This week I was scrolling through Facebook and came upon a friend’s post with the hashtag passthejoy. It was such a reminder to look for more joy, to draw it out of our experiences, and to pass it forward to others. I realized that little hashtag was a huge component of my month. When we sit down to the table for dinner, oftentimes we say, “Please pass the salt.” Salt is that tiny but mighty ingredient that makes all food flavors come together and actually taste more like themselves, provides balance, and a little goes a long way. Joy works the same way, it makes a situation a little more potent, provides balance, and just a little bit can do a world of good.
I don’t know about you, but my January calendar shot me out of a cannon. The holidays ended and I immediately went to work, picked up new clients, new projects, met writing deadlines, went on a whirlwind of auditions, and completed commitments that I had said yes to before 2014 had come to a close. I did my best to avoid the words ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘busy.’ When I use those words I tend to get complainful, resentful, and feel like I don’t have control of my schedule. By avoiding those descriptions of my calendar, I was able to focus on the abundance and opportunity and stay open to more coming my way.
One way I was able to do this was taking time to #passthejoy. When I plan things in my schedule that are fun or involve my friends, or that celebrate the work of someone else, it’s like time expands, the calendar seems to gain a few days and I don’t feel as stressed. I went to Broadway plays. I attended the art openings of 2 of my favorite artists. I flew to Miami for a quick weekend to be in the wedding of one of my bests. I hosted a friend from out of town. I even joined my girlfriends for a 6:30 in the morning dance party rave!!!! I called up an old friend and said, “I need a hug, can we just meet for a hello?” And we did and that hug brought so much joy that fueled the days ahead.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that create the most impact. I’m really proud that I started my year off on such a joyous note. That little bit of joy ‘seasoning’ made me show up for my jobs and clients willing and grateful to be of service. I was more present and had much more of myself to offer. I found the room to incorporate some ‘me’ time, some creative time, some friend time into my schedule instead of it just being work and deadlines. I think that #passthejoy will be a theme for the rest of the year. Won’t you join me?
Well, I’m not sharing a Pass the Salt recipe, I’m going a different route. We have a blizzard ahead of us in New York City and my best defense is creating a little sunshine by making a Key Lime Pie! Citrus fruits are in season in the Winter, but I couldn’t find key limes in my local market. I substituted with regular lime zest. Luckily, nearly every grocery store has a bottle of key lime juice so this pie comes together pretty easily. Pass the Pie! Pass the Joy!
Key Lime Pie
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice(12-15 key limes or 3-4 regular ones)
- 4 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 11 graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- Whisk the egg yolks and lime zest together in a bowl until light green, about 2 minutes.
- Beat in milk, then juice, and set aside at room temperature until it thickens.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Crush the graham crackers in a food processor, add sugar and melted butter, pulsing until the mixture is a fine sand.
- Pour the mixture into a 9" pie pan and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. The bottom of a measuring cup works well to press the crumb mixture down evenly.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the crust is light brown. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
- Pour the lime filling into crust, spread evenly, and bake for 15 minutes until the center sets, but still wiggles when shaken.
- Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours until well chilled.
- Serve with sweetened whip cream for a little something extra!