Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Sweet Spot

Right now, several things are healing properties to me. Exciting and new and finally. They are my take-a-step moments. You might not know it unless you inched your way into my kitchen, or into my car.

The kitchen is the place for my current mess, the good kind, the ones that represent my trial-and-error, actually making food in the kitchen again.

I'm currently reading Bread and Wine, by one of my favorite favorites, Shauna Niequest. This is a win. You should stop what you're doing and go read it.

She speaks my language. There are many, many take-a-ways for life and the kitchen, and, well, I can relate all too well.

"I'm not really a recipe girl. My mom always teases me about it, knowing that when I say I used a recipe, all it means is that at some point, some list of ingredients and techniques were involved as I threw things in pans, as I sliced, poured, salted, and peppered with seeming randomness. She does not particularly appreciate this cooking style, and sometimes she has to leave the kitchen because my loosey-goosey approach makes her nervous." -S. Niequist

It is rare, if ever, that I make a predetermined plan in the kitchen. But, this is week one of actually making a meal plan, and my hope is that I will somewhat stick to it! I'm not aiming for perfection here, just to begin somewhere. Because colorful salads that I love and making dishes with odd-sounding grains (quinoa-couscous love) will not happen on their own.

There are times when recipes and techniques are needed, there is definitely a need for planning, but for sure, we can be directed by our senses and taste buds and getting back to having fun in the kitchen, as well as the secret hope that someday one will find a cooking boot camp, as Shauna did, even though she seems like an excellent cook.

And now then, let me explain the car. The car is the place that currently houses my racquet, tennis balls and shoes, because I picked damp day #26 to be the start of my tennis playing days again.

I was all ready to go play, as in, tennis shorts, headband, shoes.

For the love, I need to watch the weather channel.

Wimbledon is current in progress. Without fail, every year about this time, the tournament gets me moving again, because I can hardly watch it without thinking, I need to be playing again, not watching!

Little known fact about me for some of you: I grew up, nearly all my life, playing tennis. All the time, all the time.

It's muscle memory. That's one thing I love about picking up the ball and racquet; it's something that comes back to me (even if I am rusty) the moment I start again.

It wasn't always that way. Of course, when you start something new, it's repetition. Repetition. Like anything.  People often joke about tennis, if they haven't played it. Because it's typically not a pick-up sport. That makes it more interesting. You have to practice, like anything worth doing. I could no more 'pick-up' a guitar and play than anything.

Confession: I was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even 'picking up' a guitar and pretending to hold it for a picture felt a little awkward. That is sad, I know. But, I am more an athlete than a musician. I love, love to listen to music, until the day I die, I hope to have music playing in the background (and foreground), but I am not as comfortable with instruments in my hand as I am hitting a ball or running around on a court. 

Everyone is different. I forget about this part of me, sometimes.

I forget that I need balance in my life, and sometimes that means I need to get out there and smack the tennis ball.

I stood and looked at the rain for a good minute today because I thought today was going to be the day. Soon, though!

Here is a funny video I found describing how to find "the sweet spot" in tennis.

Helpful, yes. But, I've been learning again and again with every turn lately, and this just reinforces it, that you really have to get out there and practice, do, begin.

Some things are better lived than watched or read. As much as I am a creature of habit (and like to pretend I am not!), as much as I live to learn from books, as much as getting out there and starting what I said I'm going to do takes effort: it is worth it.

Here's to adding color to salads and life and smacking those tennis balls.

What are the new, or maybe some old-new things you're into lately? When have you found the 'sweet spot' by getting out there and doing?

linking up with emily and others.

He is making all things new!


  1. what a fun post, julie! i'm all for adding more color to life and hitting more tennis balls. thank you for this! and for linking with imperfect prose. e.

  2. Thanks, Emily! Great to hear from you! I love linking for imperfect prose..thank you :).