I try to keep my mind open to the secret messages my world is trying to send me. Sometimes the messages come in more obvious forms, such as television commercials, news stories, or Facebook posts. Sometimes, the messages come from cookies.
Cookies, you say? Could the Nestygirl have finally gone crazy up there in the mountains of the North? Do we need to send a search party up there with a pair of heels, some Clinique and a copy of Instyle? Does she need a filing system in need of alphabetizing and colour coding? WAS IT THE CUPCAKES???? No, dear readers, I'm fine. No cabin fever yet. But I am telling you the truth, the cookies are speaking to me.
|She's mad!! Send help anon!!!|
I'm not even talking about fortune cookies. I love fortune cookies, but I tend to always get the generic, boring "Peace is found in nature" ones. My husband, now, the cookies love him. It's always, "You will receive money in the mail" and "You will protect many people" and "Adventure awaits you on the water." But like I said, I'm not talking about fortune cookies. I'm talking about "Simple Pleasures" cookies. You know the ones, thin, plain little cookies that are actually much more delicious than their simple form suggests? I picked up a box of lemon ones last weekend to go with the Strawberry Mousse I made for dessert, and ever since, the phrase "simple pleasures" has been floating through my head. So, now you understand, the cookies are speaking to me.
Suddenly, mood related messages seemed to be everywhere. This month, one of my favorite magazines, Real Simple, is offering up suggestions on how to "energize your life." The cover of this month's edition of another favorite magazine, Everyday with Rachel Ray contains the following phrases:
- "Cook With Love, Not Guilt"
- "No-Sweat Party Package"
- "Stress Free Ways to Feed Your Friends"
The message is loud and clear; people are stressing out! And why? For Pete's sake, it's summer! The livin's supposed to be easy, remember? So when I got to my cousin Ainsley's Pattycake Manner's post We Need to Chill I raised my hand and said "I second that!"
And then I got some cookies. Simple Pleasures, eh? If only cookies could get everyone to chill, how much better off would we all be?
Part of my new life philosophy is to try my very hardest not to sweat the small stuff; I made a career out of that, and, while it served me well professionally, I really don't feel the need to be so detail oriented in our home life. And life is good! We put our energies and, when necessary, concern into things that really require it and we move on. So it makes me sad to see that people are at the point where things that should be pleasures, such as cooking, crafting, entertaining, even, as Ainsley pointed out, blogging, have become sources of stress.
Cooking? Not feeling inspired in the kitchen? Here's a little secret; to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever died from eating instant mac & cheese every once in a while. I have a flat of it stashed in our pantry, and you all know how much I love to cook. Just pour everyone a glass of juice to go with it. They'll survive.
Crafting? Unless it's your income source, crafting is supposed to be fun, so if it's stressing you out, put it away. I have a pile a scrap-booking projects awaiting completion, but you know what? I'm not in the mood right now. I can't scrapbook on the patio with a glass of wine, and summer won't last forever so I'm going to enjoy my patio while I can. My paper and pictures aren't going anywhere, and I'll feel like doing it again soon, but in the meantime, I'll read, or knit, or play with my dogs. And drink wine on the patio.
Entertaining? I'll give you that one, it can stress out even the most seasoned party planner. I love to throw a party, but I've been known to whimper "Martha didn't cover this" as my grill won't heat or the temperature drops to near freezing in July. If it stresses you out badly, don't entertain. You don't have to. Really. Invite people to a restaurant, or have a campfire. But seriously, if big parties aren't your thing, don't throw them.
Blogging? I agree with Ains, we need to chill out. Again, as with crafts, if your blog is your income source, then yes, it could be a source of stress if you have requirements to meet. But for those of us who blog for ourselves, for fun, and to be a part of a community, don't let it become work to the point that you dread blogging. Take a vacation, simplify your posts, scale back the "hops" and "blog parties" you participate in, and enjoy your summer.
To that end, here's some of the "Simple Pleasures" I've been enjoying:
- Knitting - I finally finished my Fireside Red boot socks! My friend Tasha of Fibre Rox stopped by to help me with my Kitchener Stitch, and they are awesome! I've started some charcoal grey angora wristlets; the yarn is so soft and pretty, you can feel your blood pressure just loooooowering down!
- Reading - I just finished The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. I have my two new magazines, and I'll be starting Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin for book club soon (although I am really liking Mrs. Bliss's idea about starting a Wine Club, too!)
- My dogs - Regular readers of my blog will know by now how in love I am with my pups Molly and Tinkywink. I know not everyone is a dog person, but I tend to agree with Bernard Williams that "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
- Cooking - My kitchen is my happy place. When I watched Julie & Julia and heard Julie Powell say "I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say "nothing" I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It's such a comfort," I understood. Last night I made a glazed lemon cake, and the sight of it in my cake safe makes me happy. Tonight, I made primavera-ish pasta sauce and added some fresh basil leaves that I grew myself. That made me happy.
- Naps - One of the really nice things about not working is that, if I want to, I can take a mid-day nap. They are wonderful!!!
Today I am linking to Housewife Bliss' Fabulous Nest Friday, as well as New Friend Friday, which is co-hosted by The Girl Creative and Trendy Treehouse.