Monday, October 11, 2010

Is It Really All That Hard?

First of all, let me say that I love this song. The Boys II Men version is beautiful, and I imagine I will always love it. (Here's a link to the original, which is also fantastic.) This song is like a time machine- all of a sudden it's 1992 and I'm standing in the NSHS gym (wearing something simultaneously fabulous and appalling) and I'm fighting back the tears as my classmates perform this song in a choral or talent show, willing the school year never to end and nothing ever to change... It felt so hard back then to imagine that there was life after high school- relationships were just so intense, and there's pressure remember every moment and write lasting and important messages in yearbooks... For years to come this song would make me cry every time I heard it.

Fast forward to 2010. This song came on while I was at work last week (thanks to Beth's sweet playlist). Much to my surprise, I didn't find myself reliving the emotional turmoil of sophomore year, and there were no automatic waterworks. For the first time ever I found myself thinking, "no, actually, it's not that hard." In fact, there are many things about yesterday (and all of the days before it) to which I am more than happy to say goodbye. I've done and said a million stupid things (which, thanks to the lack of social media for most of my life, are mostly forgotten, I hope) and have had plenty of bad experiences, just like everyone else. And I just stood there thinking about how much happier I am with my life now than I have ever been before, and how saying goodbye to all of the past crap that makes me feel bad and/or guilty sounds kind of awesome. Why hadn't this ever occurred to me before? Today is pretty spectacular, and tomorrow promises to be even better! Sure, there are loads of people and good times that I hope I will always remember, but my realisation is this: I might like to reminisce about the past, but I never want to live in it. So goodbye to yesterday, and hello to NOW. (There, now that wasn't all that hard!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Honeycrisp Apples- Who Knew?

Photo courtesy of New York Apple Association © New York Apple Association

I just had the most delicious apple I may have ever had in my entire life! It was crisp and tangy, but not too tart. It was just sweet enough, and it left me sad when the bowl was empty. Amazing! I know I live in Washington and that I should have apples like this all the time, but I never really paid attention before to when fruits are harvested, and it seems that it can make a HUGE difference in how an apple tastes! You all probably know more about these things than I do, but I grew up in Georgia, where seasonality wasn't a big deal- if it isn't in season there, you can get it from Florida or Chile, so there's never really a time when you can't get something- it's just more expensive out of season, I suppose. But that's not always the way in places that don't border the Sunshine State. While living in New Zealand I had a craving for blueberry pancakes one day, so we headed down to the Pak'N'Save, and lo and behold, not a single blueberry in sight! It was then that I really started to notice when certain items of produce could or could not be easily found. Lots of things grow in New Zealand, and sometimes they grow really big (see this celery photo from a previous post), but if something's not growing at the moment, it's gonna cost a lot to ship it, so we might as well just do without until the next growing season. What a concept. Now, I'm not going to go all locavore on you- while that idea definitely has some upsides, I know that certain things I want to eat (like rice, for example) are better grown elsewhere and shipped to my neck of the woods. (There's a lot of good information on the pros and cons in this book.) But I think there's value in understanding when things grow and are harvested for fresh, delicious meals, and when one is buying an apple that's been in storage for nine months and is going to taste like mothballs. That said, we have just become members of a local CSA, and will be enjoying big boxes of fresh, organic fruits and veggies on a bi-weekly basis. So far we have received one box, and already we've upped our fruit and veg consumption and are branching out and trying new things! I hope to tell you all about it in a future post. For now, if you live in Washington, go out and find yourself some super fresh honeycrisp or gala apples. You won't be sorry! =)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alive and Well in Seattle

Hello, friends! As you may have gathered by now, updating my blog has somehow fallen by the wayside lately. I have lofty goals of keeping up with everything in my life- friends, family, husband, cat, laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, writing, reading, crafting, sewing- not to mention getting all the way through "Battlestar Galactica" and figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, but lately it seems like I just can't do it all. It wouldn't be quite so frustrating if I didn't feel like once there was a time when I did do it all. I used to have more energy or time, or maybe I was a better prioritizer or something, but I look back about ten years and have an image of myself getting things done and making it all happen while still spending the quality time I wanted with my friends and family. (It is entirely possible that this is a total lie and that I'm looking back with rose-coloured glasses at a time when I was simply overly busy, but I don't remember it that way at all. I remember being both social and productive.) Now I do spend quite a bit of quality time with my husband and cat, and I do work enough to pay the bills and keep Clevie in organic kitty treats, but I rarely see or even talk to my friends or family, and I seem to be behind in every other aspect of life. I have an enormous list of things to get done which I call my Panda List, because I keep it in a pink notebook that has pandas all over the cover. The tasks are mostly small- have the stereo repaired, make a dentist appointment, host a movie night, send a (late) wedding present, hang pictures in the frames that we bought nine months ago- that sort of thing. But I guess I'm just not trying hard enough, because while I have the occasional productive day when I check off five things in one fell swoop and I feel really good about it, most days I'm just adding more things to the list that I halfway already know I'll never get around to! Then there are the things that I want to do in the future (learn to play the piano better, start going to the gym, etc.) that don't even make the list- the list is for things to get done ASAP, and future endeavours will have to wait. But what if there is no future because there is no end to the list?! What is a girl to do? Unfortunately, this isn't going to be some kind of uplifting post where I tell you all about my amazing action plan to make the most out of life, mostly because although I love to be uplifting, I really don't have a plan at all! I'm just wondering what I'm missing. I see people out there with a bunch of kids or really time-consuming jobs, and I really wonder how they get everything done that they want to do! If you threw a couple of kids in the mix right now, I would absolutely tear out my hair (probably good, since I wouldn't ever have time to wash it), and would most certainly end up in some sort of mental facility. Perhaps I have too many interests? Perhaps I have a ridiculous sense of time and think things take a lot less time than they actually do? Perhaps I should get up earlier in the morning? Perhaps I need to seriously rethink my priorities? I really need to spend some time thinking about these things, because I have to say, it's tremendously unsatisfying to feel like I'm living a list, the end of which I'll never see. Every day I am disappointed at how little I have accomplished, and every day I am anxious about how I will ever "live" my life when I feel like living is only possible after all of the items on the to-do list are crossed off. Wow- this went from a "I'll just post a quick vacation picture and say 'hi' to everyone" post to something wayyy less fun! I didn't mean to be Debbie Downer tonight, but I guess I have some things on my mind. And don't get me wrong, all in all, I would say I have a fabulously simple life and I am very grateful for it. I just have a few things I need to get figured out. I'm going to go add "figure out life" to my list. ;) (Here's that vacation picture, anyway! It's from our March trip to San Francisco, where we stayed with our friends Debolina and Jason and had an AWESOME time.) Thank you for listening. The end.