My Daughter Kira. Oregon Coast.
Can you all believe that Thanksgiving is Next Week? Wow! It seems like I just posted about Halloween and here we are! Recently there have been a series of events that have come in waves. Fire Season has come to a close here in Utah with cooler temperatures. Although it was one of the worst fire seasons we have had historically, it now shadows in comparison to the incredible loss that has occurred in Paradise, California.
Recent elections this November have created a few fires of a different kind and some of them are now dwindling. In my state of Utah, we have been anxiously waiting for the final vote count on Mia Love and Ben McAdams. The anti-gerrymandering proposition now looks like it has slid through, and there has been a lot of controversy here about the people’s vote on medical marijuana and the separation of church and state.
Deep breath. I know many of you may have also had election scenarios that are also coming to a close. I am learning that closure and resolution are not always the same thing. There may be incidences of triumph and others that have felt like sucker punches. In this cyclical crazy chaotic frenzy there’s always another tangent waiting just around the corner. I do not have the answers but I did have a realization that hit me like a ton of bricks the other day.
My daughter Ember brought up an interesting conversation. “Mom… do you know Mr. Bean?” (What a strange question).
“Well yeah…isn’t that like the main character of that British comedy? That Mr. Bean?”She continued…”Yeah…he has like the PRETTIEST wife EVER!”
I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but later it hit me like a TON of bricks. It’s as if I wanted to take a dry eraser and wipe out my current thoughts. What if I could just wipe it all down and get back to the basics? How would it be to have that level of splendid simplicity in my thought processes at the moment?
I literally was sitting at my computer thinking…”I need to shut this thing down. I need to reboot. I need to jump off this ride for awhile. I need to get back to the basics.” I’m talking The Tao of Pooh stuff here. I need to contemplate the conversations Winnie the Pooh and piglet would have. You know…the ones that are not that profound but are somewhat profound? I suddenly found myself craving a Winnie the Pooh movie marathon.
I did not want to contemplate Elections, the recent passing of my pets, the effects of global warming, the anxieties over my daughter’s upcoming surgery, another shooting, or another hate crime. I just wanted to watch Winnie the Pooh for five hours STRAIGHT.
I’m guilty people. I am guilty of putting the weight of the world in my hands, thinking that I can fix it, and if I turn my back on something and if I’m not right there paying attention, or on the edge of my seat than it will all fall. Lately, it has seemed that paying attention has felt like being in an arena observing gladiators. I mean that in a way that implies a slight feeling of disgust. Where it gets to be too much to stomach.
I realized, that it is OKAY. It is OKAY to jump off, recharge, and reboot. One can not go swinging through one chaotic jungle to the next without stopping. Things will carry on with or without me, and the beauty of it is not everyone is going to quit trying to combat this charade all at once. Subconsciously or not, people are going to get burned out. They will get burned out at different times, and I just need to realize that people will get burned out in shifts. It’s my turn now. It’s my turn now to jump off and give it a rest.
I voted. I feel I made informed decisions. I took the concept of being an educated and informed citizen seriously. There are two more years to go for another re-election. The third year is going to get crazy AGAIN. It’s like I’ve been on that carnival ride before and now I have to get back on it? I’m not going to think about that right now. Now is the time for rest and healing. There is nothing more that has been said that needs to be said. There is nothing more to reveal that has not been revealed.
This breaks my heart. The current dialogue that I am feeling is that I have to eat off of this table or that table. What if there are a few things I want off of the other table, or what if I don’t like everything on my table?
Ominous voice: “No, it’s this table or that table. You have to pick.”
Need I elaborate more? Polarization is the new normal. I don’t want to take that dialogue in and ingest it. There are ways to peace. This is what I MUST remember. There is an antithesis to all of this that also comes in waves…like that wave that hit me the other day when I caught a moment of insight when my daughter asked me about Mr Bean. There is also the calm that comes from doing the things that I know I should be doing when I am not distracted by all the noise.
Getting all riled up about the next current event is not nearly as grounding as working in my yard, hiking through the back country, volunteering at the zero waste market, or being truly involved and focused in a young person’s life. A source of anxiety is not a source of light. I am realizing that it is far better to embrace sources of light that make hope seem possible instead of despair convincing.
This is not to say that I am going to let every injustice roll right past me. I’m just saying it’s okay to decompress and shut it all off for awhile. It’s okay to filter the negativity. It’s okay to focus on self care for awhile. It is okay to pull it back. Because really, the more research you put into change the more you realize that it all starts with you and your corner of the world. Focusing on the large picture is not really all that productive or realistic and it can be incredibly overwhelming. Especially if you are somewhat of an empath like myself.
In times of turmoil, it is seeming harder and harder to feel the holidays “the commercial way.” I’m realizing it’s not about foregoing the Holidays by any means, but the time has come in my book to start doing the holidays differently. I’ve pondered how I am going to go about my holidays this year, and what meaning I will derive from them in these challenging times. My daughter Kira is also having a rather extensive surgery a few days after Thanksgiving and that has changed the dynamic of the season also.
We are hoping among all hope that her surgery goes well and that she can maintain her hearing. That puts a new spin on this whole thing. Hopefully the good food and family time will be a good launching point to promote healing and recovery.
It is time to “Mr Bean” my holidays and to take them down a few notches to blissful simplicity. I’ve been pondering some about this blog and how I was going to go about it over the past few months. The answer quite simply is simplicity. So here is a layout of my plan:
- I am in a blended family. It’s not been blending. It’s with a little bit of exasperated surrender that my husband and I have decided to do our holidays separate this year. While my husband is headed to his mother’s house with his children, my children and I are headed to my mother’s house which is basically in a small town out in the middle of nowhere. There’s not even a gas station, a store, or a stoplight. There is a salt mine and that’s about it. I will be sharing this “excitement” with all of you.
- I’m going to try and get my blog geared more toward food and food photography. What better time than over the holidays? This will also be focused on simplicity.
- I am going to focus my gift buying on small businesses and entrepreneurs. I will be more conscientious about buying from businesses who have a mission that I believe in. I may be blogging about giving new life to used items and sharing some of my finds.
- I want to focus on simple holiday decor.
- I will be blogging about homemade gifts, body care, and sustainable sewing.
- I will post more about how to integrate zero waste principles into the holidays.
- I will be blogging about a few family traditions.
- I’m doing a little bit of painting in my home before the holidays, so maybe a mini reveal is in order.
- I’ll also be blogging about natural house cleaners you can use to polish your home for the holidays. I’m trying out a few “natural cleaner recipes” and I’ll be providing some reviews. Essential oils will also be discussed.
I can’t wait to see how the rest of you are spending your holidays. It IS the time of sharing. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and can’t wait to hear how your menus and customs have come together. I am not baking a Turkey this year. I put a Turkey in the oven once and it felt like I was wrestling a baby. It was not my thing. I have the utmost respect for all of you turkey bakers out there.
This is my food assignment:
One Caramel Apple Cheesecake
One Pumpkin Pie
One Veggie Tray
Oddly enough, the one Thanksgiving item I CAN NOT do without is celery with pimento cheese. I will be adding that to my veggie tray. Thanksgiving just does not seem like Thanksgiving without it.
My grandmother always had pimento cheese with celery as an appetizer and Mincemeat pies with homemade rum sauce for desert. For some reason, the mincemeat pie (although delicious) has become an endearing relic, but I have to draw the line on the pimento cheese and celery. I will say that her mincemeat pie was absolutely divine with strong coffee in a dainty teacup. Trust me on this. You DO have to like mincemeat though.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!