Today is my day off. It’s raining, it’s windy and frost has been flirting subtly throughout the day. Day’s off, tend to be devoted to sleeping the day away, followed by a late lunch with a friend, and an inevitable visit to Starbucks, before heading back home and back into bed, as CNN echoes on my flatscreen in the background. I woke up today and asked myself, what do I want to do that’s fun? I then questioned why I’m not doing it. As I breathed in a fresh day, I promised myself that I would try to conquer at least one thing on that list.
Do you catch yourself living each day, as if it were a check list? Rushing around to ensure that you can check off all your to do’s so you can go to bed at ease, relieved that you don’t need to procrastinate any longer? I often catch myself jotting down things that I need to get done. This list acts like a reminder, and a motivator. Nothing feels as good as checking the box. The problem with this ‘constantly completing errands’ mentality, is that it takes the fun out of living. We are doing things on auto pilot, without being mindful of the moment.
Lately, I’ve been daydreaming about candy apples. Bright, red, hard-to-conquer-the-first-bite candy apples. I remember when I was younger and I’d go apple picking this time of year with my family. I’d always look forward to a candy apple at the end of that day trip. So today, I decided I’d put ‘making candy apples,’ on my list-o-fun.
I got all the ingredients, put on some jazz music, and in no time, I saw my idea become a reality. It felt great to go out and do something for myself. It put a smile on my face and I was proud at my efforts to try something as risque as making candy apples. I wanted to share this innocent, fun feeling with those close to me, so I bought some polka dot wrap to individually package each candy apple to give to my friends, with a little label that says: Made with Love by Jenny Jen. Not only can I put a smile on my own face, but I can spread that joy to others. Since I always like to do things with a bit of a flare, I decided to coat the bottom of the apple with cinnamon sugar. Nothing says November like a fresh Macintosh apple, coated in candy, with light cinnamon accents – that and the emergence of moustaches – but that is for a different blog likely entitled ‘Movember Madness’. I haven’t tasted one of my candy apples yet, as they are in cooling mode, but you will be the first to hear how it turned out. Once I do the tell-all taste test, I’ll be sure to share my easy for blonde version of the recipe for you so you can follow suit.
As the apples cool, I went to meet one of my few brunette friends for brunch. There’s nothing like brunching mid-week, especially with a friend you haven’t sat down for a meal with in two months plus. Needless to say, there was a gossip session strictly in order, and I’ve been anticipating it all week. We met up and while we ate our egg white omelettes – mine was an onion egg white omelette (something I’ve been craving since the ‘black swan’ fiasco on Curb Your Enthusiasm this week) – , we discussed relationships and men.
The talk got juicer than her freshly squeezed OJ. Though she’s been in a long term (and long distance) relationship to one of those classic nice guys (evidence that nice guys don’t always finish last), she is always candid with her opinions. I questioned her viewpoint on my writing about others. ‘Will I offend someone if they know I’m writing about them?’ I asked as I sipped some Diet Coke through my straw. She put me at ease and expressed the nature of what I do, is sharing myself with others; my stories, my dilemmas, and my unique encounters. If someone can’t accept that about me, then she suggested that maybe it says more about the other person than about myself. Her words flowed right over my shoulders, as I felt a release of tension.
Jenny Jen listening to brunette girl tell it like it is.
I felt ease especially because someone told me the other day that he’s totally comfortable with me writing about situations and things that happen when we are together. I like that this was something he brought up, and it made me feel great to have support. The nature of reporting is being truthful. These pages that you read, are my truth.
Brunette girl enjoying our juicy chit chat.
Brunette girl and I also discussed the nice guy vs. the bad boy, and the psychoses around which one we decide to go for. In the Spring, I had an article published in YA Magazine, based on the bad-boy appeal, and I’ll be sure to put a copy up on my blog this week for you to take a look at and.
Now since I’m the one with the day off today, and you’re not, I’ll get to the point here: Lately, I’ve learned to really embrace my twentysomethings. When else in life will I have the opportunity I have now? Now: I have no kids and nobody to take care of. I have no one to report to, nor do I have someone whose feelings I need to be concerned with. I don’t have a mortgage to pay, and I’m simply not tied down to anything, and it feels great. I can really take in this day off. It’s a day where I can do what I want, on a whim, with no priorities, no commitments, no one to look out for and no one to disappoint.
Perhaps it sounds selfish. I must admit, I admire my thirtysomething sister who has an amazing, loyal hubby, the two most precious little kids I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting, and another little baby on the way! I admire all the things she does on a constant basis for and with her family and I know one day, eventually, I will want that too. But right now, this is my time to be selfish. I don’t have anyone depending on me right now. I don’t have that guy in my life who is going to take it personally if I’d rather go out for some drinks with the girls, or get jealous if I want to grab a drink with an old guy friend. This is freedom at its finest ladies. We often consume our time wondering what the future will hold, clinging on to that ideal and becoming frustrated that this ideal has yet to arrive. For me, my ideal is right now. Today. This moment.
I’ve dealt with loss in my life. Nothing you ever endure will be as hard as talking about the person you love, the person who gave you life, in past tense. I lost my mom in my late teens, and I have learned such a valuable lesson. That lesson is that right now is all we have. I can smile as I think about what has made up my day thus far. I’ve taken care of myself, and my well being. I mailed a letter to someone close to me, just to put a smile on their face (when was the last time you got a letter in the actual mail?!) I made some delicious treats for my favourite friends. I did some typical twentysomething retail therapy, and tonight I’m looking forward to enjoying another hobby of mine, fine dining, with my Dad. Life is good. Now do yourself a favour and think of something fun you want to do, and then I urge you tomorrow to do just that.
– Jenny Jen