Skip to main content

Posts

A Venture into Veganism: Consistent Outcomes

Yesterday afternoon left me feeling “some kinda way” as we say due to complicated professional relationships and interactions. I came home prepared to be fully present for my kids and my husband...and stew about the work thing later. Since I got home late, my husband had already started dinner for the kids, their weekly favorite of “breakfast for dinner.” I decided to make soup for the grown-ups: Vegan Mushroom Wild Rice Soup . I’ve made this recipe before and fell HARD for it. Surprisingly rich in flavor despite modest and few ingredients, it is rich and creamy and embraces the weary soul like a warm hug. As I peered into the pot of sautéing mushrooms and garlic and onions, I inhaled their aroma and remembered a scene from Julie and Julia . In it, Julie has had another horrendous day at work. She comes home and makes a chocolate custard pie. Standing in their tiny Queens apartment kitchen peering into a steaming bowl of chocolate custard, she says, “I love that after a day when nothin
Recent posts

A Vehicle for Nostalgia

My husband’s hobby is cars. Today, he bought a 25 year old car to modify. He is living his best life. The car he purchased happens to be the same make and model as my very first car. They are not the same color and are not the same year. From the outside, they do look remarkably similar, but I felt nothing about this car when I looked at the pictures online. This evening, I arrived home from work to find everyone out front; my kids running around in the front yard; my husband beaming next to his new project in the garage. It’s been a little bit of “a day” for me, so I really had to dig deep and muster up some excitement for him. After a few moments of talking and looking at the car together while I feigned interest, he said, “You wanna get in?” “Of course!” I said using up my last ounce of enthusiasm for this endeavor. He opened the door, and as I looked inside the car, a million tiny moments rushed over me. I sat down in the driver’s seat and looked around the inside of the car. A riv

A Venture into Veganism

My book club’s April book is Jen Hatmaker’s Simple & Free: 7 Experiments Against Excess . It arrived early in mid-March. I was not a fan of March’s book, so I gladly put it down and started this instead. I finished it in two days. Jen embarks upon a social experiment with her family and a group of close friends she calls “The Council.” They examine seven areas of life and whittle out the excess to live simpler and freer. It is a fascinating premise and a quick and engaging read written like a journal. The first topic is food. Jen and her husband ate only seven foods for a month, and she writes about the struggles, triumphs, and lessons she learned along the way. Tucked in here and there are small, digestible nuggets of research. Late in the month, she mentions the brilliance of Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. T hen, she references Jonathan Safran Foer’s thesis from We Are the Weather : "by making 'a collective act to eat differently (no animal pr

Mindset Matters

Eyes flutter open. Checks time. 5:40 AM. Inner Dialogue :: Shoo. I'm glad it's 5:40 and not 6:40. I don't know how many more rough mornings I can handle around here. Inner Dialogue #2 :: All of them. Because you can do hard things. Mindset matters. Intentionally shifting the stories you tell yourself towards the positive makes a difference. Intentionally telling yourself new and better stories about yourself WORKS. What a pleasant revelation before even getting out of bed. Cheers. Happy Thursday.

Lessons and Affirmations

Yesterday, I took my kids on a walk around the neighborhood after dinner; ‘twas a desperate attempt to kill time before commencing bedtime routines under the guise of “enjoying the nice weather.” Along the way, my daughter shared some profound wisdom with me, as she often does: Daughter : You know what one of my favorite quotes from Sharon Creech is? Me : No, I don’t know, and I can’t wait for you to tell me. Daughter : “You can’t stop the birds of sadness from flying overhead, but you can stop them from nesting in your hair.” Isn’t that so true? I illustrated that quote in my sketchbook. ___ ______________________________________________________________________________ So true, indeed. This past year has been a constant battle to not let those birds of sadness nest in my hair. Some days I tossed my hair and shooed those birds away; some days I fluffed that nest to let those birds tuck in comfortably. The past 31 days of this Slice of Life Challenge have been an exercise in routine and

Self-Compassion: The Fingerprint of Mental Health

This post-it adorns my desktop monitor. It is an adage spoken many times throughout this turbulent year by myself and my colleagues. Professionally, this resonates so deeply for me. We cannot wait for others; we have to show up and do the damn thing ourselves. Recently, I have started applying this thinking to my personal life: I am who I’m waiting for. Nobody is going to take care of my mind and my body and my spirit for me. That’s asinine to wait around for somebody else to do it, and it’s insane to think that ignoring problems will magically make them disappear. *face palm* Much has been said and written in the recent past and especially over this last year regarding “self-care”. I don’t love this term; I prefer self-compassion for reasons I haven’t quite mined out yet. I’ve read so many blogs and posts and articles giving tips and advice around what to do for self-care. So many of the ideas center around our physical bodies: Take a long soak in a tub.  Get a massage.  Brush your ha

Gratitude

Many times I’ve heard it said that the key to curtailing anxieties or worries is to shift your mind towards gratitude instead. Some people recommend starting your day in gratitude and naming what you are grateful for the moment you wake up and before your feet hit the floor. This method is meant to set the entire tone for your day so that you walk through life with a grateful heart and spirit. I believe Oprah used to talk about writing in a gratitude journal at the end of every day and writing down three things for which you appreciate. I quite like this reflective action, possibly meant to soothe the mind to welcome peaceful sleep. The written record of gratitudes also appeals to me; in a particularly fraught moment, a skim through the journal might be useful in remembering the good and in quieting the mind. Worries consume my thoughts today and most days, quite frankly. Therefore, I am trying to practice gratitude. I am very bad at remembering to do this, and instead usually persever