The Summer that was

I’m a perfectionist (aren’t we all, in our own little ways). Recently I’ve felt confronted by what this means–and how it can imprison me. Life is messy, people make mistakes, and flaws are beautiful. So beautiful. And makes the tapestry of everyday more wonderful.

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So, inspired by this post, I’ve decided to remember this summer for what it was, not was it could have been, or what I could have done. Because it was an a

mazing summer, full of growth and wonder.

This summer, I….

…was caught in my first Tornado (in Oklahoma!)

….drove across the plains, and stopped at the ‘home of the throwed rolls.

….visited Asheville, NC

….celebrated two incredible marriages

….stood next to my best friend on her wedding day

….purged all of the things! (after my ceiling fell in)

….stopped eating sugar and drinking beers (among other things) for 30 days

….made a budget. For the first time ever.

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Summer, you’ve been so sweet. And I know there are still a few more lingering weeks of heat and humidity, but so far, you’ve been a peach.

Did I mention that I gave up sugar for 30 days?

Well, it was sugar, dairy, alcohol, legumes, soy and grain.

(I promise I was able to feed myself. And still eat a lot).

Today was day 31. Yesterday felt like Friday night and Christmas Eve: I thought about what I was going to eat, how I was going to celebrate, and dreamed of inhaling the most delicious muffin.

This morning, I woke up, put on my favorite dress (what better way to celebrate?) and went to my favorite bakery in town. I carefully picked out an egg strata with roasted peppers, basil, goat cheese and mozzerella. And the most gooey chocolate donut.

I ate the egg strata first, and it felt like a flavor explosion in my mouth. The sharpness of the cheese, married with the freshness of the basil took me back to Europe in the summer, all in one delicious bite.

And the donut. Oh man, that donut. Sugar coated sugar, dripping with chocolate. Almost too sweet, but sinfully decadent and so worth it.

I’ve learned a lot over the course of these past 30 days, mostly about food and my eating habits. But I’ve also learned that restraint lends itself to utter appreciation and satisfaction when indulging in life’s little pleasures. And it’s incredible.

 

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I just got off the phone with my mountain man. He’s hiking the Collegiate trail in Colorado with his brother, teaching him the ways of the wilderness one summit at a time.

I’ve loved hearing about his adventure.  I know how restorative it is just be in the presence of mountains, either from a distance or within their majesty.  We both find a certain kind of freedom in the hills.

After rehashing their adventures both in nature (there were elk skeletons) and the culinary world (two words: dehydrated chili), he said something that was so very true.

“What’s in front of us is the gift we’ve been given. ”

In the context of hiking, it’s beautiful. In the context of life, it’s profound.

When things fall

The ceiling literally fell in.

Black dust,  pieces of plaster & the mess of everything lent itself to a certain kind of chaos. The kind of chaos where you’re calling your mother in tears, demanding your landlord for more information, and making friends with your insurance guy.

I’ll spare you all of the (literally) gritty details, but over the course of the next few days, I dusted, cleaned and packed up all of my belongings to be shipped off and cleaned.

And guys, it was liberating. To be free of the stuff.

I realized that none of it mattered. I was safe, I had a wonderful support system, and (luckily) had gotten renter’s insurance back in April. And I didn’t miss anything that had been sent away.

I also realized that I have carved out a home in this dingy, run down apartment. I started looking at Craigslist right away, telling myself that there was no way I’d be living in this mess with a crazy slumlord for one more day. But then, nothing seemed to look right. And I found myself missing the crumbly brick walls, the cramped kitchen, and the quirky plumbing. This is by no means a forever home – I know that the near future will probably involve another move, a new neighborhood, maybe even a new town. But this place will always be important in my timeline. It’s were I’m learning to live, alone and with others, a life that is uniquely me.

Also, I’m having a garage sale. To sell all the things. (seriously).