I keep reading these posts on social media where people are asking what you’d tell your 20-year-old self. Internally, I try to answer that knowing I’m different, not the same person, grown, marked with the stamp of having lived, suffered and seen enough to formulate a different kind of grace for myself and others.
Just a few words never come to mind, as there are thousands — too many to post a simple reply. I was silly once, simple minded, full of myself, and full of preconditioned expectations of what my life would be like, how I would cultivate this perfect existence that I never considered the possibility of how very infantile my ideas really were.
Though having children certainly introduced a very raw and real perspective to a somewhat self-centered belief system, it also added another thin veil of delusion that painted a beautiful dynamic to this thing called life. If you really want to gain wisdom at a very young age, just formulate a few well-thought-out questions to ask those who are in the later stages of their lives. I was 27 when I took my children to visit elderly nursing home patients who had no family. “Through the years, did your life turn out the way you expected?” A question I asked over and over, my attempt to gain insight.
With meager hope of having a little more knowledge by actively pursuing it, nothing prepares one better than being thrown out in the deep waters and facing the sink-or-swim dilemma everyone will encounter at some point.
No one ever answered “yes” to that question.
I concluded that how one accepts change and all its disappointment and heartache produces a kinder peace of living. And learning to forgive and extend grace to yourself, others, and those who don’t deserve it is how life becomes sweet and a worthwhile adventure.
Now, if I were to tell my young mother self anything earth-shattering, it would be dinner doesn’t have to be a production of long, arduous preparations. I would then search out meals that have a “no recipe” kind of theme, like this one. I don’t even know what to call this. It’s simple baked chicken with tons of limes, garlic and fresh herbs. It’s another no-recipe recipe, as I threw in a bit of whatever was in my fridge and pantry. My little container garden of fresh herbs is thriving on my balcony and serves as a reminder that parts of your former life can survive despite actively regrouping, accepting change and exhaling! I used a lot of fresh herbs to garnish. This dish is as delicious as it is beautiful!
Several chicken legs and thighs
Thyme, oregano, basil and rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper
6 whole garlic cloves
In a baking dish, place the chicken, mushrooms and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil enough to coat everything. Squeeze the limes all over the chicken. Sprinkle with herbs. Bake in a 400-degree oven, uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Serve.