Monday, January 17, 2011

Kissing Frogs and Cleaning Fridges

I turn 30 this week, and it's thrilling.  I've been using this long weekend to wax nostalgic (Happy MLK day!) I have been sporadically re-reading my past 12 years of journals.  Rather than feel embarrassment at my naivety or my self-absorption in my early twenties, I'm marveling at how much I've learned about myself, about living, about the person that I want to be, and the world I want to create for myself.  This past decade was about learning to kiss my frogs.

Let me explain.  In Judy Reeves's book, A Writer's Book of Days, she discusses the importance of kissing your frogs, of admitting that everything you produce is not going to be brilliant.  In fact, most of it is not.  As I've been approaching thirty, I've slowing been shedding the perfectionism, the fear, the pressure of my twenties--now I don't have to live up to anyone but myself--and I've learned to be pretty forgiving of myself the older I get.  And, more than anything, these journals represent all the frogs that I've kissed along the way.  All the unpleasantness, pain, mistakes, and junk that I've experienced or created was necessary, was something I needed to go through get where I'm at now.

Even though there's a lot of swampy, murky, crap contained in these pages, there are still some glimmer's of truth and beauty.  After all, frogs have been known to turn into princes if a princess is brave enough to kiss it.  At times, I'm awed at the mindfulness, the awareness, the thoughtfulness that I managed to pour onto the page.  I'm excited to keep observing and thinking and writing about what I see, what I feel, and what I do.  I'm looking forward to another decade of earning insight and wisdom and experience.

For a great blog post about how to start the practice of a visual journal/scrapbook, check out this link.

Reading old journals makes me think of the Sarah I was at 19 or 22 or 27.  I'm still that same person, but layers of experience, of living life, have obscured exactly who I was back then, like how the color and shape of an object can be obscured by dust or packaging.  Today though, I was transported back to my first year of marriage when I dutifully shopped at the Kroger once a week.  This was before I had a garden, before the chickens, before I learned to can, and most notably, before I could go a month without grocery shopping and barely notice it.  When Kent and I lived on North 33rd Street in Omaha, on grocery day, more often than not, there would be nothing in the fridge that was remotely delicious or edible, so I'd eat lunch out before traipsing to the store.

Today felt exactly like "back in the day."  I've been having a rough go lately at cooking things that are colorful or delicious enough to make me want to eat the leftovers.  There have been a lot of frogs in the kitchen lately, so I went out for a sandwich at the local vegetarian restaurant, Squeaker's, before shopping.  Then, I remembered when I returned home, when I was a newlywed, I would always meticuolously clean out the fridge before I'd put anything new away.  This helped me strategically avoid culturing various molds and other science experiments.  I haven't been doing that lately.

Today, the chickens got a late lunch of 1/2 lb of silken tofu that had developed a yellow scum, 1/2 bunch of kale that had developed fuzzy spots, the remains of a homemade batch of ranch dressing, a charturese bunch of Italian parsley, and the rest of the froggiest dish I made last week: cannelini bean and cremini mushroom in a red wine sauce.

Now, I have a fridge full of fresh groceries, a week of meals planned, and a gorgeously cleaned and organized fridge.

Germ-Killer Spray 

This spray is simple to make, and it has the benefits of containing no carcinogenic or otherwise harmful chemicals like lysol and chlorine bleach do.  It has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and it smells really good too!

2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon tea tree oil
1/4 teaspoon lavender oil

Mix ingredient in a spray bottle and shake well before using. Spray on inside of fridge or anywhere else you want to de-germify.

1 comment:

Jody said...

Sarah, this is an EXCELLENT description of the 20's, and what it feels like to step into the 30's! And, of course it always involves some major reflection and fridge cleaning. Welcome to your most fearless 30 year old's a trip!