I want to take this opportunity to apologize for my extreme lack of content these days. Life’s thrown some interest conundrums my way lately, and I’m processing it all. Trying to digest so many changes at once is a very difficult task indeed, and I suppose I really do need my time to sort out my thoughts and feelings — my internal conflict. Know that I should be kicking myself back into a posting habit soon, and I will have some new tales to tell. In the mean time, please pardon my dust.
Excuse me while I get a little more authentic than usually — see there’s my internet persona, there’s my professional persona, and there’s my “IRL” persona. All three are true to who I am, yet all three are not the same. I’m a layered, complicated individual, and — darn it all (you didn’t really think I was going to go completely Dooce on you, did you) — I like it that way. My weekends away from the internet, my recent writer’s block, and a plethora of other things have made me stop to realize that I’m not focusing on myself in the way I had outlined at the beginning of the year. True, there’s only so much self-focusing a wife and mother of three children who works outside of the home can afford, but I feel that more and more of my time has shifted away from becoming the best version of Meredith I can be and gravitated towards “how can I help you today, sir/ ma’am?” Don’t interpret this the wrong way — I do want to help others and contribute to society for the greater good. But how the fudge am I supposed to make that happen when I’m still in a fragmented state of being?
I have several goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year — I called them “resolutions,” as is so popular that the start of any year. The term “resolution” has come to mean something much more flighty when used in conjunction with the term “new year’s,” however, so I’m currently referring to them as goals because the intent behind them was not even slightly flighty. No, not at all. They were heavy. They were meaningful. Damn it (okay, perhaps a bit more Dooce-like after all), my goals mean something to me. I read all these inspirational posts, and I think, that’s exactly what I want to do with myself! I would also like to be that writer/ blogger who’s inspiring others to aspire to more than just the drudgery of the daily noise. I, too, want to wax poetic on a fairly regular basis, earning my place among the greats who’ve come before me. Why the hell should I settle for the meager bag of chips when I really crave a full course meal full of substance and nutritional value?
I’ve been know to tell people to dream big lately. Honestly, that’s the best way to do it. Why dream about driving a run-down used car when you can dream about driving the fancy, expensive car? Why should it matter if you don’t think you’ll ever, ever, EVER in your life get a shot to even see that fancy, expensive car in person — it shouldn’t. Dream big. Dreams are meant to add spice and motivation to life. And don’t let those little naysayers tell you otherwise.
So, I’ve heard a lot about my readers and friends going on outdoor-type vacations, such as camping or visiting the beach. Luckily, I’ve been asked to write about Summit Camping Gear, an internet company specializing in all sorts of camping gear and items including Coleman Tents. I was snooping around at the advertised tents, and they have great options for picnics, camping, and even hanging out at the beach. A beach tent versus a beach umbrella? I think I might actually opt for the tent, which could shield you from those nasty sandy breezes. They’ve also got 9+ person tents — I can’t imagine cramming over 9 people inside one tent, but apparently it’s possible! I’d imagine it would be nice and roomy for a smaller family looking to spread out while camping.
Aside from tents, they also have backpacks, camping supplies, and even baby carriers. If you’re not familiar with the concept of baby wearing, it is a very convenient, hands-free way to hold your baby while tending to older children or chores. Essentially, the carrier functions as that extra set of arms you wish you had in such events. You could feasibly find all your camping necessities on their website without the worries of shopping around to find all your supplies. If you plan on getting in the water, they even have supplies for pools, kayaking, and boating. Bring your pets — they have pet supplies. Need specific personal care products meant for camping (like a hot water heater to prevent a frosty bathing experience)? They’ve got those. Want to prepare an amazing camp fire meal? Check out their cooking supplies. Want crisp, fresh water without worrying about who’s upstream? They’ve got supplies for that. About the only products I can’t find on their website are food items, but I’d imagine you’d go to your local grocery store first anyway.
Yesterday marked the end of another Lenten season. As you may remember, I gave up all manner of junk food for the duration — and it was excruciatingly difficult. In years past, I’d given up sweets but not chips, and this year it was an all-encompassing vow to avoid all things fatty and unhealthy in that regard. I’m sure I’m a better person for it both physically and spiritually, but my goodness it was a very difficult undertaking. Yesterday, I enjoyed carrot cake, chocolate, jelly beans, soda, and the ability to stop worrying about seeing food that I couldn’t eat. Image if I had to make that a permanent lifestyle change — never being allowed to eat such foods again due to health reasons. There are plenty of people who cannot eat sweets because they do not produce enough insulin to counteract the blood sugar spike. It’s vows like this that make me realize that those “Seven Deadly Sins” really are much more deadly than we all realize. It’s giving up things I enjoy that make me realize there are those less fortunate than me who cannot ever have those things back. Today, I am grateful to be able to resume my dietary habit of moderation. I am grateful that I do not have a health condition that forbids me from eating glutenous, sugary, or salty products. I am grateful that I can exercise moderation to prevent certain acquired health disorders. I am grateful that I am relatively healthy.
I hope that all of you — who celebrate it at least — have a safe and happy Easter. I will be spending mine with my family: my husband, my kids, my maternal grandparents, and one of my aunts. I plan on enjoying some delicious chocolate, candy, cake, and soda in celebration of the end of Lent and of the obvious reasons for Easter (if you don’t know, then you should consult the wise people at Google or Wikipedia to learn more about what Easter’s all about — I don’t think Linus of the Peanuts has a good description of Easter like he did for Christmas, though). If you’d like to know what’s on the menu, here’s a run-down:
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Fresh Salad
- Zucchini and yellow squash
- Biscuits (the kind that come in a refrigerated can)
- Deviled eggs
- Carrot cake (because how cute is that going to be for Easter?! ;))
- Irish soda bread (Brian did so good on his first loaf, I demanded he make more!)
Family, food, and fun — what’s not to love?