I've been thinking about this for a long time, likely years. Maybe I do struggle to maintain a positive outlook, but I console myself with the fact that I do struggle, rather than submitting to the alternative. It wasn't until I had a conversation with a co-worker that the dimmest of light bulbs illuminated weakly in my brain, and I'm still trying to grasp the depth of it. We started talking about the convention of summer-weight sweaters, something that's always confounded me, but is useful in corporate casual dress. Most people get cold in the office a/c, but I prefer it cold, to which she responds:
'Oh, I love the summer. I love the hot, sticky, sweaty heat of it. It's what summer is supposed to be. I also love the winter, when it gets cold and you can cuddle up in blankets and sweaters. '
Momentarily dumbfounded, I realize: 'That's the best outlook I've ever heard. Thank you.'
It was simple, it was straight forward, it was flat-out obvious, and it was still amazing.
I wish five days of the week away in favor of the all too brief two that never live up to the expectation and weight that I put on them. I live a life so far out of balance, but I don't have to. I started this food blog to keep my creativity alive, to keep my love of food and writing fresh. When that started to dwindle, I started Hungryface bakery, and became a contributor to other food related websites. While it's important, it's not enough to only focus on the things you love, then you may miss out on the whole picture. Largely, the lesson isn't what you want to hear; it's the good and the bad. Sure, this is kind of psych 101, sitcom opening theme song bullshit, but you don't really think of it. There is probably no way to write this that doesn't sound cheesy or heavy-handed, so I'll be as honest as I can.
I had a hard quarter. Hell, few quarters. I missed some obvious things. I made a bunch of mistakes. I hated my life, and then I started giving in to hating everything. I watched the sun rise for the last three weeks with a furrowed brow and grim slate mask of a face; but during those three weeks I watched the sun rise. I sang in my car. I had time to think, be alone, listen to what I wanted, belt out a tune without being judged or shy (and my goodness I have some pipes on me) I saw the stars before they faded, that intense blue just before dawn. All of those things alone are beautiful. So you're a little sleepy, you're supposed to be! Anyone who's chirpy at sunrise should not be trusted (and I say that wryly) Take the time took at what you're seeing, you may never see it again.
It's not easy to find the good, or even the modicum of importance, in all things, but it may be the most worthwhile thing. The rain feels good on my head. Today nothing hurts. It took me twenty minutes to recognize someone I worked with for at least two years, but in the end, I recognized him. I had a really good meal in an unexpected place with the person I love. I learned something new, even if I didn't want to. I made a mistake, but now I know how to avoid it in the future. I can ask questions instead of just saying yes. I can say no. I love saying no.
I can brown pseudo-butter then infuse that pseudo-butter with basil, then mix that into blueberry cookies.
Going to play for the work BBQ? Put your all into it! Going to take photos of it? Make sure you capture the dedication they played with.
I got a bunch of ash in my hair, but got some pretty cool pictures out of it.
I drive past this most days. I finally stopped to take pictures of it. It's has been decaying for a while, and slowly taken apart- but look at it.
Did you know a lot pine is edible? What does it taste like?
Kind of citrus-y as it turns out. Something unplaceable, but not at all as abrasive as you would think. Make your own extract and put it in the background of a peach and almond cake, you've got something pretty damned unique.
If you take too many self portraits, fuck it! Take some more. Play around, do something weird. Do whatever the hell you want.
Sure this is obvious at times- but what if it needs to be? What if that's what gets the wheels turning onto something bigger? What if that's the momentum you need to pull yourself out of your well worn rut? Well then it's worth it. Every little thing. Every stupid bump and stumble is worth it. Take what you can and move on, but enjoy everything. You don't have to be a sickening ray of sunshine, but you can swelter with the best of them, grab an icy beverage, put on your swank sunglasses, and enjoy the hell out of it.