How I’m holding it together….barely

We can all agree that life these days doesn’t carry the same joys and anticipations it once did.

Without the festivals, concerts and events we used to look forward to I find the days are blurring together and feeling kind of flat.

There is seemingly no escape from the deep lows life throws at us.
And let’s admit most of those lows come in the form of relationships that don’t live up to our ideals. Co-workers, friends, romantic partners, kids, all of our relationships have the potential to send us spiraling toward self-doubt and self-loathing when expectations are high.

A few weeks ago I was in a pretty dark place.

As an introvert, there were very few people I felt close enough to talk to (thank you Sis – I love you) and exactly zero who I divulged the full extent of my misery upon. Zero. That self-imposed isolation led me to seeking solace in two things: my self and my phone (the internet).

Here are some of the tools/thoughts/ideas that have led me back toward feeling life is actually worth living, even if I am going to live it completely alone.

“Life happens for me.”

I know lots of us end up wondering “Why me?” Why do I keep getting screwed over? Well this little message has given me some pretty clear insight on the answer to that.

Crying

Like big ugly crying. Taking space to listen to my heart and acknowledging how shitty those situations I keep replaying over and over in my head felt. I didn’t want to keep reliving them because they were wrecking me and so I entered “how to stop reliving the past” into the ol’ google search engine and found this article which kinda helped.
Now when those sad memories come up instead of leaning into what my head thinks about them I lean into how my heart feels about them.

Watching Schitt’s Creek

You can insert your favorite TV series in here but I highly recommend this one. It is so incredibly well written. It’s honest, funny, sarcastic, dark and warm and I can’t get enough of the characters. It’s Canadian comedy gold.

Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s meditation programs

A few years back my mom recommended their “Miraculous Relationships” program. Admittedly as a long time meditator I scoffed inside at the idea of following what I considered to be pop culture meditation. But it was something we were going to do as a family so I signed up. Three weeks later I bought the program so I could do it again. Recently they re-released a program called “Creating Peach from the Inside Out” and it is the best part of my day.

Reading The Ringing Cedars Series

These are a collection of 6 books about a woman living alone in the middle of the Siberian wilderness. They are easy to read, light-hearted, conversational and truly medicine for my weary soul.

Dedicating my life to the service of others

All of the above things have helped me get in touch with my Self; the deep fragile part of my self that has been so wounded and battered that it closed it self off to the world. They helped me to care for that part of myself so I could ask it what it really wants more than anything.

In the deepest part of my dark night of the soul I asked if the world would be better off without me.
Thankfully I have children at home so the answer for them is most definitely no but years down the road I wondered if maybe there would be a way out of the misery I was feeling. And no word of a lie Marie Forleo’s voice came into my head and said:

“The world really does need that special gift that only you have.”

Which led me to think about all the things that make me unique and what I bring to the table.

Yesterday I happened across an Instagram post that read: “in order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.”

Those of us who have lived through traumatic and difficult childhoods only to end up in terrible relationships or abandoned, who struggle with things like self-care that other more stable people take for granted, we have a gift to offer the world.

Our beautiful broken fragile hearts.

We have the capacity for so much compassion and understanding and empathy. It is up to us to soften ourselves so that we may show the world how they must soften for others.

In a gentle way, you too can shake the world.

– Mahatma Gandhi

Metta to you.

Beach Potluck Food

Breakfast: Eggs & Greens on Toast

Lunch: Shelling Peas & strawberries, ceasar salad

Dinner: Potato Salad

Tonight we were invited to a potluck at the beach. I will be honest I am not really a fan of potlucks largely because the food can be less than appetizing but tonight I wished I had a camera to snap a photo of the beautiful spread we enjoyed!

It was market day like I said and so my lunch consisted of shelling peas and strawberries. I bought a large bag/basket of each in the morning and brought them along to for us to finish off as appetizers for dinner.

Potato salad was the official dish I brought and I’ll admit it was rather unconventional.

Simple Potato Salad

Simple Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs baby potatoes boiled and diced
  • 4 broccoli florets chopped
  • 2 garlic scapes diced
  • 1 medium shallot diced
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes and dice then combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to coat.

https://consumableearth.com/beach-potluck-food/

Clean Out Salad

Tomorrow is market day which means that I go through my produce drawers and clear out my veggies to make way for the delicious new produce that awaits me in the morning. In the summer this usually means a huge salad and tonight is no exception.

I was already out of greens so I sent my daughter into the back yard for lettuce and here is what was in the bottom of my fridge. Most vegetables can go into a salad if they are cut appropriately.

  • baby carrots
  • salad turnips
  • radishes
  • beets (I didn’t manage to use all of these)
  • green onions

I also had a zucchini which I diced and added to our last jar of salsa from last summer along with some diced garlic scapes.

Everything went into a picnic basket and we headed to the park for the evening!

Our salsa looked something like this one from Love and Lemons. We enjoyed it with some organic corn chips.

Lunch on the Go

My smoothie looked a lot like this one from The Unprocessed Home where she shares her vegan version of what is essentially the same smoothie. I like her addition of hemp hearts, I’ll have to try that out.

Today I worked through lunch. I really enjoy not working through lunch but it is just not always an option. Today I ate a muffin while in a meeting and drank a smoothie while I did my various desk activities.

Our muffins my kids made on the weekend. We made a double batch and filled them with blueberries from the market the day before and saskatoons we had picked on our hike earlier that day.

My smoothie consisted of the following:

  • 2 chopped chard leaves
  • A handful of blueberries
  • A handful of saskatoon berries
  • A handful of cherries
  • An egg
  • A cup of milk

 

Granola and Milk with Saskatoon Berries

We’re running low on eggs and market is tomorrow. My daughter took two hard boiled eggs to summer music school this morning and I had our version of cereal and milk. I make granola almost weekly for the better part of the year. You can find the recipe recipe below it is one that’s been kicking around my kitchen for man years now and I originally found it here.

Today my granola was topped with saskatoon berries which are big and juicy this year because of all the rain and whole milk from Grass Roots Dairy which is about an hour and a half from here. Saskatoons were a great addition because the texture complimented my granola perfectly. Honestly cherries are way too slimy to eat in granola, oatmeal maybe but granola? Yuck.

Melinda's Homemade Granola Recipe

Melinda's Homemade Granola Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup peanuts or toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut (I always use unsweetened, but you can go for the sweetened kind if you'd like)
  • 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ (I often omit this ingredient, as I tend to forget to buy it)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (dried apricots, craisins and dried apple are all delicious choices)
  • scant 1/4 cup cooking oil (not olive)
  • 1/2 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Mix the oat, nuts and grains in a large bowl.
  2. Measure oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into bowl.
  3. Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. The oil will help the honey exit the cup.
  4. Toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I use a large roasting pan, as it keeps everything contained. A cookie sheet with a lip also works, but you have to stir it slightly more carefully if you use that.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, turning it with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You want everything to be an even golden brown.
  6. When it is finished cooking, returned the baked granola to the mixing bowl, add the raisins and fruit and stir to combine. Stir gently several times as it cooks, so that it doesn't clump together too much.
  7. Enjoy!

https://consumableearth.com/granola-and-milk-with-saskatoon-berries/

Eggs & Greens

This is a staple breakfast of mine largely because it is so simple and all of the ingredients are always in my home.

Eggs & Greens

Eggs & Greens

Ingredients

  • 2-4 eggs
  • handful of greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
  • butter for cooking
  • sea salt & ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Warm pan, add butter, crack eggs, scatter greens and pop a lid on top.
  2. If you need further directions on how to prepare this tasty healthy dish head over to Laurel of Leaves for some great ones.

https://consumableearth.com/eggs-greens/

Today the greens were rainbow chard from my CSA box from Golden Ears Farm in Chase BC. My eggs were from there as well. Salt and pepper are from The Gathering Place which is run by another amazing BC family.