My friends and I have a joke about my life and the title of my blog. I’m often accused of never letting anyone have a bad day or feel sorry for themselves. Everyone thinks I’m this cheery positive robot who never has bad days and only good things happen to me. A large percent of my days DO reflect that description, but I’m human. Super human, in fact! (That isn’t exactly a good thing…)
There are many days I could win negativity contests and win awards for my impure thoughts and actions. I’m human, not a Stepford happy face who continually has pep in my step. But my commitment to writing and sharing on Mondays is specifically titled All Good Things, not A Little Bit Good, A Little Bit Bad. I have written many times about my lessons around tragedy and loss, heartbreak and failure, but I try to leave out my bad moods, my notsogreat behavior, and my days of unmotivated laziness. I know there are lessons around those things as well, but really, who wants to read about the struggle of another as you are doing your best to fight the Mondays?
Well, my Negative Ninnygoats, I’d love to say you’re in for a treat in which I’ll reward you with a story of my craptastic week, and invite you to my Pity Party. Did I have a visit to the emergency room and leave with souvenir thread knotted into my skin to hold it together? Why yes, yes I did! And did I have a political knock-down-drag-out with my oldest and best childhood friend when he was supposed to be my guest and relaxing on his vacation. Yeah, that happened too. Craptastic indeed. I’ll be honest with you, there is no pep in my step around these two events. None.
I’m not a fan of the saying, ”Everything happens for a reason.” It’s a dead end statement and dead ends not only get us nowhere, but we actually have to back up, turn around, and seek out another direction. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Oftentimes, tragedy knocks on our door and we greet it with, “Why is this happening to me???” That is an answerless question. So I abandoned that phrase a long time ago too. Instead I ask, “Why is this happening FOR me?”
Instead of victimizing myself, my goal is to investigate the opportunity. What am I supposed to learn, how can I help someone else benefit from my circumstances, what’s on the other side once I’m past this situation? You know why I like those questions? Because they go somewhere, there are endless answers, and they give me hope. Hope that things will improve. Hope that I can try again. Hope that I will heal or be forgiven. This optimistic attitude may not soothe the pain or take away the situation but it disempowers the negative and throws a bucket of water on the idea that things will be like this forever. Hope is essential in all things.
Do my stitches throb and do I wish the election was over? You betcha! I’d say I’ve got some time ahead of me before I’m back to 100% and I’d also say that once the election is over, there will still be unhappy citizens, whomever wins. But my hope is going to see me through the frustration and pain as well as the icky conversations with people who disagree with me. What we’re going through, whatever it is, and however seemingly good or seemingly bad, will eventually evolve into something else. Our job is to not be robots – happy robots or cranky ones. We must embrace our humanity and embrace whatever is handed to us with grace.
One way I’m not feeling sorry for myself as I heal is making some warm, comfort food. The beautiful autumn days are falling fast into the inevitable winter days. That means chili and stew weather. I may not be having a Pity Party, but if I were I’d be serving this recipe I made for Stonebridge Orchards using their dried cherries. I used ground turkey but it’s perfectly delicious with no meat and using only beans and vegetables.
TURKEY CHILI WITH DRIED CHERRIES
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 32 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 15 oz. cans beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup Stoneridge Orchards Montmorency dried cherries, chopped
- Grated cheddar, chopped cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Over a medium flame, heat the oil in a large pan, add onion, jalapeño and spices.
- Cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
- Add meat, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and cherries. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add cracked red pepper to taste if you like things spicier.
- Remove from heat and serve topped with garnishes.
Food photography by Cheryl Stockton of Stockshot Studio