Balancing Act

Calling all super heroes. Calling all super heroes. Do you sometimes feel like you’re called to be a super hero or super human? I know Kit brought this up in a recent post and it struck a chord with me. How are we suppose to do all the things we are called, paid and required to be doing? Is it even achievable? Or should we just limp along getting what we can get done and feel guilty about the other stuff? Balance, that’s what I wish for this birthday, balance!

Balance is a theme Kit and I discuss a lot. How to achieve it and how to keep it. It is a very slippery slope. Even when you feel on your A game, something comes along and throws you a curve ball. Life is just a series of curve balls really- firing at you from every direction. So what are you suppose to do? I feel like the universe is sending me a message. The message is fuzzy, no reception and I can’t hear it. You know “Ground control to Major Tom” type stuff.  Can you speak a little louder universe we’ve got a bad cell connection?

I’m trying to balance all this stuff…caring for the kids, my husband and my mom. But who the hell is caring for me? I’m certainly not. Why not? Because I don’t have time, my needs come last or I’m just too tired to think about it.  I may not be a therapist but I know enough psychology to know this is a recipe for disaster. So I asked a professional how are we to know when we’re taking care of ourselves in an adequate manner? He said to me have a conversation with yourself, do a temperature check. Ask yourself am I at an 8 on a scale from 1-10 or am I at a 4 that feels better? Know thyself! I majored in Philosophy in school an know good and well Socrates main contribution was the statement, “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

So first we examine the situation. Where are we? Then we say to ourselves how can we improve this situation. What the professional said is we ask ourselves when was a time when we were balancing? What did that time look like? What were we doing differently that made us feel better or more balanced? This started me thinking.

For all you parents out there, if your like me, you think of your life in two separate time periods– before children, and after children. They change your life forever for the better. But there is a difference. I hear myself saying things like I use to read…before I had children. I use to play golf…before I had children. There are definitely more demands on us as parents, but that doesn’t mean we stop doing things for ourselves. You’ve all heard the analogy of putting the oxygen mask on yourself so that you’re not so deprived you can’t put it on your child. Yada yada yada. A lot of times I feel like they forgot to a mask in my overhead compartment. Taking in consideration that we now have other people who depend on us how do we still take care of ourselves?

Maybe we just fess up. Fess up to the fact the we can’t do it all. Ask others for a little help and create some breathing room.  What I’ve done will blow you away because it seems like I’m adding more on to my plate which I am. I’m going back to school. Yep. This is something I’m doing for myself but also for my family. I enjoyed school. I love learning. And with the impending cost of four college degrees staring me in the face I need to be a bit more marketable. Not only is this something for me, but hopefully I will get a job and contribute financially. And after considering what the professional told me, college was a time in my life is when I did feel most balanced, most creative. Academia is my comfort zone.  So ask yourself today Where am I on a scale of 1-10? And when was a time I felt balance? You might be surprised at your answer.

Very Balanced Veggie Bolognese

(I’m not going to lie this is Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe. Kit and I agree we want our children to be able to make this before leaving home. It’s both a comfort food and a recipe that impresses.)

Ingredients

  • 1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces assorted mushrooms (like shiitakecremini, and brown), stemmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan

Directions

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups very hot water. Set aside and let the mushrooms soften.Place the carrots, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse the vegetables until finely chopped but still chunky. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the porcini mushroom liquid. Add the porcini mushrooms, fresh mushrooms, and tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring to dissolve the tomato paste, until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the porcini mushroom liquid and red wine. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and stir just until the cheese is incorporated.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add to the vegetable mixture. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid, if necessary, to moisten the sauce. Toss with Parmesan and serve.
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About genxmommy1

Mother of four, wife and daughter. I'm busy but I'm putting myself "out there". I hope to learn and share whatever knowledge I've been able to scrape off this planet.
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