Have you ever taken a nap and so quickly fallen into a deep sleep that when you woke up hours later your mouth was dry, your head sweaty, and your legs wobbly? It's the kind of nap where your brain capitalizes on the stillness and decides to do a hard reset. Shut everything down! She's asleep and we have a lot of work to do! Go go go! That was me on Saturday afternoon.
I had a heck of a week this past week. It was the kind of week where huge chunks of significant information came at me in really fast succession. I did not see any of it coming, and I did my best to react well in the moment. But then I spent hours processing the resulting thoughts and emotions. By the end of the week I was exhausted physically and emotionally.
I needed some emotional support.
On Saturday morning, I texted a friend. "I need a pep talk. Can you chat?" Right away she called. I took a deep breath and then unloaded every negative thing I was thinking: the fear, the self-doubt, the despair, the lies. This action, although vulnerable and uncomfortable, was cathartic. Bringing shame into the light is the only solution (right, Brené?).
My friend listened without judgment and without trying to solve anything. She offered the two key ingredients I needed: encouragement and a reminder of what is true. Thirty minutes later, my heart was feeling back on track. I had needed emotional support, and I found it.
I also needed a nap.
This is how is goes. When we are in stress, our hearts and our bodies need attention. The challenge is learning to listen, knowing ourselves well enough to trust those inklings of indicators, and then caring enough for ourselves to get what we need.
If we learn to listen, to pinpoint what we need (in my case, a friend and some sleep), and then follow through accordingly, we can begin to move away from despair and back into alignment with who we really are.
This weekend I am thankful for the ability to know what I need and how to get it. I am grateful for friends who respond to the call and deliver the emotional goods in exactly the right way. I am also grateful for my bed and the blackout curtains in my room.
What do you need this week? What is your heart and your body telling you? I encourage you to seek it out and care for yourself well.
Tomato Cheddar Pie
I could make an argument that the best way to enjoy ripe summer tomatoes is sliced with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. If, however, you want to step it up and cook a dish that feels like summer and centers on tomatoes, this Tomato Cheddar Pie is one of my favorites.
I am making an editorial decision and shoe-horning in a recipe for Gazpacho as a "drink." I have done this because I really want you to try this recipe, and also because no one really wants to drink tomatoes. The best thing about gazpacho is that it gets better with time.
Rotten Tomatoes Top 100, Kids and Family
The website Rotten Tomatoes rates films. According to their website, can you guess the top film in the Kids and Family genre?
Wizard of Oz!
Second on the list? Inside Out. Grab your kids, grab a friend, and spend a moment reliving top-notch movies. One classic. One modern. Both insanely wonderful.
Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
If you've only seen the movie but never read the book, I highly recommend picking up a copy. I fell in love with the characters on screen first, but as it usually goes, the book gives so much more color and depth to them.
The story of friendship is sweet and tragic, and I would give anything to taste those cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes fresh out of the cast iron skillet.
Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
"You like potato
I like po-tah-to
You like tomato
I like to-mah-to"
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers on roller skates, fully dressed, having an "argument" as they skate through the park. Charmingly wonderful.
TOMATO FUN FACTS
Tomatoes are technically fruits.
The record for the largest tomato is 7 pounds 12 ounces.
The tomato is both the state fruit and the state vegetable of Arkansas.
China is the largest producer of tomatoes.
Do you own one of these? I was unfamiliar with the tomato server until I saw one on Vintage Collected and was smitten. They are stunning, and have a very specific design (serving slices of tomatoes). However, I find them useful for lots of different serving challenges, and look for any opportunity to put this beautiful and interesting piece to good use.