I have been writing and re-writing this blog in my head for a long time. I have written various versions while walking to work, chopping vegetables in my kitchen, ironing bed sheets. I have written down different opening lines and endings, but the middle bit has been hard to put down.
Much like my blog about the doormat, the content is just so personal. And painful.
Today, I realized while taking another long walk, that the reason why it was so difficult to write was the title I had given it – High Expectations.
Time and the walk (in fact, a lot of time and walks and moments of introspection) made me realize that high expectations result in futility. Because, what I really should be doing is – Letting Go!
Yes – letting go. Of things which I can not control or change. Like the decisions my children make; promises that are not kept; friends who move on to other friends or to other stages in their lives; dreams that have passed their sell-by-date.
I accept that I raised my kids to be independent human beings. I started them on that path the moment they took their first step. I accept that sometimes people make promises because at that moment, it seems feasible and right. But the moment passes and is forgotten. I accept that friends move on. People change along with the circumstances in their lives and the adjustment may no longer include me. I accept that many of my so-called dreams may have reached a point of un-attainability.
So, I settle. I settle for imessage photos of my daughter’s Sardinian vacation and my son’s quick hellos. I know that I am still part of their lives. I settle for the promises that are kept and file the ones that are not, in a box called Forgive. I settle for and cherish the people who are around me; and keep the ones who have moved on in a safe place in my heart. I settle for the realities of today knowing that I have given my dreams a try and success is not always measurable.
And …. I celebrate the love that I know my husband and my children have for me. Even though some days I wish they would actually tell me. But in my heart I know, and will always know, they do. I celebrate the friendships I have made in every country I have lived in. I celebrate that undeniable bond of kinship that I share with my family in Manila. I celebrate the link which my blogs have created with the many people whose lives have touched mine. And mine, theirs. I celebrate every line and wrinkle in my brow, every age spot all along my body. Each one is testimony to a life that is lived. A life filled with joy and pain, and enriched with countless beautiful experiences and memories. Every single day.
Yes, I can happily let go!!
Here's a real simple, every day recipe for one of those days when you really do not want to work so hard in the kitchen.
Minced Meat with Chick Peas
1 kg. minced meat (beef, beef and pork, lamb or chicken)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 big onion, chopped
1 tin tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato paste
a dash of sugar, salt & pepper, chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon
1 tin chick peas
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (as garnish)
Saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Add meat. Cook till all the meat is brown. Pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Allow to boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. While simmering, add the sugar and spices and the bouillon cube. Mix in the chick peas. Cook through for another 5 or more minutes. Check the seasonings.
Top with the chopped hard boiled eggs just before serving.
This is a simple family meal which can be cooked and frozen to be served another day. It goes well with rice, potatoes - fried or mashed, or couscous.