The Daily Post’s writing Prompt: Decisions,Decisions

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Decisions, Decisions.”

I think it is important to use both your “gut” feeling and logical reason. It is kind of like hedging your bets. Anytime, that I have not followed my intuition, it has gone badly for me. It has put me in some difficult and (in my past) dangerous and stupid situations. That little voice in your head is there for a reason. It is often the sum of all of our experiences and it can give us a warning signal that all is not right.

We should also make sure that we have looked at the situation logically, calmly, and asked for an opinion(if we are out of element) if we are to make the healthiest choices for us. I am a firm believer in using all the tools we are provided as human beings. If they are there, then use them to weigh your choices and make the best decisions one can.  That doesn’t mean we always hit a home run, but  in my opinion, one has a better chance of doing so by using what is available to them.

Daily Prompt :Red Pill, Blue Pill

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”

I am a little behind in my writings but I thought I would answer this one.  Red Pill, Blue Pill. It sounds so easy, so convenient. No thinking involved. One could just pop a pill and go along their merry way. No fuss, no mess. It sounds a bit sterile to me.

I haven’t always had a good relationship with food. I think there are many of us that could say that in one way or another. When I first started cooking when I was a late teenager, I was not really interested in it for myself. I did the whole domestic thing for my family because that is what I was taught was right. I didn’t do it out of some deep, emotional bond to cooking or food. I had a husband, and children. I came from a very traditional family background so that is what was done. You have a meal every night on the table for your family. At first, I was okay with that. Blissfully ignorant, one might say. I proudly got dinner on. Here’s where it got fun. Husband #1 would be late. Not twenty or thirty minutes late. He was hours late and no phone call. We would wait for a bit but after a while the children were hungry and they really like that whole sustenance thing. We ended up eating and saving a plate for Dad. Sometimes he would come home and not eat it at all or complain. After years of that, I just got sick of it. When someone doesn’t appreciate the work you are putting into something and you aren’t doing it for yourself you tend to lose the joy of it. I cooked for the kids and then would grab dinner for myself after they were asleep.

Why I am divulging this? I am sharing this because I now realize that the problem wasn’t really about him. The problem was about my reasoning and my motivation to cook. Yes, I felt disrespected and unappreciated. Don’t get me wrong. It really pissed me off. What I realize now is that I had no connection to cooking. I had no connection to food. I had no passion for what I was doing or why. I think on some level, his not showing up gave me the excuse(for lack of a better term) to just not bother.

For many years, it stayed this way for one reason or another. Things were not good. (That is probably like saying Hurricane Katrina was just a little rain and wind) My life did fall apart. I lost everything I loved and I lost myself.  All the while, food and cooking took a back seat except for what was needed for the little ones.

I really don’t want to get into how I lost everything but I did. I also gave up everything that gave me joy and happiness in my life.  Some things in life are taken and some are given away.

When I finally started getting things back together, it took me a long time to get back in the kitchen. What truly motivated me was my health. I have several major health issues that are chronic. I have several allergies and food intolerances that are caused by my health issues. I had to make some changes in order to function through my day and not be sick 24/7.

My quest to feel better led me to start researching. I researched recipes, food info, labeling, different styles of diets(Paleo, Vegan, GF, Clean Eating, etc…), organic eating and gardening vs. GMO and pesticides. I found that some foods are inflammatory to my conditions. Before I realized it, I was interested in food. (It may have been an evil plot by food to suck me in all along) I was trying new recipes. I was trying them out on family. Better to experiment on those you love 🙂 Husband #2, Partner, and kids were all loving the new stuff. I felt a sense of accomplishment and dare I say, excitement about cooking.

I was and am seeing food in a whole new light now. This is how we fuel our bodies. They run well when we are properly nourished and we are consuming things that are healthy for our particular bodily needs.  Healthy food can taste good. (Still don’t like Tofu no matter how it is prepared) I have learned to explore different cultures through their cuisine. I know where the traditions come from. I have learned how food can bring people together for real conversation and bonding. As hokey as it may sound,  food can bring you happiness and help you create or have happy memories.

Most of all, it is something that brings me peace. Everything can be going badly, things can be loud and chaotic but cooking helps me find focus and a moment of meditation. The cutting, sauteing, blanching, baking, simmering, adding herbs here or a dash of salt there helps shut everything just for a moment.

I may have been caught unaware by this love of cooking but it seems to be just what the doctor ordered. I have a much healthier relationship with food now. I feel better physically and mentally. I am able to share something with those I love and they share their love right back because of food and cooking.

No red pill or blue pill for me. Those pills will not compare to what I have gained through food.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Community Service.”

To the community I live in:

Dear Residents,

I know that living here is hard. There are not a lot of opportunities in this town. I understand that many of you live in a poverty-stricken hell. Minimum wage is the norm. I am not without sympathy for your struggles. I know that the opportunities to escape from here never come for most of you. We are devoid of culture, openness and often kindness here. It is a rare treat to find someone who is college educated, who has traveled, who has a different view of the world that we have all been stuck in here.

Often, I can see the weariness of my fellow townspeople. I can see where you are just one last nerve away from having a really bad day. You want to throw in the towel, you want to lash out, and you just want to give up.  I know this because I am living it.

This was not a place that I chose to come to. I moved here because it was the shortest move that I had made. You see, I married a man who was military. You move where they want you to. We may have requested to move here because it was the shortest move we had ever made and they promised us three years without a move.  My misery started long before I moved here. I struggled against all my demons that came with me to this place and now I struggle with the ones I have been put through since being here. The problem is that while I have paid for my choices and mistakes I have had to deal with your gossip, your hate, your lack of understanding, your judgments, your backstabbing, and ultimately,  your rules of morality.

I have lost everything moving here. I lost myself and what did you do? You kicked me when I was down and you laughed about it. You have followed me to places and attacked my spiritual beliefs, my sexual orientation, and my choices. You were there when the good times rolled but when the bottom fell out, where were you? Why did you bully my loved ones? Why did you go out of your way to cause as much pain as possible?

I am here to say that no matter what you have done to me , I am still alive and kicking. I will not be beaten down by your words, your hate, and your judgments. You don’t get to win. You may still want to beat me down but I will rise above it. I will not change the person I have become because it is uncomfortable for you. I am so much better than I was and I can’t wait to see what kind of person I will be. I will have my place in the world.

I can’t stop you from doing what you do and being what you are,  but I will not return the favor in kind.  You continue to do what you think you need to do to me to avoid looking at yourself in the mirror.  I will continue to be me.

A word of advice…Don’t turn from everything and everyone that doesn’t fit in your box. Maybe you will learn something new. Maybe you will escape from the hell you are stuck in. Maybe a little kindness will go a long way.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweeping Motions.”

I like a nice, peaceful setting in my bedroom. I am also a little OCD about order and cleanliness. Just ask my family. It drives me crazy when things are out-of-place. The bedroom is nice and tidy but I do NOT make my bed. I mean really, what is the point? I am going to get back in it during nap time and night-night time so why the hell would I want to remake it several times a day.Seriously,  I have enough going on without worrying whether my feng shui will be disturbed by a wrinkled comforter.

Our desk, however, is another story. I would like to call it organized chaos. I agreed to have the desk moved from the back room to a main area only if it would be kept clean and pretty. This so did not happen. The poor desk has become a catch-all for everyone’s stuff, paperwork, bills, grocery receipts , lists, headphones, Disks, pens, gaming stuff, etc… I have a special needs child that must bring the entire house when he uses  the computer. He manages to fit that all on the desk and bring a yoga ball to sit and bounce on to his heart’s content.

I have to come and do a cleaning on this desk on a very regular basis so that we don’t have an episode of “Hoarders: Desk edition” This desk has become the bane of my existence.

As I also have some pretty severe ADD (real diagnosis not self-diagnosis) , I must have everything in a certain order and neatness. It may make no sense to others but I do have an order and I can find everything if asked. My family , especially the children, think it is funny to mess with me and move stuff around. Take a guess how that turns out? Ever seen the Exorcist?

So to answer the question…If you are looking for a peaceful meditation spot, it would be my bedroom NOT on my desk. 🙂

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Through the Window.”

Wind is gently sweeping through the trees. There are Magnolias standing tall and proud. There are oaks that have been here since the neighborhood was established. The wind is not strong enough to bend these mighty trees but it caresses the leaves just to remind the oak that it is exists.

It is middle class neighborhood, with homes that were built in the 1950’s. Some of them still owned by the original owners. That will not be the case forever. As I look over the neighborhood, I am reminded that some of these owners have passed on and new people have taken their place. The new inhabitants are sometimes relatives and sometimes strangers to this neighborhood.

There is a comfortable coolness and relief from the humidity that bears down on us daily here. The heat and humidity of the day can be very oppressive. Usually, when it cools down, people can be seen walking down the street, doing yardwork, admiring their gardens or flowers or even visiting briefly with one another outside. Today, it seems that we are only met with silence and the absence of people and their busywork.  Where have they gone? What has taken them away from the neighborhood? Are they hiding from the pressures of the world behind the safety of their closed doors? Is it truly safe behind their closed doors or are the pressures equally as bad on the inside of their abodes?

The animals have free reign tonight. There are so many birds at our feeders . The cardinals have been coming for many years and now they bring their offspring. They are passing on their lessons for future generations. The share the feeder, with painted buntings, blue jays, morning doves, chickadees, and let’s not forget our favorite rodent, the squirrel. Sometimes they share the space. Sometimes they fight for space. Either way, they all manage to get their fill before they settle for the night.

There is a small hummingbird feeder near the window and they are thrilled that we have refilled their nectar. Our little one watches as the tiny beasts fight one another for a taste. They are so quick and aggressive.

The crickets and the frogs sing each with their own distinct sound. They are not fighting for musical space, but rather sharing it and working together to make the sounds that we hear as night falls.

What has been left unseen? With only a minute to glance, what did my senses take in that are not quickly coming to mind? I am left with that question and I wonder in the morning what I will remember of my moment “Through the Window”.