The Perfect Life

Hello friends and strangers,
I must apologize for my extended absence. Life has been complicated lately. I know, when is it not. Battling burnout at my job, taking a wonderful trip from which I had to return, exhaustion and getting sick, focusing on my immediate space instead of the cerebral, and quite frankly, lack of wonder and inspiration in my everyday life; these are the things I blame for my lack of posting.

My eating and sleeping have been most impacted. Vivid dreams leave me tired and confused when I wake up. Interest in food or the energy to make it are in short supply.

This morning though, staying home to stream church instead of exposing people to whatever my body is fighting, I found that pocket of contentment. Nothing is perfect. I dropped my beautiful cheese toast face down on the rabbit-fur-covered rug. My stomach is still upset, but I was able to enjoy sitting on the ground by the windows, soaking up the sun indoors, since the smoke from Canada has impacted air quality. The black berries and crisp pickle slices, that escaped the fall, were refreshing and Clove convinced me to hand over some of the fur-covered toast, allowing me to fit in a few smoothings of her velvety soft fluff. No, things are far from perfect but, life can still be good.

Toasted sourdough, dill havarti, prosciutto, with blackberries, dill pickle slices and coffee.

Reflection of a Smile

I was taught to smile at everyone. You never know what kind of day they are having, what they are going through, or the impact a simple smile could have.

I still smile at almost everyone. If I can make even a small difference that way, it’s worth it.

Looking in the mirror today, tired, I smiled at myself. Then realized, I don’t remember the last time I genuinely smiled at me; not a pose for a picture, not customer service, not a reaction to someone or something else but instead extending that kindness inward.

Self love, worth, and identity are lifelong struggles for a lot of people on varying levels, whether it’s body issues, awkwardness, trauma or circumstances. I don’t have everyday solid advice, since humans are very complex with varying situations.

But, can you do me a favor, dear friends and strangers? Can you smile at yourself like you would a stranger, friend, or family member? Please be kind to yourselves.

The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.

William Shakespeare

Thoughts; Out of Place

This blog originally, was meant to push me towards my dreams. Those dreams seem both unclear and out of reach these days. I know I’m making progress, have things that I’ve dreamt of, and if I put in the effort and work, more could happen. I don’t know what is wrong. It’s like I’m stuck in a cycle of not belonging in my own life. That sounds crazy when you say it out loud but no other description quite seems to fit; always feeling out of place in my own existence.

Having time to rest, as well as get things done this weekend, has left me motionless. It’s not a comfortable lack of movement. Instead, I have no interest in things that, even a few hours ago I was excited about.

I started working on cutting out squares for a memory quilt of t-shirts that I no longer wear. It was really fun at first, taking up most of my focus, even hiding the fact that I needed to eat lunch. But as each new piece brought up memories, my mental energy and excitement from finally working on this project drained; processing multiple aspects of the times past. Being a very sentimental person doesn’t seem to have an advantage at any point in time. There’s a large chunk of time that I miss how things were, though they were hard. This is a different hard I guess.

Maybe it’s because a milestone birthday is coming up for me and I don’t see the change that I want to. Maybe it’s the fact that the things I want and don’t have, won’t “fix” this.

Anyone else experiencing a strange, empty, stuck feeling as we are slowly coming out of the pandemic? The general public that I attempt to assist during the week at my job, definitely appear to have been affected. Almost no one seems to be able to process the changes happening without taking out stress and frustration on others. I digress.

There it is: Existential crisis, a world in crisis, frustration with myself for having a hard time despite everything I’m blessed with.
As I’m coming up on a new decade of my life, do you have any tips for a future that seems so uncertain? If you have felt the way that I am, what helped you?

Thank you for sitting with me, friends and strangers.

Pajama pants worn many Christmases, a favorite of my dad’s dress shirts, a very bright childhood shirt, and a shirt from one of the years riding the MS-150

Honestly…

Social media in general, tends to culture the belief in us that other people have their lives all together. Beautiful spreads of food, made up faces, cloudy skies displayed through a filter, they are all lovely beautiful moments in people’s lives that we get to see. The thing is, there’s always so much more to the story.

This past week and even the week before have been really rough for me. I have had very limited interest in anything at all and my work/life balance is tremulous at best. I struggle to find and cling to the beautiful in my mundane let alone accomplish basic requirements of being a functioning human.
I thought about posting a beautifully edited and put together picture of my first and closest attempt to a charcuterie or snack board, complete with some kind of witty weekend caption on Instagram today. The truth is that I was so tired and brain fried yesterday that I didn’t eat dinner, went to sleep late, stayed in bed until 1pm today, and then didn’t eat that pretty plate until about 2:30pm after a decent amount of frustration creating it. I’m not going to detail the level of tired I am but I can’t pretend that my weekend has been full of productivity and relaxation.

Writing this is not for anyone to feel bad for me. It’s my responsibility to better my own life. I’m writing this so that the beautiful aesthetic and happy things I try to bring to light on my social media don’t fool you into thinking that I’ve got it all together. Don’t compare your life to what you see of anyone else’s because so many times it’s not the full picture.

Reframing my perspective of life is a constant area for potential growth and being honest about things that aren’t pretty, inspiring, or exciting, is not comfortable for me. Also, not every happy or beautiful thing in life needs to be documented and shared to social media. It’s entirely possible to cheapen your own real moments by thinking instead about how to prove to the internet that your life is enviable. Really, I’m reminding myself. I don’t know what your experience is.

What are your thoughts on the “instagram lie” or this new version of keeping up with the Joneses? Do you find yourself trying to find things for social media to paint a pretty picture for your life instead of actually enjoying them? Would you prefer the glossy, happy version of life displayed at all times?

What do you think friends and strangers?

The chocolate hummus? Surprisingly good.

If you are trying to take care of your body but also want chocolate, I definitely suggest the easy recipe for chocolate hummus I made today. It’s over on thegutnursery.com as Brownie Batter Hummus.