I have been like this my whole life. I am very aware that this is an ugly personal issue. The rest of you seem so happy to unpack your Elf on the Shelf and fill your calendars with cookie exchanges, ornament exchanges, White Elephant gift exchanges, Chinese Christmas exchanges, recipe exchanges, tacky sweater parties, trips to Santa Land, waiting in line for 4 hours to have your kids scream on Santa's lap, and lots and lots of stressful shopping. Just a sidenote...shopping should never ever be stressful! It should be joyful and wonderful and tingly...not an opportunity to use your MMA skills. But that's the thing...Most of you really love all of those things and I cannot wrap my brain around barely being able to tolerate them. I just don't really love this season the way the rest of the population does. It seems overwhelming, claustrophobic, and loud. Everyone screams, "PEACE ON EARTH!"
I just want to feel peace in me.
The concept of peace is so new to me. You don't even really think about peace until you don't have it. I never thought about it until this last year. Peace just seemed to come naturally before then. I completely took it for granted. But this year I am having to be intentional about choosing peace. I am having to say no to certain events that don't bring me peace and only lead to busyness and choose to do the things that I know make my heart feel calm and bring me joy. So in the midst of this holiday season I am choosing peace and have therefore made a list of things that bring me peace. They may not be what the rest of the world is enjoying at this time of year but they speak to my heart and mine is the only heart I have.
1. I enjoy the heck out of my coffee. I wake up an hour before the rest of my family just so I can enjoy a cup of creamy bulletproof coffee before I become in demand. This time is precious to me. I listen to music, nutrition podcasts or missed sermons. This time is mine and no one else's.
2. I play. There is nothing quite as fun as tickling a child that is screaming and begging for you to stop and when you do release them from the giggle torture immediately teases and taunts you to do it again. It cracks me up. I love surprising Jack with my video game playing skills (which unfortunately do not work on any other games except for 007 Goldeneye and NBA JAM for the Sega CD. But I can take anyone on either of those.) I spend a ridiculous amount of time dressing and styling Addie's dolls and Barbies, decorating the doll house and separating millions of beaded necklaces for dress up. Dance parties are frequent as are super hero action sequences. I have yet to become too old for tea parties with real tea, spinning senseless on our merry-go-round, and collecting smooth rocks and colorful leaves.
3. I read. I love to devour anything written. I love learning and discovering new truths. I love getting lost in a fictional place and time. I treasure every second I have to cuddle with my Addie as we read through the classic version of A Little Princess. I am so grateful for my Daddy and Holly who instilled the love of literature in my heart. Even now it connects us as a family as we all sit around and debate book reviews or send one another a text with a new book to try out. I find peace when I view this world and life as an unfinished story and reading reminds me of all the possibilities.
4. I love people. I have recently had more opportunities to be at my shop and invest my time in others. I have found a renewed love for humanity and our desire to connect with one another. People have a natural desire to share themselves, tell their stories. Our community is full of the most incredible people and I am just tickled when one of those amazing people walks through my shop door, turns around in the grocery line for a quick friendly chat, or takes the time to call and just check in.
5. I tinker in my kitchen. I cannot express the love I have for making a huge mess, coconut flour in my hair, dishes piled high in the sink, music in the background, cup of hot green jasmine tea or a glass of wine depending on time of day and creating something that will not only feed and nourish my family but also my spirit. The changing of seasons inspires me to try new dishes and experiment with new and unusual foods. I love the smells of this season...allspice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. I get so excited to take a favorite nonpaleo recipe such as cinnamon rolls and surprise my family with a healthier paleo version that ends in lots of happy yummy noises.
6. I will spend time with those I love. I don't do it because it is a particular date on the calendar that requires family get togethers. I do it because it is a Tuesday and I miss my Mimi and I got a new cookbook that I want to tell her all about. Or because my Momma loves me so much that she drives all the way out to my house just for some hot tea and a chat.
7. I write. I do not claim to be a skilled literary genius. I just like it. There is something healing in putting feelings, ideas, dreams, goals into something tangible, something I can see.
8. I sing. This is funny actually because I am the absolute worst singer ever (although I've been told my humming is pretty.) But who cares if I suck. I enjoy the snot out of blaring out some Katy Perry 'Roar' at the top of my lungs. It is not unusual to find multiple serving spoons in the sink because they were used as microphones by me and Addie when a good song came on. Making up our own lyrics is also pretty spectacular. They are always complete nonsense but it keeps us from missing a beat.
9. I watch cartoons with my family. It is like pure medicine to listen to Jack and Addie laugh. Seriously, it is the very most incredible sound in this whole world. Plus Phineas and Ferb are stinkin hilarious. If you have never seen it you need to. Laughing together as a family is awesome.
I really hope you take the time to find pockets of peace in this crazy season. It is just beginning. Don't let the all the stuff, the lists, the plans, the schedule take away your peace...your joy. And if you enjoy the snot out of having an inflatable Santa in your front yard then by all means go get you an inflatable snowman too! I plan to take some Vitamin D so hopefully I will be able to resist my Grinchy urges. :)
This post wasn't very paleo...but really there is only so much paleo this girl can do in a day. But the following recipe is a wonderful paleo comfort food to be enjoyed during this chilly season.
Ingredients for the Meatloaf:
3 lb grass fed ground beef
1 1/4 cup almond meal/flour
2 free range eggs
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
15 sliced uncured bacon, 3 sliced cooked and diced
Combine all ingredients except for the bacon in a large bowl
Mash together with your hands. It is squishy and wonderful. Perfect stress relief. :)
Add the cooked diced bacon. Mash some more.
Add mixture to a loaf pan. I used a mini loaf pan because they are cute.
Top your meatloaf with uncooked bacon.
Bake in oven at 400 for 45 minutes.
While meatloaf is cooking and getting all bacony prepare the sauce.
Ingredients for the sauce:
3 oz. tomato paste
1 TBSP mustard
1/3 cup coconut crystals or palm sugar
1 TBSP Franks hot sauce
few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
After meatloaf is done cooking, spread with sauce. Eat and enjoy.