Baking Frenzy Update

I surprised myself by actually feeling some Christmas cheer by doing some baking. I made two kinds of fruit cake, one with rum and darker fruits, one with whiskey and lighter fruits. We’ll open them at our New Years Eve Party at the VFW Post. I talked of making one for a long time; I held myself accountable and did it this year. Hope my friends like it, there are four loaves to consume!

Once I started mixing the concoctions, I realized my mood changed. Maybe it’s a sugar rush by osmosis? Anything is possible, and whatever it is from, I need to feel that way more often. Note to self: Put that into your plan for next year’s self-awareness. It feels as if it can lead to good things.

I would imagine creating something with flour, butter, sugar, spices, and other ingredients releases some sort of endorphins reserved for feel good feelings. Celebrations do that. Baking for a special holiday is a celebration and remembrance of traditions. My daily meditation is about celebrations today. Very fitting. Some folks celebrate (use alcohol or drugs) to escape reality, to become less conscious of the world around him or her. It’s sad when even a child’s birthday party turns into another reason to get high or drunk.

Celebration is an opportunity to re-create, refresh, and even remake our spirit. I never thought of it in that way, before. I’m in the midst of remaking my spirit, I can see it in my writing. I’m learning new ways to lift my spirit. New experiences are coming, new ideas are forming, and a new spirit is emerging. I’m so excited to see what’s next for me and the Babe. It should be great.

Our lives can be a lot happier by considering ordinary things a celebration. In the spring and summer, when the Babe and I sit on the deck for morning coffee, it’s a celebration. When we have happy hour on the deck or patio, it’s a celebration. When my bestie Kris and I go to a movie, it’s a celebration. See how easy that is? Practice it.

As a side note, there are two batches of cookies resting in the refrigerator, I’m excited to get to use my Pampered Chef scoops to make them. Silly? It’s a celebration. The Babe can’t hardly wait to eat some. And I’l do Croation Nut Bread too. And it’s a beautiful memory of my first mother-in-law. She made this incredible bit of heaven for Easter and Christmas. I came across the recipe in the cookbook from the Omaha World Herald. The name is Croation Povitica. It’s perfect for Christmas.

Enjoy the rest of the day. It’s a celebration of you. And of me. And your child. And your Grandma. You’ll be happy in ways you never though existed. It’s happening. And I’m going to learn from these last few weeks. You can make happiness and a positive attitude your new normal, despite bad things in the world, in your family, in your head. See you tomorrow!

Sunny Sunday

On windy days like this, I wonder how the pioneers handled the constant prairie wind. In the spring it seems to never end. A breeze would be appreciated, instead of the constant 35 mph near-gale force wind we have. Other than that, the grass is greening up and I haven’t asked the Babe (yet) to move three very small hydrangeas from the enclosure he built last year. I can tell they will be large plants and I think they need more sun than they received last year.

It took me quite awhile to learn I could have “down” time, I didn’t have to be constantly busy. When I was a stay at home Mom, I felt very alone. We lived in an old neighborhood, it was hard to meet people my own age. Once the kids started school, I did meet some really nice women and had good friends. We often took the kids places together, we had Zoo passes for families, and made a day of it.

Most of the girlfriends I had in high school all went to college. Everywhere I looked, women’s lives were changing. Working away from the home was even the topic in the women’s magazines I read. Not as many recipes or projects to knit, sew, or crochet. I felt I had to justify my existence by accomplishing a lot every day. I refinished woodwork, I made many, many of the Christmas gifts we gave, and the house was ridiculously clean by 10 a.m. every day.

All that activity and no down time. As a single mom, add schooling to working full time and raising my family. I needed a degree for a better salary. The example Mom gave was do more, do it faster, do it better. It was her way of coping with her life, and therefore, it’s how I coped with mine. No one ever told her yet she can slow down. She is not aging gracefully, but goes kicking and screaming along the way. The changes of aging are not being accepted. We have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. Perfection is often a lie. Wearing ourselves out so we fall in bed at night was the order of each day, only to rise the next day to do it all over again the next day.

When I was forced into early retirement due to disability, I fell into a funk and took time to adjust to being able to work anymore. I felt put out to pasture at 48. I went on Medicare at 50. That really deepened my funk. The Babe and I were married. I volunteered for about ten years, and filled the void. Eventually, it led to taking up writing. I was still evolving, still growing, still living. I learned to relax. The Babe taught me to procrastinate. It actually feels powerful to choose putting something off until the next day. I do it when I’m tired. No more frantic activity for this woman. Things are much less “immediate” to me now. Yes, some things take precedence, but unless a life depends on me sweeping the kitchen floor, it can wait. I’m more important than a clean floor.

So many of us lose ourselves trying to attain perfection. And we never get there because it’s impossible. Working harder is not the answer. Having balance in your life is. Living your own truth is the only way to find peace. Admit to who you are, what you want to do, and how you can grow. We grow by learning all of our lives. We’re always on the path to becoming, whether 19 or 91. Forget being busy for busyness sake. Do what you do for the right reasons now, not reasons that make no sense anymore. Yesterdays wounds should not dictate your present and future life.

Be Kind to yourself today. Be patient with yourself today. Take a break today. You deserve it. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a beautiful Sunday.