This post is part of an on-going series called, #LifeOnPurpose, where I have challenged myself for the next forty days to do something each day- no matter how small – to slow down, notice my surroundings, and be intentional. It is part of my effort to live less on accident and more on purpose. You can read other posts in this series here:
Day 5 was a Friday, and the perfect time to clear the evening for some much needed relaxation with friends. My plan for the evening was to do something that I really, really, enjoy, and that is spending a summer evening out on our patio, dining al fresco.
And that is exactly what we did. The hubs and I invited two friends over, I made a light summer pasta, we opened up a wonderful bottle of wine, and together we ate, chatted and enjoyed the evening together. It was exactly what I needed, and it felt good to be intentional about relaxing over a meal with friends.
Usually, entertaining involves a lot of stressful elements for me: cooking, cleaning, and balancing the kids’ needs throughout it all. However, as part of my #LifeOnPurpose challenge, I focused more on enjoying the evening, and less on making it perfect.
The meal I made was simple. I tidied up our place a bit, but didn’t worry that it wasn’t perfect. And, last but certainly not least, I I embraced the interruptions from my kids as I prepared for our guests with a “it will get done when it gets done” kind of attitude.
The result was fantastic. I was relaxed when our guests arrived, and as we settled down to good food, good wine, and even better conversation and scenery, I continued to relax as the night went on. It was the perfect way to spend a summer evening, and it was another successful attempt to slow down, be intentional, and live on purpose.
And I haven’t even got to dessert yet! To date, my most popular His Girl Friday post was my Skillet Skillz post about cooking with a cast iron skillet. Well, for all you skillet fans out there, here is a new recipe that we tested Friday night that will dazzle your taste buds and wow you with it’s simplicity.
Cast Iron Skillet S’mores
Take enough chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate) to coat the bottom of your skillet (so this varies based on the size of your skillet), top with marshmallows (I used the small kind), broil until your desired level of toastedness, and then Voila! Scoop out with graham cracker pieces. All in all, it took about five minutes to make, and less to devour.
Have I mentioned I’ve been sick? I can’t tell if it’s terrible timing for this project, or perfect. Either way, that’s the situation. Today I woke up feeling particularly crummy, and I was wondering how I can bring intention and mindfulness to my day when all I want to do is sleep. But then I got up, made myself some refreshing herbal tea (fresh mint, fresh squeezed lemon and honey), and begrudgingly got out my yoga mat.
I found a yoga sequence that it supposed to be good for head colds, and grabbed a pillow as they recommended (which I found to be an encouraging sign).
As I was going through the sequence, I realized that this project was exactly what I needed to be thinking about. When we get sick, it is far too easy to lay on the couch, veg out in front of the tv, or sleep for hours on end. Or at least that is what I do.
But today, I decided to be intentional in how I responded to by sickness. I listened to what my body was saying by giving it the things it needed: rest, gentle yoga, nourishing food and tea. I didn’t, however, lay around and let sickness hijack my day. Instead of saying, “I can’t do that, I’m sick…” I said, “because I’m sick, what should I be doing?”
It was a simple change in perspective that yielded great results. I won’t tell you that my new outlook cured me, but I do feel better than I did when I started my day and what’s more, I was able to enjoy my day much more than I would have if I had stayed in bed and watched hours and hours of old movies.
Now, let me be honest. This took a huge amount of gumption, and if I hadn’t started this #LifeOnPurpose challenge and blogged about it and said that I’d keep my readers updated on my progress….well, I basically wouldn’t have done anything today. I mean, watching hours of tv is the best part about being sick, isn’t it? There will probably still be plenty of days in my future that look like that, but after today, I also realize that if I am intentional about taking care of myself when I don’t feel well, I really do have a lot of tools to make that possible. And that felt really good.