind of housewife) to keep me company, this sort of traditional, mama bear living has never been more appealing or satisfying.
Granted, I have way more time now than in recent history to actually spend in our kitchen. But even during past funemployment periods, I've tended to struggle with any motivation towards "keeping house". So much so, in fact, that if you asked anyone in my family about my history of avoiding kitchen work they will each tell you a version of the same story: how often I suddenly was all "sorry, gotta use the restroom" when it came time for chores.
Now? I like having a hot meal ready for B when he comes home from his extremely long days at work & school. I like making sure our laundry is done and our pillows hypo allergenic and our errands run in a timely manner. I liked doing my taxes the very day my W-2 arrived and I like scheduling coffee dates and pilates dates and rhythm and motion dance class dates, whatever the hell that is.
I'm thrilled at the freedom to accept offers to house sit and once again work in my beloved Jenny's shop. I'm excited to turn our brown media shelving white (speaking of Jenny -- hey crafty girl hey, you up for a shabby chic'ing night? please save me from myself here), and to work on small projects using bits of my creativity that have been dormant for years.
Is this the way I'll choose to live the rest of my life? Is this the apron clad path I've been looking for, and am destined to travel? I don't know. Probably not. But it's kind of cool to know that I ultimately don't have to gun-to-my-head choose anytime soon...or really, at all. My god, who wants to think so seriously? I'm (we're) blessed to live in a time where, women in particular, can be and do so very many things at varying stages...moments!...of life. We've always had this ability within us, of course, as the powerful and wild goddesses we are. But there seems to be greater energy in the ability to change our minds, try new things, play many roles, or even play just one. Whatever feels right. It's all good. Can you imagine that? It's ALL good.
I recently had a conversation with a coaching client -- a dynamic and absolutely magical woman -- about her word for the year: surrender. I loved this for many reasons, and reflected on the meaning of this word in my own life right after our call. Surrendering to the good of the Universe is like saying "So, this is the way my life is at the moment. It's not definitively better or worse, but it is different. It's not what I had anticipated , but it is changing me, growing me, stretching me. OK. I will cease resistance. I trust the process. I surrender, and I trust". It's not giving up, but it is allowing for sacred space to do its thang.
Pretty powerful stuff.
I mean, just look at Martha for gosh sake! Homegirl has played many roles and worn many hats over the years -- including one to match a bright orange jumpsuit and an ankle tracking device. And she ended up the queen of her empire, once again!
I'm just sayin.
OK, off to prepare some spaghetti squash, surrender, and move closer towards becoming the queen of my empire.
You'll think about it too, yea?
love and light,
Being a published writer is the only thing I've consistently wanted in a career since childhood (I've long since given up my dreams of having a bakery, training dolphins and dancing professionally...all at once.) It's a vulnerable line of work, one fraught with many rejections and cycles of self doubt. It's one that can drive you to the brink of madness somedays - that damn cursor blinking back at you while the internet beckons with distractions upon wonderful cat meme distractions. But it's a worthy one, too. One that connects people, frees people, and helps us feel whole, and heard. It's an important one, I'd say.
Embarking on this most recent journey post-start up world has been a series of teeny baby steps for me. Focusing on only the next right step, when I can, to avoid having a nervous breakdown over 'what the hell have I gotten myself into'. I prefer to measure life in milestones that are all shapes and sizes, and highly recommend this trick to others who may be in the midst of big life transitions. Instead of continuously fretting over what is to come, or needs to be done, consider: what have you already accomplished, both big and small? What are some points of life-so-far you are proud of, or may have even forgotten about but really are pretty damn cool? This is a powerful way to shift your energies and move forward to that next right step.
This week, an essay I wrote on starting a new career path (gulp, once again) appeared in an online magazine called The Sweat Life. Naturally, I was super stoked to be able to contribute to their wonderful mission, and to feel as though I was taking a tiny baby step in the right direction.
The Sweat Life defines itself as "a lifestyle brand that aims to empower people to use health and wellness as a motivation toward a happy and balanced life. From a web standpoint, the site is, at its core, going to be the video Yelp for health, wellness, and fitness - or for those of you who are familiar - they are like the "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" (Food Network) for health, wellness, and fitness! Each week The Sweat Life releases a new episode on the site highlighting a new studio, health trend, healthy recipe, and even some nights out on the town (because that is still part of a healthy balanced life)!....Additionally, The Sweat Life online magazine offers great content from an amazing community of contributors on topics in fitness, food, health, fashion, beauty, and, well, life!"
Right up my alley, wouldn't you say?
I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity to continue writing for TSL, and would LOVE (really, so so love) to know what kinds of essays in the health and wellness realm (mental, physical, emotional) you would enjoy reading :)
I've finally taken a participatory dive into the social world of tumblr after a few years of simply stalking other creative folks with many an ooo and an aaahh.
I primarily hope to share photos (of my own), quotes, and quick snapshots of anything beautiful to my eyes, heart and soul, and intend to reblog other's work and words only if they feel energetically aligned with all things TGL.
Check it out, and spread the word :) I'll still be posting from time to time on this, the original TGL page, but thought a fresh and simple start in this way might be a nice addition to our community. I'm already feeling my gratitude tank fill up as I scroll through thousands of photos from the past 8 years (since getting my Digital SLR camera). It's humbling to re-visit each adventure I've been so blessed to take, and to remember how many times in life I've created these opportunities simply by saying "yes".
This exercise has also ignited the travel bug in me big time, so I'm off to crunch a few numbers and scan a few sites for even more inspiration and yet-to-be discovered possibilities....
Thank you for continuing to join me in grateful living!
love and light,
"As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I’m not sure that I’m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says ‘you are nothing’, I will be a writer." - Hunter S. Thompson
* leaving the bay for the wide open seas.
* captain chad, our guide and friend.
* meg and jonny being cuties.
* but meg being the cutest.
* all alone besides buoys, sea lions, dolphins and birds.
* hunky man.
* farallon islands up close (anyone recognize from shark week?)
* sun bathing sea lions galore.
* incredible bit of mother nature. felt like we were somewhere tropical.
* racing a pelican.
* WHALES. we saw more than one, even though we were told we wouldn't :)
* farewell, farallons
* an incredible, no filter, sunset.
Folks were mighty generous to me this Christmas, much more so than I feel deserving of. I received a number of super gifts, but this one in particular I thought you'd all get a big kick out of...
I was too nervous to pack this in my oversized suitcase for fear of the glass breaking, so had to snap a quick pic with my phone before handing it off to B's mama for mailing. This really doesn't do it justice, but I'll be sure to post a more clear image when it arrives safely at my door!
Behold, my "death row day" of choice (please note that is just what me and my sicko brain are calling it, and not the artist's words...she more appropriately coins these "Favorite Things"):
Best Friend of the Year points for days, amirite?
Do your bff a favor by checking out the artist's page on Etsy, called Roaring Softly, ASAP!! Her work is so awesome, including all of the non-custom drawings that speak to my Mindy Project, Harry Potter and Parks & Recs loving soul. I kind of want to be her friend. And by kind of, I mean really. But let's keep that between us.
love and light,