The Best Season According to Jax

Dora was on TV (like she does) and was talking about the four seasons this morning when I was babysitting.

Me: “Jax, what is your favorite season?”

Jax: “Santa’s Village.”

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Comparison is the Thief of Joy

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I care pretty deeply about how people feel. This might sound noble, but it isn’t always a good thing. It is both my virtue and my vice. When someone is sad or angry or hurt or has an issue with me, I want so badly to resolve it that sometimes I don’t let the situation breathe.

You could ask my husband. He is someone who needs a little space to think things through, especially if we have had a serious discussion or an argument. I, on the other hand, have to actively stop my impulse to sit near him and ask how and/or when we can figure it out. I’m learning and getting better at that though.

Slowly.

I also have to stop myself from comparing myself to others. I want to be the best version of myself and, somehow, this can go awry very quickly. I can think about what I am not rather than focus on how I am doing. Sometimes, this makes me feel depressed and whatever amount of self-compassion I possess (and have desperately worked to cultivate) goes right out the window. This leaves me often blaming myself for things (both situations and perceived shortcomings) that realistically have nothing to do with me. I’m working on this too.

Side note: How do we take responsibility for ourselves but not blame ourselves unjustly? Because not everything is one’s fault, but obviously sometimes a situation is your fault… Maybe knowing the difference is half the battle.The questions of adulthood…

In any event, I have been thinking a lot about the true fact that comparing oneself to others mostly just steals your own joy. Your thighs might not be as toned as hers, you might not be as strong as him, you might not outwardly seem as happy as someone else, but focusing on those people and drawing comparisons negates (at least in your own mind) what you are. It also puts the other person in a weird situation.

Your legs get you from point A to point B. You are strong. You are where you need to be. And if you aren’t, isn’t your energy better used getting yourself to a happier place? (You know what they say… your dreams don’t work unless you do.) That someone else is beautiful or has a lot of friends or has 6 pack abs or is friendly and happy says nothing about you. Nothing. Yet we make ourselves miserable by drawing comparisons where there need not be any. Don’t we have enough to deal with without allowing ourselves to go too far down the rabbit hole of comparison?

To have a more abundant life, I’m working hard on changing my mindset. I encourage you to have a think about the comparisons you draw between yourself and people in your life (or even people on the street, in magazines, on the subway, at Subway…wherever).

I will leave you with these quotes I have been pondering lately:

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

  • Ernest Hemingway

And…

“I am not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.”

  • Erica Cook

We all have a unique set of challenges in this life. The truth we have in common is that we all need to respect ourselves and others. We need to be kind to ourselves, to the other humans we share the world with, and stop it with the comparisons.

I hope we all make it. I really do.

A Sushi Date Night

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Awkward lighting makes me look like the joker…

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Our materials (sans the ingredients) ready to roll (har har).

We have had a ridiculously stressful week. Examples of our current stressors include: our money being deposited into someone else’s savings account (HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?!), my insurance company magically not having me enrolled when I went to pick up a prescription, trying to move out of our current apartment while searching for new apartments, Sammy the dog having an unexplained bacterial infection that caused a huge lump on his face… I could go on but I’ll not bore you with the gory details. Long story short, we needed a night out.

I had gifted Mike with a sushi making class for Valentine’s Day. I found an awesome deal on Groupon and I knew he would be excited about it. He is much more of a sushi lover than I. We finally decided to cash in the present. 6 months after the fact. Better late than never, amiright?!

It was a bit of a drive to get to the restaurant that was hosting “Sushi 101” but it was nice to chat and listen to music on the car ride there. We heard this song no less than 5 times on the drive.

Once we got there and the class commenced, we quickly realized it had two parts. They projected a video recorded message on a screen from the chef (who I thought would be conducting the class), then two assistants did demonstrations on how to make three different kinds of rolls. At first I was like “WAIT, WHERE IS THE CHEF?! AHHHHHH. THIS IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD BEEEE.” But the assistants ended up being a lot of fun and the class felt really relaxed, which I liked. I also overheard them talking about the chef and he sounds like a dick anyway. So, we dodged that bullet.

I was surprised that it wasn’t too difficult to make sushi, just somewhat precise (does that distinction makes sense?!) The main tips were to spread the rice appropriately (not so much as to cover the nori completely with no gaps but enough to make everything stick), to not over or under fill with ingredients, and to roll slowly, making sure no ingredients fall out. Also, cutting the rolls took surprising finesse. You have to gently rock the knife back and forth to cut through. Mike struggled a little with this and his first roll got a bit smashed, but it still tasted great! He caught on after the first roll. It got a lot easier for me too. Practice makes perfect, as they say.

I liked that they put out all the ingredients and let you put whatever you wanted in your rolls. I like creative license. I am not a huge seafood person (by which I mean, I don’t like it) so I stuck with combinations of cream cheese, avocado, mango, tofu, jalapeño and cucumber. They were really yummy. We got to make three rolls each and then do some extras if we wanted, since there were leftover ingredients. SO. MUCH. SUSHI. I had one roll and was stuffed. I got to eat the rest for lunch the next day. Bonus.

Anyway, we had a ton of fun. If you are having a tough week or a rough day, cut yourself some slack, take a break from whatever is burdening you, and do something enjoyable with someone you love.

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The happy sushi makers obligatory date night selfie.

When life gets tough, the tough make sushi, as the old proverb says. It says that, right?!