I’m not sure about you, but the second I saw the second pink line on my pregnancy test, those little voices questioning if I was a good enough mom started popping up. Sure, I was self critical before but aside from the cat, it didn’t really matter if my decisions were up to snuff. Eric, being a capable adult in his own right, could surely survive if I botched something badly. But, your child…it’s a different story. And, for me, I don’t just question the stuff that directly impacts Luke in the day-to-day, I question the way I role-model life and if it’s a standard I want for him. No pressure there!
I know a few things about my “best self”, she would say far less offensive things. Wouldn’t lose her temper at her toddler when he spits out his food. Probably drink less coffee, dress better and be more focused. Send gifts and birthday cards ahead of time. She would blog AT LEAST once a week. She’d take better care of the environment and eat locally if not self-grow the food her family eats. She’d read more, craft more and most definitely exercise. Volunteer, being politically engaged and donate a lot more money. Plus, you know, keep up the job, the great relationship I have with Eric and stay close with family and friends. No sweat.
Most of the time, it all alludes me. It’s hard to keep up with the laundry, hold down the job, deal with LA traffic and not lose your cool when your kid has tested every last nerve. But, that’s the journey we’re all working on, right?
Still, there are some times, when the wind blows in from the east and the stars aline just so when you have an opportunity to do just that. To be your best self, even if just for a moment.
Our day trip to Underwood Family farms last weekend spurred a chain reaction of events that led me to live my best self’s life for a few hours and I just had to share.
First of all, Underwood is perfectly set up for kids. The whole thing is fenced in so there’s no where for the kids to go. There are play trains and jungle gyms. Hay bails and slides. There’s a petty zoo, pony rides and lots of goats. And, for additional fun they have acres and acres of fields that are open for picking. We played, had a picnic and took a tractor ride. Then just before Luke got good and tired, we popped into the fields to pick some strawberries.
We ate strawberries in the field, filled a basket and pulled Luke around in a big red wagon. We picked purple peppers and pasilla peppers, and beets.
Here’s the thing about beets though–and you probably know this. Fresh from the ground, the beet to green ratio is even crazier than when you buy a bunch at the market. And, it’s always killed me to throw out all of those greens. I knew I’d have to come up with something to make out of those greens or it just wouldn’t feel right.
Last Sunday night, while Luke and Eric played. I roasted beets, sautéed half the greens and made a pesto from the rest (mixed with our own grown basil). All week I enjoyed the rewards of our efforts but this weekend it went to a whole new level.
Our local pizza place recently closed. And, we tried some of the national chains but they really frustrate us. We make our own pizzas now and again but we’ve been making them way more often lately. (And with pre-made whole wheat dough at TJs for $1.19, how can you not!) It’s healthier and cheaper.
Tonight I made a pesto pizza with chicken, onion, mushroom and more basil from our container garden. It was delicious but it tasted all the better because it brought together so many of the things I aim for in life. Eating healthier, cooking at home, growing our own food, and sitting around the table with the guys I love.
I don’t think it’s possible to be your best all the time. But I do think it’s a good idea to be aiming higher and seeking out the life you want to live. Because when you get it, even if just for a moment, the rewards are worth all the work.