Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

bread making

During my year in MN, I lived with a sister who baked bread. I looked forward to the days when I walked in the door and could smell fresh bread. Near the end of my time there, she taught me how to bake it and gave me a copy of her recipe. It was the first time that I knew someone who took the time to make bread. Heck, it was the first time that I knew/lived with people who canned food & only the second time I lived with someone who made meals from scratch.

ingredients : step one 

Last weekend, my SD reminded me that I need to remember to take time for myself. I scoffed at her and said something along the lines of, "but I do." Nevertheless, I promised her that I would take some time for myself on Monday. As I was falling asleep last night, I thought about this bread. I had asked another volunteer for the recipe last week (after losing my copy). All I would need to do was run to the West Side Market for cracked wheat and honey.

It was the perfect "time for myself" activity. I cleaned the kitchen so I could start out with a clean slate and laid out the ingredients. I followed the directions and strayed a bit when I knew that it needed something else.

ready for the oven

I waited in anticipation for the loaves to finish baking. They weren't my best, but still delicious.

It was the perfect chunk of time to take for myself - to relax and regroup. Work takes a lot out of me and quiet time is the last thing I want to do when I get home at night. I'll sit on the couch and say, "I should go to my room early & journal," but I rarely do it. Yet, I feel like I'm reaching my breaking point - like I desperately need to take this time even if I feel guilty about not doing something else.

Spending the time baking bread was a good reminder that I don't need to feel guilty about taking time for me. I need to do it for my sanity, for clarity, and for discernment. I think I can manage it. (Although, I don't think I have in the past week). It's a work in progress.

finished product

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - bring it on.

I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a big year filled with growth and changes.

How do I know this? The other day, I flipped through old journals from 2-3 years ago. I wrote them before I gave in to what I wanted and left my stable job to move to MN for a yearlong volunteer program. I hardly recognized that person. I didn't think I was afraid of anything, but I now realize that I was afraid of the power of my own thoughts. I've always known that I wanted to work "with people" (a life of service), but I was afraid to take the initial leap to do that. in 2010, I took that leap and look where I am now. Two years of volunteer service later and I'm working in refugee resettlement.

I know that this is going to be an amazing year because I know how much I've changed in the last 2-3 years. In MN, I began to change as I was finally out of the area and grasp of my family. I was finally living my own life. I haven't looked back since. Last year (or, rather the end of 2011), I took the leap and moved to the Villa where I worked on a farm (!), with retired sisters, and at a Catholic worker. I learned about spirituality and prayer and, holy crap did I grow. At one point, I wondered out loud, "When did I become this person?" For the record, I don't know the answer to that.

I see the changes when I go back to my family's house and become anxious at that lifestyle. It's not how I live anymore and, while it's nice to visit, it's not what I want for myself. I see the changes when I explain my job or why I'm involved in anti-human trafficking campaigns or Young Adult involvement in the Catholic Church. I see the changes when I try to return to the person that I was and I can't.

I know who I am now. I know what I want and how I want to live my life. 2013 will be a good year because I will keep learning, leaning into who I've become, and going where I know that I'm heading.