Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away.
Special thanks and photography credit to Elie Gardner (all rights reserved, 2010) for the picnic potluck shots: Basically any photo with me in a black-and-white polka dot dress, a baby, and beautiful sunlight is Elie's. So, be kind and don't use without permission. All other photos are mine (shout-out to Nicole Hunt, however, for taking the pumpkin & Kella shot too. You make me look great!).
In the past two months I’ve let this blog rest. I know it’s not a way to keep the few readers I have, and for that long absence I hope you’ll bear with me and forgive me if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been. My life has definitely been in transition – from having a serious health scare in late August and early September that resulted in outpatient surgery to regaining my confidence and joy in simple day-to-day living, from exploring Austin, Texas with my best friend Jenna and her amazing friend Julia, dating a terrific person who has recaptured my imagination and heart, meeting with fellow writers bi-monthly on the corner of Chippewa and Landsdowne, and pursuing three jobs that I love: online writing center and writing across the curriculum full-time work, part-time baking, and part-time teaching.
Honestly, I think for these two months I have simply wanted to experience life without documenting it. I wanted, and still want, to be in the moment. To feel the luxury of letting go, immersing myself in the here and now, and banishing negative thoughts and nagging worries.
I have been busy, but who hasn’t? One of my dear friends Elie is moving to Peru in a couple of weeks. My friend Nicole hurt herself pretty badly and yet came into work the next day. My mom went to Chicago for a young cousin’s funeral and kept on moving after she returned. That is what life often seems to demand – constant movement forward.
One of the challenges about moving forward is realizing when actions or habits no longer serve you. I hope this blog is still in my future, but there’s a part of me that’s been even more reflective and purposeful these days. I’ve always been the woman to burn the wick at both ends because I am in love with the world and the people in it despite the inevitable random bad things that occur. Like many people pleasers, I have a hard time saying no in a firm and kind manner. I’m realizing that I’m going to have to get better at saying yes to only the people and opportunities I really want to pursue. If I constantly think about how I’m letting others down but not myself, I’m not doing anyone any favors, especially me.
So, I’m going to see where this blog takes me. I may start a new blog in December or January after I complete my November National Novel Writing goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. I will chronicle a funny recipe-zombie novel on this site every day beginning on November 1st: A Cook’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. I’m going to strive to share healthier recipes with you, my readers, but also dabble in the confectionary arts when the mood strikes me (and then share the yield with my students, friends, and family).
All in all, I want to enjoy the moment now so I don’t mourn the passing of people, memories, and time. Balance is my motto for 32. Balance and fun!
Hugs and high fives,
P.S. The photo montage showcases the following treats I have made in September and October: Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies, Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins (recipe by my late grandmother, Anna Lee Hammond), Yogurt Biscuits and Pork Sausage Gravy, Spinach-Ricotta Pie, and Lentil Soup with Gruyere. I'll share recipes for these items throughout the end of this month and November.
P.P.S. Last weekend I made delicious Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, but I didn’t get a chance to take any photographs because everyone at the Halloween party either a) ate them, or b) took them home. I’m making some more this weekend for my granddad, so I’ll share the pictures of John Dee with cupcakes when I return from Clinton, Missouri.