After an early dismissal from work and driving home in the snow, I set to work on a project I meant to complete before Valentine’s Day. Each year, I make paper valentines and mail them off to friends and family near and far. Unfortunately, this year, due to time constraints, the recipients for this year’s crafting project is a grand total of three.
While sitting on the carpet in front of the furnace, sipping tea and stealing bites of maple walnut fudge, and listening to the sounds of winter, I contemplated the people who’ve made some sort of impact, whether big or small, positive or negative, in my life. How do we choose those we keep in our lives or lose those who for one reason or another, go? Why do we need those that we need and does it matter? I hope so. Wouldn’t it make for a dreary existence if our lives didn’t have purposeful relationships that fed not only the mind but also the soul?
Perhaps all this snow and ice is making me overly introspective, and on second thought, that’s really OK too. It’s OK to wonder and think. Especially on snowy afternoons.
With the birthday weekend over, I’ve set a few intentions for myself this year. The first is mindfulness of the mind. The second is mindfulness of the body.
It has become more and more apparent that I need to remember to “live” life and not become caught up in the wheels of it, only to chase the hours down in hopes of adding time. So this week, I’ve started a 30-day challenge with Yoga with Adriene’s Dedicate. Every evening, after supper and tidying up the kitchen, I turn on the television, roll out my mat, and begin following the lesson for the day. Even though I’m only on day two, I can feel the practice doing wonders. I sit up straighter, I’m happier. It’s good.
Shortly after a shower, and such, I brew a cup of chamomile or vanilla tea and read. Lately, I’ve been reading Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space” which hammers in the understanding that we are really tiny in the whole scheme of things. Relativity is everything.
All this to say is this: remember to care for yourself in whatever small acts of love you believe best or as Adriene says, “Practice exquisite stillness.” It can be something as simple as a soft boiled egg with toast soldiers in the wee morning hours.
Last Friday, I came into my office, and as I was taking off my coat, gloves, hat, and boots, I noticed my chair was turned slightly to the side. Perhaps this is where my habits come into play, but at the end of the day, I always leave my chair fully turned in, parallel to the desk. So I crept closer and lo and behold, there was a confetti-colored cupcake in my chair.
It was such a small and sweet gesture on behalf of my colleague that it made whatever heaviness from the following days dull a little. Little kindnesses go such a long way especially when one’s mood is rather bleak and wearied.
On Saturday, I set to work on my birthday cake. I’ve gotten into the habit of making my own over the past few years simply because of the distance from family but mostly, because I know exactly what my taste buds desire on a pivotal scale of years turning. This year, I wanted cheesecake and not just any cheesecake, one that was smooth and light, not too sweet but pleasantly dense enough to have some weight. I followed blogger Jennifer Murch’s recipe for The Perfect Classic Cheesecake. I won’t detail the instructions here but I strongly advise you to click through to her website below. I’ve followed her blog for years and her recipes have yet to fail. This cheesecake, in particular, is a roaring success. One small note, for the topping, I halved the recipe as I wasn’t sure if I had enough sour cream to pass the two-cup test. And another small note, resist the urge to cut into the cake before it has chilled for several hours in the refrigerator, this cake wants time to set and rest.
Visit Jennifer Murch's website for the recipe and more delectable inspirations.