Sunday, April 29, 2012

Free time = return of the food theme

It’s been a beautiful food day. It started with a banana pancake recipe for one, which was lovely. Then, there was a salad with trail mix and lemon vinaigrette for lunch. Delightful. And now there are black-eyed peas simmering on the stove to go with some (toaster) oven-stewed tomatoes and rice for dinner.

What a lovely and relaxing Sunday.

I really don’t know what to do with myself besides cook. (And paint my nails and go for walks.)

There are preparations for the upcoming journey to be completed. There are leisure activities that need doing. I’ll start a new to-do list tomorrow.

Also: The Summer O’ Pies is happening, my friends. I commission myself to at least one pie per week. I am beginning this week with a lime-icebox pie. I will take suggestions and make deliveries as requested!

Happiness, indeed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What I look forward to

Things I plan to cook after next Monday:
  • Maple syrup almond granola
  • Peanut butter chocolate chip muffins
  • Lemon risotto with asparagus
  • Rosemary orange scones
  • Honey roasted peanuts
  • Assorted salads
  • Seafood
  • Vegetable pot pie
  • Pies of all sorts - a summer of pies, perhaps (lemon, lime, chocolate, fruit, maybe even pumpkin to defy all expectations!)

I'm looking forward to cooking again. If you'd like to partake, I would love the company.

Sigh, back to this paper.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The might of a pen

If the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, I need no security system in my home. I collected all the pens in my (clean) apartment today. I gathered them from the coffee table, the kitchen table (that doubles as a desk), the kitchen counter, the nightstand, the table that sits behind my couch, and the top of the refrigerator. I have, unbeknownst to me, strategically placed pens at arm’s length throughout my apartment. I am perpetually poised to jot down my thoughts, things needing doing, or blog ideas.

I write compulsively.

I was a senior in high school when my AP English teacher told me that I wrote well. It was the end of the year and the assignment was simply to write a piece of prose to share with the class. Sitting at the cusp of graduation and college on a stool in front of my peers, I recited what I wrote about my future.

I don’t quite remember what I wrote, but the gist was something to the sum of defying expectations, reaching for some dreams, and being a little uneasy about it all. I recall something about knowing where I wanted to be in the end but not knowing what the path would look like – wanting something that resembled the American dream, only different.

Ms. Lovett praised my ability to put into words what so many others were experiencing. I didn’t recognize her compliment at the time. (I rarely ever do.) But now, nearly 10 years later, I find myself still writing about the future – about balancing expectations and about dreams that look even less like the American dream and about this uneasiness I have about it all. I don’t know if I am verbalizing what others may also be feeling, but I would hope that maybe I am. That would be a good goal to achieve.

Thank you, Ms. Lovett, for giving me this gift of self expression.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Losing my motivation

Dear Motivation,

It’s me. You remember me, don’t you? We were once, not so long ago, so close. We spent hours together every day. We would read and write with such thoughtful care and purpose. You were so good to me.

But alas, you have abandoned me. You seem to have forgotten me altogether. Why should you leave me now, in my hour of need?

Your absence has driven me into the arms of another. He goes by the name Procrastination. While he is ever charming and entertaining, his motives are ruinous and I find myself unsatisfied.

I miss you. Please return to me. I promise we will have a great future together.

Yours forever.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter reflections

My thoughts this Easter reverberate on this often overlooked cornerstone of the Christian faith: Love one another. Period. No qualifications.

If there is more to say on this subject it is only to love the people that it is hard to love. It is never commanded to love the small children; we love the small children without being commanded to, this is easy. (We are told to be more like them, however. This is harder to do.) We are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love our enemies, to love pervasively and unconditionally. This is hard.

We aren’t called to merely be tolerant of people or to accept people. We are called to go beyond that, to love them, to show our love to them. Period.

It is difficult to love through the purview of judgment or hatred or pride or condescension. That is why we are told to cast these things away. It is hard to love when one focuses on all the differences between us. In actuality, there is always more sameness among those of us in this human race; this should be our focus.

We are not told to love only those who look like us or act like us or believe in the same things that we do. We are not told to love only those who make good decisions or who treat us kindly.

Love one another. This is not always easy. We all struggle with this; if we achieve this ability to truly love unconditionally, we achieve perfection. This is not possible, but we should strive to love as we are commanded to.

a new command I give to you: love one another.
faith, hope and love. the greatest of these is love.
love never fails
there is no fear in love
love is patient
love is kind
love must be sincere
love your neighbor as yourself
if you love those who love you, what reward will you get?

Love and joy to you this Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Contemplating paths

What do I have to gain? What do I have to lose?

The decision is simple: yes or no. If I say yes, I accept this path. If I say no, my path is un-illuminated.

I am free from my only true obligation in ATL come May. I have added experiences under my belt. I have more of a focus than I once had.

An optimist might say that thing about the world and the oysters.

A pessimist might say that none of the options are good enough.

A realist might be making lists and playing her cards as best she can and trying to build a reasonable strategy. (She might be a bit overwhelmed by all of this sometimes and feel helpless at the outcome of her own life. She might wonder what the ‘right’ thing to do next is and wish someone would point her in the right direction.) She might be thinking too much.

I want a decision to be made. I want to know what will be next. And what will be next after that? I want to figure out what it is I want. I want an unyielding, burning, great passion.

All of this is impossible. I fear.

A pep talk for those looking forward: Do the best you can. Things will fall into place. You will enjoy it. Try to stay in the moment. Remember to appreciate where you are, where you’ve been. The future will be there to appreciate later – don’t fret over it now.

Make smart choices (and consider your heart a little) and things will happen as they should.

Things will happen. (This is inevitable.) And you will react. (This is your power.)