Tuesday, September 10, 2013

life as a guided missile

Lately, I've done a lot of reassessing and reevaluating. For me, possibly for many of us, though I can only speak for myself here, finding direction has never seemed a natural thing. For much of my life, I heard "Do what you love, the money will follow." I always liked those words and despised them at the same time. Sounds easy enough, only what did I love? It didn't stay constant, and for everything I love, to this day, there's a flip side. It's not all sweetness and light.

I've always loved cooking, but not every day. Not when I was tired or grumpy. Not just because we needed food on the table. Not when someone else directed the menu. Not when I'd rather sit in the sand at the beach. Not if I had a great book that had captured my imagination. Not when I had to.  In my wildest dreams, I would not want to plan, prepare, or cook food for a living.

I love to write: fiction, nonfiction, poems, articles, journals. Except, of course, not every day. Not when I'm tired or grumpy. Not when I'm feeling reclusive. Not when the thought of a pen or keyboard makes my skin crawl. Not when I just want to hide from myself or my thoughts. Not when I have to. And it's not just cooking and writing, I find those feelings and attitudes everywhere in my life. So, do what I love? That's a hard one.

So, I've decided to give up the whole do what you love thing. I will do what I do. Being a bit self-indulgent, I know the truth is, if I'm doing it, I love it. At least I love it right now. And I won't promise to love it or to do it tomorrow. Clearly, that makes long term planning a bit more difficult. Or, just possibly, it makes it easier. I'm becoming more and more convinced that we do little, if anything, in life that is truly wrong. I see how my seemingly poor choices, along with those of which I am pleased, have led me to where I am today. They'll continue to lead me. I'm not always proud of my choices, but they have served me. When I'm off course, I correct. And really, like a guided missile, I'm usually off course. I find that amazing about guided missiles. Except for the moment they hit their target, they're virtually always off course. They simply correct, and correct, and correct once again. And that is my plan. I will keep correcting, tiny corrections, not whole new targets, I sure hope. As much as I admonish myself for not having clear, concise, meaningful goals in my life, I'm far more directed than I admit, even to myself. Off course, a lot, unsure of the target I've chosen sometimes, and yet never so far off that a minor correction won't get me back on course, even if I'm not totally aware of the target.

My intention, where Aseafish is concerned, is to be much more outspoken and directed in my posts. I tend to be a somewhat guarded and reserved individual, especially when it comes to what's important to me, personally. I'm working on breaking through that a bit at a time. When I first began writing a blog that was food directed, I thought it also needed to be recipe and menu driven, though I rarely use a recipe or a menu. I thought I should have something new and different to say, even profound. The voice is my own, but I cannot promise that everything I say will new, and let's not even visit the idea of profound.  I even thought I had to lecture. (ugh) I also didn't get too personal or revealing, though it could have sounded as though I did. I thought I needed to be vague and try for some universal appeal, even though many of my favorite bloggers are up-front and direct. Some will even tell you not to read their posts if you don't agree with them. I enjoy their candor, though that's not my philosophy.
Saying "goodbye" to teaching high school and "hello" to lots more time in the kitchen.  Yay! retirement!

I'm pretty sure we all know in broad terms that the Paleo community is not made up entirely of 20 to 30 year old cross fitters. Not everyone looks like a model or even wants to. Not everyone is just starting a family or looking for her first apartment. Many of us are settled in life with families and careers. I retired this year. I have grown children and grandchildren. That's a far cry from the college kid who is playing with meals for his first time ever. We all have different voices. We all, I do believe, have something to say. Go! Guided missiles.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

giving menu planning a shot---in my dreams

I am not a planner by nature. I'm not good at making lists, though I give it a shot from time to time. I'm not the best at follow-through. I tend to forget.

Still, having changed from a very structured life to one that's more free-flowing, I find myself surprised by mealtimes, at a loss for what to serve or eat. This is frustrating anytime, but when you deal with dietary restrictions and ordering in is not an option, it's downright scary.

I wrote those first two paragraphs about two months ago. At that time I seriously thought I could conquer meal planning. Two months and many attempts later, I'm declaring defeat. I can plan for a large party or a holiday with ease. Everyday stuff, though, just isn't happening, and I doubt it ever will.

Since, as I noted earlier, ready made food and ordering in are not options for me, I knew I needed to do something. This, like most of my food adventures in gluten-free and Paleo eating, has been and will likely continue to be a work in progress. I'm very fortunate to have a large chest freezer and a series of closets (and one underused dining room) that we've converted to pantries. So while I still don't have meal plans, I have lots of food that can be prepared at my fingertips. Of course, mostly I have ingredients. Ingredients require time, attention, and energy. I'm still working on the energy part.

I'll write more about what I'm keeping in the freezer and pantry soon. I've done that in the past, but like so many aspects of my Paleo food course, it is ever changing. My daughter will occasionally look into our fridge or pantry and say, "Who are you?". Everything looks so unlike what she'd always been used to seeing.

And, to those of you who plan, you have my unending respect and admiration. I don't know how you do it.