those of you who have been following Big Hips Little Hips know that it used to be a place that helped make us all healthier by way of nutrition and exercise advice. "eat this, not that. be physically active, or else…", but these days, it's really just serving as my grief journal. it's what I need at this season in my life. and while the most recent posts aren't discussing workout strategies or nutrient content, I do hope that it makes me - and you - healthier in some regard. that being said, if reading about my morose grief story isn't what you're here for, I completely understand. please check back later. as for the rest of you, read on...
step 1. add chicken breast, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper to the crockpot. set to LOW for 3 hours.
step 2. remove chicken from crockpot and set aside. add brown rice and black beans. cook on HIGH for 30-45 minutes, or until rice is fluffy.
step 3. place the chicken breast back into the crockpot and serve when ready, topped with avocado or shredded cheese.
it sounded like a delicious, fairly simple recipe. who doesn't love a crockpot chicken burrito!? never having tried it before, we decided to add it to our Sunday kitchen prep ritual. it was a busy weekend - a grocery store tour, a wedding, dinner with friends, a work project, blah blah blah. and I was already sort of freaking out about getting it all done and not having a second to relax, recompose, and reset for the week ahead.
I'm an introvert. big crowds of people don't do it for me, and regardless of how "chill" a hangout may be, I'm not completely at ease unless I'm curled up at home with big fuzzy socks on and a good book in hand.
but back to Sunday. step 1 is done. the chicken is in the crockpot and the work project begins. approximately 5 hours later (2 hours too late if you're doing the math) we're headed out the door to meet up with friends for dinner (running 5 minutes late because, well, something about a shirt and being too matchy-matchy).
needless to say - we're running out of the door at exactly 5:07pm. down the first flight of stairs when I'm prompted with, "wait. what about the crockpot? will it be okay while we're gone?" shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I was supposed to take the chicken out 2 HOURS AGO. and now everything is ruined. I mean, life might as well be over. the worst thing that ever could have happened, happened. I forgot about the chicken in the crockpot. if judging my by reaction, you would've thought the world really was coming to an end. I huffed, puffed, pouted and almost cried. over a stupid crockpot!
later that evening: "so, maybe we should talk about the real reason why you were upset earlier. I know it wasn't the crockpot." bless his heart. he knows exactly how to tread around my vulnerable heart.
I hide my pain. I run from it. because why would anyone want to put their vulnerability - their weakness - their flaws - their open wounds on display? I know I certainly don't. because, well because, ew. it feels icky and uncomfortable. like wearing pants that are a size too tight, cutting into your sides with your belly rolling over. and a wool sweater that rubs against your skin the wrong way in all the wrong places. nobody wants to put that on display for everyone to see.
but, what if we were able to take ease the pain? to soothe the discomfort and unload the guilt. if sharing, if opening your heart and your soul up to someone - anyone - would take away some of the darkness, would you?
yesterday, I spoke with a man who lost his mother to substance abuse at much too young an age. today, I met a woman by happenstance who tragically lost her husband only 7 months ago. and while our conversations were much too short, void of many details, just knowing that someone out there knew my pain, and that they're still surviving - standing tall despite the massive hole in their hearts, it was almost comforting. and it got me thinking…what if we sat with our pain instead of running from it? what if we let it bulldoze us over, knowing that there were others who could help us back up, teach us how to walk again, and start over on new legs?
running from pain will only take you so far. one day, your legs will give out, your lungs will fail, or maybe you'll have a melt down over a missed crockpot opportunity. but, I don't think peace is found there. so, here's to trying something different. something uncomfortable and icky. I'm sitting with my pain. no more running.
Eat well. Live well. Be well.