1. Well, Operation: Eat Healthfully for the Rest of Marathon Season has gotten off to a…rocky start. Haha. Oops.
When I was younger, my mom made fresh blueberry pies and fresh peach pies during the summer, and they are the bomb. Don’t get me wrong: baked blueberry pies and baked peach pies are delicious as well, but in my opinion, nothing can touch my mom’s fresh fruit pies (to clarify, a fresh fruit pie–whether blueberry or peach–is not baked. You bake the crust, and do some science on the stovetop to create the filling, but you never bake the pie itself. You chill it, thus making it ideal for summer.), except maybe my grandma’s (her mom’s) fresh fruit pies. These are the desserts I associate most strongly with summertime, and I love them.
I had a friend who planned to come over for dinner on Sunday (and then bailed. Another rant for another day. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for flaky friends.), and since August, in my mind, is meant for peaches, I asked my mom for her fresh peach pie recipe, which she kindly provided.
GAH. DELICIOUSNESS. I haven’t shared a recipe on here in years, but I just may post my mom’s peach pie recipe, because to keep something like that to myself is borderline sinful. My roommates have helped me eat this, but I’ve certainly had more than my fair share, too.
So, that was Sunday. On Monday, one of my coworkers came into the office bearing treats. As soon as I saw her walk in, I promised myself I wouldn’t eat anything in the name of the marathon (’tis the season of my favorite late summer/early fall refrain: “I’ll *insert verb and noun here: do this/go there/try that/etc.* after the marathon.”). And I really, truly wasn’t going to…riiiiiight up until the point where she announced that the pie came from Crane’s.
You guys. Crane’s was my childhood apple orchard. When we went apple picking, we went to Crane’s. (Actually, we went peach picking there, too, and where did those peaches end up? In my mom’s fresh peach pie.) It was a good halfway point for my entire family to meet, and their cafe is THE BEST. Well, the cafe is whatever. They’re probably not going to earn any Michelin stars anytime soon, but it’s delightfully eclectic and kitschy. But their PIE (and apple crisp). OMG. The. Best. But it’s not like you can go pick up a Crane’s pie at Jewel or whatever. If you want a Crane’s pie, you have to go to Michigan, and I don’t get there all that often. Slash ever, especially during marathon season. So, needless to say, I’ve helped myself to more than enough apple pie over the past few days.
Marathon diet starts tomorrow. Or whenever all these pies get eaten 😉
2. Earlier this summer, I was fortunate enough to receive a Sunshine VoxBox from Influenster. If you’re unfamiliar with Influenster, it’s a product review/testing website that you can join to speak your mind on all sorts of products and, occasionally, receive products for free to test for yourself with VoxBoxes. Yay free things!
My favorite item from the Sunshine VoxBox would have to be the Bark Thins (#whatmarathondiet), though they are a bit $$$ for me. I have to say, though, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with everything I’ve tried this far. The Vaseline lotion has been my go-to moisturizer since I got it, the Sinful Colors nail polish has done a great job of hiding my disgusting runner’s toenails without chipping, and, to my biggest surprise, the Infusium 23 Moisture Replenisher actually did what it said it would do! In my experience, most hair products that promise to leave my hair soft and frizz-free just leave me with a giant grease ball on top of my head, but this stuff legitimately worked for me. It even kept my hair under control earlier this week when it was oh-so humid. Color me impressed.
3. A few days ago, I was with a group of friends when a person none of us knew came up to us, clearly distressed. She couldn’t find her boyfriend, assumed the worst and wanted to know if we could help. I’ve been in that panicked state enough to know anxiety when I see it, and man, did I see myself in how she reacted to the situation. A couple of my friends did what they could to help her out, and then she walked away, presumably to find her boyfriend.
There was that usual lull in conversation after she left, but once she was without of earshot, the claws came out. “She’s insane,” “She’s crazy,” “If I were her boyfriend, I’d break up with her,” “Do you ever wonder how people like that end up with boyfriends?”
WHOA BUDDY was that tough to hear.
I am not a confrontational person by any stretch of the imagination. I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve ever called anyone out on their behavior or actions was when I was a camp counselor chastising my charges for being irresponsible about their lunch scraps. I mean, good heavens, I don’t even like asking my boss if I can take vacation days, and I would hardly call that confrontational. I have to be firmly in my comfort zone (hello, Internet and writing) to have the confidence to take a stand on, you know, anything, so needless to say when my friends started making fun of the girl who had come up to our group, I retreated into my shell and said…absolutely nothing. Fail. (Though I did have a great imaginary conversation with all of them once I got home. Story of my life.)
This is arguably useless, but since I didn’t say it at the time, I want to say it now: anxiety is different than fear or concern. Anxiety is an an all-consuming beast that takes you from being a human being capable of rational thought into an endorphin-driven, flight-or-fight animal. You know your reaction is overblown. You know you’re mind is betraying you. But when you’re in that state, you’ve been reduced to basic instincts, and there’s nothing you can do about it until the anxiety has run its course, or the situation resolves. There are two of you–a rational you and an anxiety you–and when you’re in that anxious state, the anxiety you will win every. single. time. The rational you will throw up its hands and go sit in the corner judging you until anxiety you runs out of steam, at which point rational you will come over and attempt to clean up the mess anxiety you made. (If you’ve seen or at all familiar with Inside Out, when someone with anxiety gets into an anxious state, it’s like our Fear has gone totally off the deep end and insists on manning everything on the control board. Joy, Disgust, Sadness and Anger have all seen this before and know no matter what they do, they can’t wrestle Fear away from the control board until he tires himself out, so they go hang out elsewhere until Fear is too exhausted to go on.)
But the thing that sucks about mental health issues is that not everyone gets it. It’s not like a cold or the stomach flu — everyone knows what it feels like to be in that kind of state, because everyone has been in that kind of state. Not everyone has anxiety. Not everyone has depression. Not everyone has fill-in-the-blank-mental-health-concern. (Of course, we like to misuse these terms in a way that makes it easy for those who don’t have these things to trivialize them as being scared, or being sad, or being whatever, when they are in fact so much more that that.) And if you don’t have it–and thank God you don’t–or don’t have close experience with someone who does have it, you just. don’t. get it. There is no “snapping out of it.” There is no “just being happy.” It’s not that simple.
Additionally, anxiety, depression, etc. generally aren’t as obvious as a cold or the stomach flu. You can identify someone with a cold a mile away: the snotty nose, the coughing, the general look of illness. That means when you disparage people with these things, even jokingly, calling them crazy, calling them insane, saying they don’t deserve boyfriends–you could very easily be disparaging someone within earshot, because chances are, unless they’ve told you or you’ve seen them at their worst, you probably don’t know what they’re dealing with. And chances are, if you’re going to react like that to someone being anxious, they’re probably not going to be all that eager to tell you about their own struggles, based on your clear inability to be understanding. You’re perpetuating an unnecessary cycle of shame, and that’s not okay.
So. Before you start mocking people for acting in a way that you don’t understand, try to keep in mind that you have no idea what those around you are dealing with, and perhaps attempt to exercise a little more tact and empathy. What you say matters. The words you use, despite what the playground taught you, are important. Remember that.
And no one is less deserving of love because they have different demons than you.
Do you have any great family recipes? Let’s be real: basically everything my mom makes is the best. But if I *had* to pick favorites, I’d say her banket (a Dutch pastry), seven layer bars, and oatmeal & chocolate chip bars are my favorites. As for my dad, his aebelskivers (a Danish pancake-type pastry-ish delicious thing), homemade mac & cheese, and ham & macaroni casserole are to die for. Annnnnd now I want to go home and have my parents cook me ALL OF THE THINGS. Haha.