She Persisted: My Failed Attempt at Cooking a Nice Dinner

“So maybe I should just stick with chicken nuggets?” This is what I asked my kids as they crinkled their noses and stared at the sauteed shrimp skewered on their forks and turned it round and round, like a pinwheel.

“Sorry, mom. I just don’t like garlic,” my sons says, trying to be nice. He actually, I think, felt bad for me, since I’d make a big deal about cooking this special dinner since we woke up this morning. See, this is an aberration. I am not exactly known for my culinary skills, and, truth be told, I’d be happy having chips and wine for dinner. But, I tried to be all maternal and decided I’d watch the Food Network and start making actual meals. Typically, I have a rotation of pasta, veggies and rice, steak, and chicken. As my son James says, “Mom, all you cook is chicken with a different sauce and side.” The grill is my friend: easy and fast, and the mess is outside. No lingering smells in the house, and basically no dishes!

But, today, I went to Roche Bros., equipped with my recipe and took to task. Of course this Spicy Fennel Shrimp meal ended up costing twice as much because I had to essentially buy a spice cabinet–the one I had included salt and pepper, nail polish remover, dog treats and gummy vitamins. This was my amazing basket. Oh, and see that random vegan stuff in there? Well, I decided I might try going Vegan for a week and see how it goes. So far? The smoked vegan cheese is dis-GUS-ting. Note to self: no fake cheese.

So around five, I decide to give it a whirl and take out the shrimp. Alas, what the hell is deveining??? I read this on the recipe. And, by the way, anything with veins? I don’t super want to eat. However, I watch a You Tube on how to pull the legs and shell off the shrimp and then cut a line down its spine to pull out what is essentially poop. I mean, I have goldfish, and this “vein” looks very similar to the bottom of their tank. I thought to toss them right then and there but, as Chelsea Clinton wrote, “She Persisted.” I persisted and cleaned those babies.

Well, I made quite a tasty dish, I must say. Here’s a pic:

But, when I had the kids try it, all fired up, saying grace, staring at their scared faces, all I could say was, “Should I stick to the nuggets?”

And I did.

I ate the shrimp, and I’m writing this as the nug’s cook. Round two on dinner…

It’s Okay to Cry

I have cried, I think, once a day for the last seven days. That’s unusual for me…now. In my 20s and 30s, I am pretty sure I cried every day. I remember one of my close guy friends told me he hadn’t cried in several years, and I was befuddled. I was like, ‘HUH!? You must be so repressed! What is happening!?”

So I used to cry about big life things, such as, “I am never going to find ‘the one,'” and ‘Why can’t I figure out what I want to do with my life?” Ya know, your basic lame, white girl problems when you’re still on the dole of your Dad.

I know I’m 28, but can you send me my rent?

Now, I cry about things like when my son and I were walking the dogs last night, and he told me that my ex-husband probably married me for my looks, but “those have lowered.” Or, when I miss my long-distance boyfriend, and it hurts. Or, that I don’t always fit in.

I am not sad, really, no. I am just in-tune with my emotions, I guess?

I cried, too, this week when I saw my daughter sleeping next to me, as she does every night, and she’s so big now. She’s almost 8. I know, I know; she should sleep in her own bed. But, I’m alone, and I like to touch her ankles with my cold feet, and to hear her breathing, as I did when she was an infant and wouldn’t nap unless I lay down with her. I cried, because I remembered how tiny she was, in her zebra, zip-up, onesie, and how she smelled of powder and cornsilk on her fine hair. And how, at that time, things were so different, and I didn’t envision co-parenting and sleeping alone on Wednesdays.

The point I guess I’m trying to make is, it’s okay to cry, even if you’re happy. The tears stream down, cleanse you of those thoughts, and you can move on. People seem so concerned with appearing happy. I guess I’m just here to say, well, it’s okay to cry…

Committing to a Good Day

Do you ever wonder when your to-do list will end? Will you ever get it all done? I have come to the conclusion that I will not. The dishwasher will always be full. Is that a metaphor for my glass is half-full and not half-empty? I sure hope so.

woman in gray sweater drinking coffee
My glass is half-full! This isn’t me, but I mean, maybe in my head.

There are so many things I need to get done in this house: paint the back, repair the basement sliding doors, get new floors, re-carpet the entire pee-stained rug in my daughter’s room. Okay, let’s be honest. I need to just get a match, light it, and start over here.

BUT! That is not the point! The point is I will NEVER get all of this done. My house will always need something! There will always be more I could do! Oh, and did I mention I have to go to Coinstar? With the amount of change we have collected, I will be able to  quell the nation’s coin shortage crisis while simultaneously buying $300 worth of groceries! Win-win! (Oh, right. I also need to go to the market).

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One of our coin jars.

Okay, so the point I’m trying to make is this– let’s go easy on ourselves. Let’s let ourselves off the hook, especially right now. These are not great times, and we need to be gentle to ourselves and our to-do lists. In fact, maybe we should burn those and just put one thing on the to-do list: Have a good day.

Right? Let’s just have a good day. Simple as that! Commit to the day that you will not berate yourself for ANYTHING. Commit to not committing. Wait, now I sound like a 28-year-old man who doesn’t want to get engaged.

Let’s be kind to ourselves today! I hope it’s a good one.

have a great day text beside white ceramic mug with coffee

 

Be a Good Friend–To Yourself

Today, I almost sat on a wolf spider that camouflaged into my couch. It was grey, and my couch is grey. I put him in a glass, covered with a piece of paper, and took him outside. He hopped away.

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Wolf Spider.

Then, I went to get water, and there was a spider that was next to my water bubbler. He was eating some sort of moth he caught, probably from when I had the screen door open last night. I thought to move him, and then I thought, “No, maybe I will keep him, or her, as he’s enjoying his time here, and he’s keeping the insects at bay.”

You may be wondering why I don’t just get an exterminator!

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Here is the one next to my bubbler

But, I have realized, that I kind of love spiders. I used to be grossed out about them. I was freaked out and would vacuum them up, or squish them. Now, I realize most of them won’t do any harm, and they’re sort of sad and victims, because they can’t see well.

I sort of feel like a spider today, and that I can’t see well.

I can’t see myself. 

Sometimes, I can’t see my own self-worth. I talk down to myself, am punitive, and I wish I was different. I look at other women and think, “Wow, I should be more like her. I would look so much better if I just had that Dolce and Gabbana belt or the blown out hair with spiral curls.” Or I think, “If I was just ten pounds skinnier, and I had some Botox.” Or, “I wish I made more money” or “I wish I had a boat.”

These are things I can’t fix. Well, at least not today. What I can fix is my relationship with myself.  

Then I think about all the amazing  gifts I have, and the people in my life, and how I can’t believe I talk to myself this way!  I think how we must be kind to ourselves, as we are our own best friends.

Our internal voice is the one we hear the most. I read this blog post today by Dr. Eric Perry, and it resonated- not only with me, but with many others.

Be gentle with yourself, at least for today. xx

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