Friday, December 20, 2013

Calling In Support

I may be headstrong (some say stubborn but I prefer to reframe in the positive) and viciously independent at times but I'm getting better at recognising how important it is to call in support when you need it. I don't think it really matters whether it is family or friends or an online connection in a land far,far away that you summon. Does it matter? I don't think so...

I guess it depends what kind of support you need. That'd be the second hurdle (the first being knowing you require support) - figuring out what form your support is required. Is it physically being there to ferry kids hither and tither that is so often part and parcel of this time of year? Is it being on the other end of a phone line or keyboard to make the appropriate comments at the appropriate time (A-hah,yeah,sure,absolutely, dump him!) Is it to monetarily contribute to a friend's Pozible space camp fund? Is it to pose those questions you don't ask of yourself?

I have a good friend who does this. It can, at times, make people uncomfortable in their very seat. I have wondered if there is a degree of Asperger's there - being unable to read people's reactions, emotions and facial expressions. Still, it works for me. It pulls me out of mainstream expectations and actively seek what's right for me.

I often only need someone to listen if I have a demanding day, though I won't knock back a foot rub and a glass of wine handed to me. My point is that I am getting so much better at asking for help. Not sure if it's an age thing, but I currently have little reservation in seeking what help I need and fortuitously now there are people in my life that are coming to the party. 

So, if I ask help, I want you to know that it was a journey getting here and I really appreciate it if you're able to contribute. If you're not, I'm completely okay with that too. I have a view of the world that people do what they can when they can and that's okay.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Taking it easy on myself this Christmas

So I've decided to take it easy on myself this Christmas period.

Regarding presents, I've mostly shopped local this year. Sure it's a warm and fuzzy thing to do avoiding big crazy busy shopping centres and supporting your small local businesses, but it's more than that. The small amount extra I may spend per item is well out-weighed by the reduced time and stress I've experienced. For me, it's worth it. Maybe I even spend less all up which means we consume less and the world will be slightly better off for it. I have also put time and personal effort into my presents making them more meaningful for me to give and hopefully the recipients to receive.

Christmas lunch is at my place this year. This is a good thing. I can relax and have a few glasses (or more ) of vino without counting my intake due to driving. I know the host is relaxed about entertaining which in turn makes the whole event much less stressful.

I've decided to keep it simple with the food. Luckily we have a long tradition in my family of everyone bringing something in order to spread the load, and cost, of the big family lunch. This year will be no different. Family members are delegated their tasks early on so plans can be made.

Instead of our regular peking duck wraps for entree, I've settled upon my chipotle pulled pork. It's a slow cook, do-ahead dish that will be cooked plenty of time in advance then re-heated to go in wraps with choices of salsa, hot sauces, coleslaw and my partner's most excellent guacamole( I delegated the sides...see how easy that was..).  

Main will be olive oil confit of salmon. Simply heat the oil with aromatics - bay leave, peppercorn, garlic etc - then pour the hot oil over the salmon into an earthenware dish and let it do its magic. This will be done sometime during the late morning and then it will be ready in time for lunch. Very little effort and no stress of watching oven temperatures or times. Salads provided by sister in law. Ham courtesy of mum. Ice cream plum pudding and the best mince tarts thanks to my sister and voila - Christmas lunch is done!

Yes, I'm eschewing traditional anglo-saxon hot Christmas lunch but I've always done things my way, so why stop now?

I've also cancelled any unnecessary appointments and avoiding extraneous travel as December traffic is always worse I reckon. I'm suggesting to friends that we catch up in January when we've all got a little more time, instead of trying to fit everything in before December 25. I'm saying no to things if my heart is not in it. A friend once told me that if it's NOT yes, then it's no. She's right. 

Anyway, that's my two cents worth.