Mellow

Mellow

I am not sure when it happened to me or when it happens to others.  As I mark another birthday and shake my head at yet another mole or spot on my face, I realize that I am now mellow.   Mellow can mean:  aged, cured, developed, rounded, seasoned, cultured or smooth.  To me, it means that I am much more easy going than I was in my younger days.

As a kid, there is so much pressure on perfection and learning things properly.  Aaah, the exuberance of youth!  I see my kids always wanting things to be perfect or to be the best at something.  My 12 yr old son has to have all his electronics devices in a certain way.  My 9 yr old daughter has to have her stuffed animals in a particular order when she goes to sleep.  And both of them love organizing their backpacks in their own way.  Heaven forbid, mom puts a water bottle in the wrong place.  Their motivation makes me smile.

As teenagers, we still have all that energy, only we pretend we are too cool to care.  My room was my sanctuary during my teens.  My two younger sisters and parents were not allowed to loiter.  All my favorite bands and actors were on my wall in the coolest arrangement of course.  A mean comment from one of my friends would send me into a sad brooding spiral.  “How could she?!!”

In my twenties, it was all about eloping (that’s another post), career paths, promotions and graduate degrees. No pressure or need for perfection there…right?  What I remember about my twenties is that B and I worked really hard and played hard too.  Everything just mattered so much more.

My kids came along in my thirties.  I had to make the agonizing decision to quit working and be a stay at home mom.  Being first time parents is really hard.  I remember torturing my family when they came to see the kids as babies.

“Did you wash your hands?”

“Is this one of the sterilized bottles?”

“That is a choking hazard…!”

I went from that to “You can still eat that…we have acids in our tummies that kill germs.”

In my forties, I really just don’t care about all the things I used to obsess about.   I tell my kids that they need to relax, that other people have it much harder and to stop complaining.  By now, all my family members know each other really well.  We used to push each others buttons in our younger days.  Nowadays, we still push buttons but less frequently and then say something nice afterwards…

And my friends, many of them are still neurotic about things.  They stress about aging, botox, kids and keeping up with the neighbors.  But many of them have also mellowed just like me.  It’s funny that words of wisdom from the past can help us throughout life.  My karate teacher told me “stand tall and be proud”.  One of my uncles told me “health is wealth”. And a teacher once told me “be thankful for what you have.”  And I tell my kids “do your best, if it doesn’t work out, try again, if it still doesn’t work out, move on to something else .”

 

Mellow Drinks

fullsizeoutput_1df3
Bourbon Hot Chocolate

 

Bourbon Hot Chocolate

3 T Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate or any sweetened chocolate

6 oz Water

1 oz Bourbon

Heat water in a pan until boiling or microwave in a mug for two minutes.   Add chocolate and make sure it dissolves completely.  Add Bourbon.  Viola!

 

 

fullsizeoutput_1dea
Rum & Coconut Cooler

 

Rum & Coconut Cooler

1 C Orgain High Protein Almond Milk or nut milk of your choice.

1 T Coconut Sugar

1 t Coconut Flakes Unsweetened

1 oz Rum

This is a cold drink.  Combine all of the ingredients together, paper umbrella optional.

 

 

Friendship

Friendship

“Don’t walk in front of me…I may not follow.  Don’t walk behind me…I may not lead.  Walk beside me…just be my friend.

__ Albert Camus

 

It is so much easier to make friends as a child.  No inhibitions, no baggage and no preconceived notions.  The majority of adults have an average of two close friends.  Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?  I am referring to friends other than a partner or spouse.  Family, kids and schedules cramp friendships.  As people get older, they get set into their habits and are unwilling to change.

I had a lot of friends as a child, teenager and as a young adult.  However, having kids really strained some of my friendships over the past decade and I have lost many. Facebook has connected me back to many of those.  These days I have a few really “immediate” friends.  By that I mean friends who I interact with daily and appreciate me for who I am.  They know the good, bad and ugly, yet remain friends with me.

My parents and my two younger sisters are my closest friends.  It’s a different relationship because we’re family.  It’s unconditional.  We are constantly teasing and joking.  Insults are the norm.  Some of our friends are shocked and appalled at the things we say.  But it’s all in good fun.  We have always been there for each other, barbs and all.  I can’t imagine not talking to my parents or sisters everyday and not crack a joke.

My workout buddy “M” and I are friends.  Our friendship is very simple and pure.  We have been running and biking together for almost six years.  We spend countless hours on trails talking about life, family and just cracking bad jokes about people on the trail.  It is nice to talk to a friend that listens to rants and does not judge.  We finish our workouts and say “see you next time”.  My youngest sister always says “I can’t believe M puts up with you for those 8 mile runs!”

Then there are my other friends.  They know who they are!  There are the ones who text me funny gifs long-distance.  There are the ones who keep my neighborhood funny and interesting.

Friendships are a two way street.  I have found that there is no perfect friend.  Some of my friends have shocked me with their views which are polar opposite from mine.  Yet, we respect each others views and agree to disagree.  Even if some of them have made rude or insensitive comments over the years, I have realized that they have a good and caring side too.  As I get older, I find myself brushing off comments and issues from my friends that would have ended our friendship years ago.  I have learned to let things go and it takes a lot of patience. Even if you are an introvert at heart like I am, you really do need to have a few friends.

IMG_0275.jpg