Feelings and a Side for Labor Day

This is going to be one of those posts you may not want to read. That’s fine, in a way I don’t blame you. Feel free to scroll to the bottom for today’s recipe. For those of you who like me for more than my culinary mind here’s a chance to get a deeper understanding of who I am.

These days you need a title to be considered part of society. To be acknowledged even. Not just any title will do. I mean a title with a capital “T”. The title of wife will get you looked at like a joke. You’ll be judged as one of the horrible women on one of those Real Housewives of (insert city) shows. The title of mom will yield a look of pity as if the job was thrust upon you against your will. The title of dreamer or one who has lots of ideas for unconventional ways to make a living will make those around you uncomfortable as they struggle to understand the how, and more importantly the why.

I claim all three of these titles. Yet, it’s still not enough. I am not enough. I do not do enough. I don’t contribute enough. These are not my words, nor are they anyone else’s. These are the feelings that are generated from the lack of words I get in response. There are very few people in my circle that understand me and my dreams and support them. This has forced me into depression over and over and caused many moments when I had to stop and evaluate who I am as a person and where my success lies. I was always trying to change or deny parts of myself to fit in wherever I thought I needed to be. I’m now at a point in my life when I can comfortably block all that negativity out and stay true to myself.

With the birth of my first child, I will admit I lost a bit of myself. Since the second one has come along something happened and I found myself again, but with more clarity than ever before. Almost 30 years old and I finally know what I want to do with my life. Unfortunately, I wasted my 20’s on figuring that out by making plenty of mistakes so it’s going to take even longer to reach that goal. Until then I am stuck as JUST the wife, mom, and dreamer.

I don’t mind this at all. I enjoy both of my roles in this house and the thing about being a dreamer is that I am full of passion. This world would not be what it is today without the dreamers that created it. I am confident that my day will come. Right now is a struggle. I realize dreamer doesn’t generate much of an income. Luckily money has never been a priority for my happiness so I don’t sweat it. I know, GASP! Sure I would love a big house, fancy car, the ability to travel anywhere I wanted when I wanted to, and to buy whatever silly thing I desired on a whim. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have my greedy moments. The truth is, I put more value on intangible things so I am perfectly happy where I’m at. That doesn’t mean I will not strive for better either. I am constantly thinking about what step to take to reach one of my many goals. I’m not backing down until at least one of them is obtained.

Despite not having a disposable income, I consider myself rather successful. For those of you that can’t understand how I can say that let me count the ways I am successful.

1. I’m college educated.

I may not have a piece of paper to prove this, but I successfully finished 8 years of college. Many of those classes resulted in A’s. My lack of a diploma is not due to me being unable to graduate because of grades or anything like that. It has more to do with there are too many things I’m good at. I changed my major a few times during my career as a student. I discovered a lot about myself in those years. I found out that I have many interests and I didn’t want to choose only one of those things to base my life on. I’m a smarty pants. Just ask my husband.

2. I’m surprisingly optimistic.

I may come off as a negative nancy, but deep down I know everything will work out just as it is supposed to. Even if the outcome wasn’t in your original plan I’ve realized all you can do is accept what is happening and find the good in it. Otherwise you’re fighting a battle you can’t win which will end up turning you into a bitter, callous human.

3. I’m able to quickly adapt.

Whatever challenge is thrown my way I don’t let it get me down. I immediately make the changes that are necessary and I move forward. Some of the best things that have happened to me are because I had to switch gears at a moment’s notice. Tell me I have to move to a new city, state, or country next week and I will gladly start packing.

4. I’m fearless.

I have no problem throwing myself into something completely unknown to me. A lot of people fear change. This baffles me. If you think about it what good has come out of a monotonous lifestyle? Yes, it can be a comfortable life, but you’re not living to your full potential if you don’t take some risks here and there.

5. I allow myself to grow.

I don’t dismiss any opportunity to be a better person. I have a very open mind. If something I don’t understand crosses my path I research it. I don’t judge. One of my biggest pet peeves is small-minded people. Someone that believes every way of living that’s not theirs is wrong contributes nothing valuable to this world.

6. I’m raising 2 kids.

It takes a lot to create competent members of society. It will be a while before I see my work being paid off here, but I am giving it my all so I’m positive they will make me proud. Kids have an amazing ability to teach you all sorts of things about life. As they learn, so do you. My girls have already taught me a few lessons. I understand the world a little better because of their sweet hearts.

7. I know where to find happiness.

This wasn’t always true for me. It’s a recent development. It would be easy for me to sulk around this house and be miserable everyday. I believe it takes a certain amount of strength to find your happiness in spite of the difficulties you may be facing at the moment. Please don’t get this confused with not living in reality. It’s not that I’m ignoring my troubles, I’m actually embracing them.

One of these may not be seen as success, but all together they are the perfect recipe for just that. So there is no reason to worry about me, my family, and our future. Instead, worry about the individual that possesses none of these traits and only stands for a paycheck.

Mama's Creamy ColeslawNow about that recipe. As summer comes to an end so do BBQs with friends and family. Tomorrow is Labor Day, the last official BBQ holiday of the year. I’m sure this recipe comes to late, but IF you happen to be a procrastinator in the need for a last-minute side dish then I hope this helps.

Mama’s Creamy Coleslaw

serves 8 to 10

vegan, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium head green cabbage, core removed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 apple, peeled and core removed
  • 1 cup Just Mayo
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Shred cabbage, carrots, and apple. The easiest way to do this is by using the shredder attachment on your food processor, or you can use a hand grater. Transfer the shreds to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients until well combined.
  3. Add the dressing to the bowl of shreds and stir until it’s all evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This can keep in the fridge for a few days. Enjoy!

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