Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's pumpkin dip got to do with it?

I remember how Mondays were, back during those rare times I worked for someone else.  Favorite blouse laundered but forgotten in the washer, hurriedly blow-dried to semi-wrinkle-fee wearability, only to discover the laundry trolls had stolen a button.  Late to arrive, grumpy hung over co-workers, snarky corporate office person dropping by, Snackens from the vending machine for coffee break at 10 a.m., and then only six hours left to go (with stale garlicky Snackens breath...ugh).  Regular paychecks were nice, but not nice enough to tempt me back.

One of the joys of self-employment is the flexibility of working at home.  Actually, most of the time, I work in other people's homes, but Mondays at least are spent mostly here at Belle.  Today, after a morning of torturing one art student with perspective, shading, and the math required for building scale models, and a few errands, I was ready for a break.  I was also aware that I needed a blog topic for tonight.  Call in this season's stand-by, pumpkin dip.
Recipe:  One regular (vegetable can-sized) can of pumpkin, one package of reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), brown sugar or maple syrup to taste, about 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp of nutmeg.  Whip cream cheese with mixer until smooth, blend in pumpkin, then add maple syrup or brown sugar to taste, starting with about 2 Tbs.  Blend in spices.  Serve with apple wedges or ginger snap cookies.  This also works great on a dessert buffet piped into bite-sized tart shells.  A few nights ago, I sent some home with a friend who planned to have it on bagels for breakfast.  It's very versatile, very fast, and very good.

I worked the weekend, so I balanced that today by slowing down the pace, keeping the do-list to a minimum, and treating myself to the pretty details.  I don't have time for this because I'm self-employed, I make time for this, even though I'm self-employed.  Since I don't have paid sick leave, I decided years ago not to get sick.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have not had a cold or flu for more than five, maybe six years, now.  Occasionally a day where I feel a little run down, maybe the hint of a scratchy throat, but nothing that lasted the day.  It's a choice I make.

I choose to be well.  I choose to slow down when the Speedy Gonzales thing starts feeling like too much too fast.  I choose to take time every morning for a meditative period of writing and prayer ( and I choose to get up ridiculously early for this extra hour).  I choose to deal with troubles as they arise, and when I can't, to try to remember that worrying accomplishes nothing, while having hope makes hard times bearable, and keeps the door open for help to arrive.  I choose to forgive as quickly as I notice that I'm holding hard feelings.  I don't do it perfectly, but I do it consistently, and I make it a priority.

I'll mention this process to people occasionally, when their litany of illness finally is too much to listen to any longer.  They usually get hung up on forgiveness, sure that the rotten bastard in their life is far worse than anything I've faced.  Hmm.  Let's just say, I've survived enough RB's to write a pretty harrowing mini-series, and leave it at that.  I didn't say I forget injustice or injury, I just choose to try to understand why the perpetrator would be so rotten, and then, in a forgiveness meditation, I let it go.  I acknowledge that I would have preferred that things had been different, but I release my expectations of them.  It's very simple, in a very difficult sort of a way, and profoundly effective.

I truly believe you can prevent most, if not all illness, but it's not just one magic bullet, as seen on TV, or one rare and costly miracle herb, as reported in this month's issue of Health Fads and Foolishness.  It's a way of life, and while for some that means a slew of vitamins and blender drinks, fancy exercises and alternative treatments, for me it's a state of mind, and a choice to keep things balanced and joyful.  I live in a beautifully imperfect home, I practice my faith mindfully and daily, I maintain friendships with a core group of rather quirky like-minded souls, and I choose to make it a priority to live the moments of each day with as much attention to detail as I can make time for.  Is it always as pretty as today's afternoon tea?  No, but it is when it needs to be.

Do I believe my way best for everyone?  Nope.  Different personality types probably respond best to different methods.  Some people even find it easier to catch a virus and get over it than to do any sort of program or lifestyle change to prevent it, and who's to say that's so wrong?  But if you find you look forward to calling in sick and staying home, I have two suggestions:

First, consider creating a business of your own that would allow you to work from home, and create a really nurturing home from which to do it.  You will most likely work more hours, but if you choose something you love passionately, perhaps something connected to a hobby that already gets a chunk of your time, you won't mind that.

Second, if you choose to work for someone else, use your sick day and call in well once a month.  It's best if you belligerently tell them you are calling in well, in my experience, though I do have a higher tolerance for risk than most people.  There just seems to be added anti-oxidant power in confusing management, but use your best judgement.  Take this day to do some spiritual reading or journalling, drink something yummy from a pretty cup, eat what makes you happy, whether that's spa food or three meals of Godiva's finest, and do something playful like a craft project, rearranging the living room furniture, or going through your memory chest.  It's most beneficial to do the whole day in pajamas.  Do not do laundry, especially laundry that doesn't belong to you.  That is not a day off, and will negate all benefits, and waste a perfectly good day of paid leave.

It's November now, and we're headed toward the holidays.  May all your days at home these next two months be healthy ones, surrounded in beauty and comfort.  To steal Garrison Keillor's line, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."

If you need paint work done before Thanksgiving or Christmas company arrives, there is still time to make that happen.  Visit my website to see a portfolio of possibilities, and all the info on how to hire me.  theartofthehome.com.

Any thoughts to share or questions to ask?  You can click on the word "comments" below and leave them there, or email me at dawnmariedelara.@gmail.com

No comments: