January 18, 2016

MockingMe: Catching Breath

I like to pretend I'm Katniss Everdeen.  I'm a fighter and perfect champion that is passionate about what is right.  If I was just given a bow, I know I could propel myself to life-affirming greatness and, in my humble confidence, change the world!!! But in reality,  some of that time, if not most,  I am disappointing myself, apologizing for something careless I've said and am catching my breath rather than catching fire.

When I was in Chicago and re-starting life as I knew it, I was on a positivity bender.  Working with some teachers in Los Angeles, I learned a lot about how our thoughts control our destiny.  How what we think and feel can become reality.  Simple and mind blowing. With this in mind, I went to the other extreme of madness.  Everything was positive and inspirational and magical and "Hey guys!!!" with wide eyes and a big smile... and it was awesome!  There is truth to that.  I have brought some incredible stuff into my life by being positive and only expecting great things! I am grateful.

But I've also learned that there's a fine line between being positive and being grounded in reality.  True positivity is grounded in love.  It comes from a place of peace and love within yourself. (I have a really hard time loving myself).  Positivity should never be threatening or demanding.  It should never separate you from the world. There has to be compassion towards yourself and there really has to be compassion toward others.  Positivity isn't something to sell. It's just a choice you can make.  And it absolutely makes no one better than anyone else.

A few nights ago, my honey and I watched 'Inside Out' which I feel speaks to this tremendously.  It is in our human-ness, in our utterly grand mistakes and sad feelings that we learn the trait of compassion and how to relate with others. That human-ness is beautiful. And I'm really glad that there is a kids movie that helps open the door to that conversation.  Maybe it will allow my kids to know, at such a young age, what it took me till 37 to begin to discover.  *fingers crossed*

This month I had my ass handed to me.  We've had such great snow, the store has been slammed since before Christmas.  I worked too hard, didn't take care of myself, ate crap, helped a friend with her chocolate business, computer died, had to get a new computer, but had to get my wedding invitations designed, had to do all this yesterday, had to download photoshop and other programs, wouldn't download, had to drive 15 miles to library one night, had to get help, had to print invites, had to assemble invites, had to get visa, had to print documents, had to get stamps for invites, had to send out invites, had to make vaccination appointments, had to drive to Wenatchee, cancelled trip to Wenatchee for bad weather, still busy at the store, working, working, working, going to India, new trip planned for Wenatchee and-- BAM!  GOT SICK.


Yup, reeeeeal good and sick. Out for the count.  (Um, Katniss Everdeen is never out for the count).  I was home an entire week.  All of that overtime I was so happy to make, and the hours of my life I traded for it, became pretty pointless as it just went to pay for the days I was sick.  Granted, I love to be of service to where I'm working but in hindsight, it felt so silly.  Of course I'm not invincible. 

And the 'fails' just continued!  Once I was back at work, it was slow again at the store.  So was my mind. I was still hazy from the whirlwind, the wheels still spinning like they hadn't forgiven me for not taking care of myself while having too much on my plate.  In my absentminded lack of presence and grounding, I made biscuits without baking powder.  Little dense pucks, not acceptable.  A lot of them.  A day later, for various reasons and in my absentminded lack of presence and grounding, I made a quiche that was waaaaaay too spicy.  I mean, the local Burn Ban should have been in effect kind of hot.  

Life is messy and I'm not perfect.  (Um, I find that really annoying. It gets in the way of my belief that I'm Katniss Everdeen.)  And dang it if there are not always consequences for that human-ness.  BUT... the great but... is that life is also beautiful for it.  The messiness is beautiful.  The just 'sitting in the shit' is beautiful. And when these experiences happen that knock me on my ass, it helps me remember that I am, too.  

I broke the quiche in half and crumbled each half into a bowl.  I cut up the dense old biscuits, added extra egg filling and a ton of great cheese.  I added a teaspoon of sugar to each and sweet red peppers to cut the heat,  and long story short, I turned it into two pans of  'Chili Biscuit Strata.'  Pastor Randy came up after enjoying a piece, fishing for the recipe. He said the spices were 'just perfect.' Ha!  Gotta love it. But that's life, dude!  

The bright side, because there is always a bright side (a choice I still very much believe in), while I was sick, I got to re-watch three seasons of Gilmore Girls (fun!) and got all of my wedding invitations done and sent.  It took way longer than I thought it would so if I hadn't gotten sick, they probably wouldn't have gone out til March. I had the money from a few weeks of overtime to pay for the week I was sick. (Huge blessing!)  I planned to start a new nutrition program when I got sick and regardless of getting sick, I started the program and have stuck to it, a pretty big deal for me!  I also bought a bunch of new cookbooks because I'd like to work more with alternative flours as part of this lifestyle change. And also because alternative flours are fun, unique, a new challenge and can add great depth of flavor!  #cookbookbender

In many ways I live a charmed life.  I love my honey, love our little house, love baking... I have it all!  That is the choice I make. But to say I don't have my days that are cloaked in oversensitivity, self righteousness, rage and loneliness, would be a terrible lie.  Sometimes it's a really deep loneliness, missing family that have the same shared memories or friends that love the same things I do or always understand when I'm joking.  Some days it's totally stupid, a childish rage I can't just order a pizza or stream Netflix.  I'm learning to come to terms with the messiness because it's absolutely a part of who I am.  But I'm also learning that part gets to be beautiful, too.  I have a sneaky suspicion that this path leads to more love and compassion for others-- probably the path that really changes the world.

The Girl Who Has Quiche On Fire,

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