What's my focus?

Today I was walking to the grocery store and saw a young couple smoking cigarettes and sharing a table outside of a frozen yogurt place. Something about them stirred memories about T and I in the "early" days. It started me thinking about how things "used to be" and almost immediately I saw this young mother pulling out in BMW with 2 kids in tow. My inner dialogue said "this is you now" (minus the kids), what happened to those people you where? When did the focus change? What was the focus?

Strange that my thoughts turned this way, because I was walking to the store to pick up some stuff to accompany the Southwestern Pulled Pork I had been cooking all day. T was working late and I was going to bring him dinner. When we first started dating I brought him dinner every Wednesday for a semester. We were crazy busy with school and work and crew (for me) that Wednesday night was the only time we got to hang out. I think these Wednesday nights helped me to learn how to cook.... So here I am bringing T dinner at work just like I did eleven years ago. He was very grateful and we started talking about "back in the day". He said he didn't appreciate it enough when I brought him dinner back then.... We seemed so young. It seemed so long ago.

I told him about the smoking couple and how they reminded me of us. How I thought we should start smoking so we could go hang out at coffee shops and grab something we didn't know we let go of. He talked about simplifying life and work. We talked about how we took that trip to Yellowstone, so we couldn't be part of "the rat race" yet. Right?

Back at home I kept thinking about the difference between then and now and trying to put my finger on things that changed. I decided I had lost my focus. When we first started dating we were focusing on transferring to a 4 year university, then graduating, then finding a job, then finding a better job, then finding THE job, then buying a house. If we were like everyone else we might have thought about having kids. We are not like everyone else.

What I need now is a focus. I will find it. Now that I know what was missing. Focus.


Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Tonight I have a pot-luck / dinner party to attend and I am sitting here in my workout clothes with nothing to bring. Luckily I have an easy appetizer recipe I can turn to that is mostly healthy and a Crowd Pleaser.

Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Dip! (I serve it with vegetables (healthy) but it can be served with anything)

1 Roasted Red Pepper
1 Package of Goat Cheese (5oz)
1 Mini-prep Cuisinart or a mixing bowl.

This recipe is so easy if you buy roasted red peppers in the jar (this jar comes with 2 peppers).

Take one pepper and place in mini prep.

Place Goat Cheese in mini prep.


Place in container and surround with vegetables.
If you want to jazz up this recipe, you can throw a clove of garlic in or use herbed goat cheese.

Now go get dressed for tonight. Mission accomplished.


2010- Be the Change

Happy New Year! A few days late. I give myself until the Chinese New Year (February 14, 2010) to make all New Year decisions so technically I am really early with this one. I have decided on the theme for this year. This year my theme is Be the Change.

Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world" and this is where my theme stems from but it is a little different.

On New Years Day I saw a neighbor who, well, is not a nice neighbor. He is on the HOA and we have gotten a few letters from him during our house flooding incident that basically made me want to punch him.... or write a rebuttal showing what a hypocritical idiot he was. I was crossing the street and there was no way to avoid him. We made eye contact and I could see him bristle. We have had run-ins before and he did not fair well. He is not smart and does not think fast on his feet. I hate to say he was the guy who was always bullied and now throws his HOA "power" around to bully others... but it is kind of true. So back to the showdown. Me crossing the street, him tense and waiting, and I had this thought....

Wouldn't it be better if I was just the neighbor I wanted everyone to be? So I waved and yelled "Happy New Year" and his body relaxed and he might have almost smiled. I asked about his dog and just like that, I didn't feel like punching him anymore. Be the Change I kept telling myself, Be the Change.

Then I put my neighbors (with the loud dogs and crazy pot smoke that comes into my windows) trash cans away because it was obvious they were out of town.

Later T started to drive me a little nuts and I thought "Be the Change" be the girlfriend you should be. And it helped me to get past emotions and feelings and concentrate on being a good partner.

Be the Change is making the choice to be the best version of whatever role I am playing be it sister, lover, neighbor or employee. It means taking that 5 seconds to recognize the two paths before me, and choosing the one that help me be the change I want to see in the world.

To quote Helen Keller "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."