When you’re young you feel like life will go on forever. You see the future as having no real end and there are so many possibilities lined up in front of you. You know that your life is going to matter in some deep and meaningful way. Then, somehow, real life kicks in. You find yourself just living day to day. Working, running errands, taking care of kids, cleaning the house, taking vacations. The days tend to run one into the other with no real definition between them. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I was doing one month ago today, but I can be pretty certain that it was pretty close to what today is like and what next month will look like. I would like to do things differently. I want to be able to “seize the day” and make every moment count, but I’m not quite sure what means. How do I make today stand out from every other day that exists? Is it even in my control? I guess what needs to happen is like the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
This prayer is usually used in instances of addiction, but I think it can also be used as a starting point for choosing to live differently. Yes, there are certain things I need to do today: work, pick up my daughter from school, straighten up the house, make some sort of dinner. No, those things, by themselves, are not a lot of fun. But, my attitude is something that I can change. I can choose to be grateful that I work at home and can straighten up the house on my breaks. I can choose to enjoy the time I have left with my daughter while she’s still at home. And, instead of making something for dinner that we always have, I can choose to experiment and enjoy the adventure of trying something new. It may not be a masterpiece, but it will be me exercising my creativity and creating something new. And that will, hopefully, make this day stand out from every other.
Roasted Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup
1/2-1 pound chicken breasts
6 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup red and yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 small turnip, chopped
(and any other vegetables you might like)
4-6 ounces pasta of your choice
Place chicken, broth, onion, celery, salt, pepper, and thyme all in crockpot on low. Cook 6-8 hours until chicken is falling apart. Chop all vegetables into bite-size pieces. About an hour before serving the soup, roast the vegetables at 400°F for about 30 minutes (until they start to brown and peppers begin to blister). Take them out about halfway through and flip them over to get both sides brown. Shred the chicken and return to the crockpot. Add the roasted vegetables to the crockpot. Let it cook for about a half hour to infuse the roasted flavor. While that is cooking, make the pasta. Add to the soup right before serving.