It’s funny how much humans have in common, and yet how different we are. For some, focusing on living a life based on practical reality is the way to go. They feel safe. Secure. Assured of what is real and what is not.
It took me a long time to realize despite the side of me that definitely cares about being responsible and making good decisions, I wasn’t made to live in that world of cold, hard facts. Living in that world triggers my anxiety, encourages me to cling tight to everything I care about and try to control the world around me. I grew up thinking that being cautious and avoiding any sort of risk prevented terrible things from happening. Living in fear and feeling like a prisoner to making mistakes.
It took me an even longer time to realize I was meant to live in a world of hopes and dreams, focusing on things that I find beautiful, inspiring, life giving. Creating, pondering, writing. Giving myself some space and slack to go in one direction for a while, then change my mind and take another route. Learn new things, figure myself out and acquire knowledge about the world around me. Throw caution to the wind and live this beautiful life I was given.
I’ve worked really hard to be able to give myself the grace to make mistakes. It’s not easy. I’m still terrified, at times, of “screwing up my life,” whatever that means. But as I’ve trudged through all my muck, working through my anxiety, a lot of people I trust have told me it’s ok to make mistakes. I still have trouble making decisions and trusting myself when I have to choose between A or B in any sort of permanent fashion. I still want to make the “right” choice. But I’m learning to be okay if that choice turns out differently than I expected.
And now that being ok with my missteps is becoming a little less foreign and a little more second nature, I’m noticing that even the people who told me it was ok to mess up, have a hard time doing so themselves. I can’t tell you how many times people have commented on me “bouncing around” from thing to thing. Pushing me to make up my mind, settle down and be consistent. Acting bewildered when I take up a new hobby, confess my interest in trying something a little out of character or journeying out of my comfort zone. We’re all so different. But a lot of us are fighting the same battles.
After agonizing over menu choices and combinations the last couple events, I decided to practice what I’ve been preaching and throw caution to the wind with the Velour event last week. I bought some yellow beets simply because I thought they looked beautiful on the grocery store shelf. I grabbed a few meyer lemons out of my fridge and a handful of thyme and threw them in the pan with some olive oil and sea salt. I added a little water and roasted the beets until they were soft and tender. As I peeled them from their soft, warm skins I thought about how the vivid golden color reminded me of lemons and honey, and so I drizzled them with both. The honey reminded me of my favorite fruit salad, which has a honey-mint dressing, so I grabbed a bunch of mint and plucked all the spearminty leaves off to add to the mix. I tossed them all together and let them marinate in the fridge for a couple hours while I worked on the rest of the dishes.
I couldn’t help but stick my nose in the bowl as I pulled it from the fridge and was greeted with a smell something like a spring afternoon. Warm but still a bit cool and fresh. Some crushed pistachios for a little crunch completed the salad and I heard nothing but rave reviews all night. And I have to agree, this is my new favorite thing to do with beets. See what taking a chance will get you? Spring sunshine on a plate!
- 2 bunches small, yellow beets (about 6 each)
- 1 bunch thyme
- 4 meyer lemons or blood oranges
- 1 Tbsp olive oil + more for dressing
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 bunch mint
- 1/4 cup pistachios, roasted & crushed
- Remove leaves from beets and wash. Place in roasting pan with thyme. Half 2 lemons or oranges and squeeze juice over beets. Place halves in pan. Add olive oil, salt and fill the pan about 1/2 way with water. Cover with tin foil and roast at 400 for an hour, or until soft when stabbed with a meat fork.
- Remove from the oven, let cool until able to be handled, then rub off skins with a washcloth.
- Slice beets in halves or quarters and add to a mixing bowl. Add picked mint leaves and drizzle with honey, the juice of the other two lemons/oranges and olive oil. Add salt to taste. Place until the fridge until cooled through.
- Adjust seasonings, sprinkle with pistachios and serve.