Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh Well

I am working very hard this year to live in the present moment. Most of you will scratch your heads and wonder why in the world that would be a problem for me. It's kind of the way I've always lived my life, and this blog certainly has reflected my love of being intentional and alive and enjoying the everyday beauty around me. But the last year or so has brought some change to that, with my childrens' ever burgeoning schedules and, you know, other stuff. We've been busy and I'm sure it's obvious.
Anyway. So. I'm trying to be a little more conscious about that currently, even though it's something that's always been as natural for me as breathing.
This is harder work than I thought it would be. It's one thing for me to say no to commitments or to let go of some things that I wanted to do or to make a party a little "less" than I had envisioned...that sort of thing. But it's very difficult for me to be late to an event, to drop the ball, or to not fulfill a responsibility. It's the difference between letting myself down or letting others down, which I just cannot live with.
That doesn't mean it's easy to let myself down. Oh my, no.

We were invited to a get-together tonight by a family that hosts big get-togethers often. There were at least a dozen kids running around, countertops and tables full of food, and a campfire! When asked what I wanted to bring, I of course volunteered for dessert. I have always liked to bake, but now that I'm aware of my silly food allergies, bringing dessert is the best way to make sure there's dessert that I can eat. And honestly, you can have the green bean casserole. I'm happy with just dessert, thanks.
I found a yummy-looking recipe for a chocolate-orange cake, but it' was a vegan recipe (which means it's friendly to my dietary restrictions), so I had no idea if it'd taste good to normal people. That necessitates a test run, wouldn't you think? I had planned to make a practice cake on Wednesday or Thursday, but it just didn't happen. So, I thought I'd make two cakes today and just cut into one that I'd keep at home. That way, if it was awful I could just buy a pie at the grocery store on our way to the party.
So, living in the moment as I am, I was late getting to the store to buy my ingredients. Consequently, I was late to the cake-baking session, and it took nearly twice as long to bake as the recipe had suggested. And I only have one pan. Now, instead of one test cake and one party cake, I only had one cake, period. It would have to be glazed once I got to the party, because I took it out of the oven just when we had to get out the door. And I'd forgotten to make the suggested modification - adding a little oil to keep it from being dry. Also, I'd forgotten to buy the bread I'd promised to bring.
So, we were late to the party with a cake of unknown edibility (is that even a word?) and still had to stop at the store.

Oh well. Taking each minute as it comes means letting go of that stress, right?

We had a wonderful time. Campfires are some of my very favorite things. I love the smell of wood smoke. And one of the families has a precious exchange student from Hungary, named Sophie, staying with them. We had the most interesting conversation about the cultural differences she's found here, what she likes in school, how different our education system is and many other things that sounded even cooler than I could make them sound because of her accent. The kids jumped around on the trampoline and made s'mores. My heart sank when I realized I'd left my camera at home and I almost went back home to retrieve it, but I thought that was pretty ridiculous. Well, Chris thought that was pretty ridiculous.
Instead, I watched the embers float up against the backdrop of Orion's belt in the sky and enjoyed pointing out Venus to Sophie, who was so excited about that information.
And the cake was pretty good. Not my best, but everyone seemed to like it. So, I guess I didn't really let anybody down after all, which is good.
Plus, now that I'm home, I have the not-practice cake, with the oil in it this time, in the oven. I'd already measured out the ingredients before we left, so it would certainly have been wasteful to throw them away.

I think, while I wait for that, I will continue to stave off the crush of responsibility that comes with thinking of tomorrow by taking a hot bath while drinking a cup of hot, blackberry tea.

DAILY BLISS: Andrew played tech support to all of Emma's friends, helping them set up their Nintendos for chatting and playing multi-player perfectly geeky and cute!


frabjouspoet said...

I feel ya. I always think I'm stretched somewhere between living each moment as it comes and desperately needing a schedule to help me handle each moment as it comes. So, how was the cake?

Amy said...

Mmmm, chocolate orange cake. It sounds divine.