Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Priorities

As I worked to finish my midterm by the deadline, another week between posts went by. The realization of no longer having a plan still lingers in the back of my mind, but a new realization has taken its place for introspection.

That is, I’m going through the process of deciding what my priorities are. 

Tell me, has your Mara come to Tea lately?

This can be an ever-consuming venture, as I’m the sort of person with a plethora of big dreams, seemingly bigger than my life can permit simultaneously. To an extent, my dreams are too large to manifest themselves at the same time in the here and now, but I still dream and want and need.

The Burt-man, being ever observant in my turbulent changes these last few months, provided me with his Pennsylvanian Dutch wisdom the best he could (Dad figures tend to do that). He told me that life was like a chessboard and I was chess piece on that board. As a singular chess piece, I only have a certain number of options of squares to which I can move to, and each piece on the board plays the game differently. You play the game with the options you have, and work with the strategies to move from square to square to ultimately assist in best playing the current game.

In where I ultimately plan to be, I cannot move through life thinking “if only I had so-and-so’s life” or “why is it easier for so-and-so to do this or be that.” They’re just a different chess piece in a different game.

I bring this up because I still struggle with wanting to do everything and do it right the first time. I want[ed] to be a full-time graduate student with a full-time job of my dreams (with benefits), live on my own, heal whatever is conflicting my body, become amazingly fit as I excel at rock climbing, weight lifting, running, and yoga, blog beautiful posts and recipes five times a week, have an active social life and time for a significant other, learn the cello, sing jazz, travel often, have daily enlightening meditations and philosophical realizations… 

And this all had to happen at the same time in the course of a year or I viewed myself a failure to all Morri-kind.

I still want to do and be all these things, and I am confident that at the right time and place I will. It’s a matter of priorities, of deciding what move on the chessboard you position yourself first.

Not surprisingly, the personal growth my blog has nourished has become a top priority. This isn’t about the site itself, but more what it had manifested: self-awareness, confidence, the evolution of my passions, and a focus of my creativity. And though I have a few of the things I want to do in life underway (part-time graduate school, part-time work, part-time social life, working to become awesomely fit and healing holistically), fueling and nurturing my creative outlet has taken center stage.

For one, that means taking photography seriously and actually understanding why I produce the photos I take, and how to make them more professional looking. It also means taking the recipes to a higher standard.

Here goes everything.

Pumpkin Chai Latte

480 ml Filtered water
2 Chai tea bags (or loose tea equivalent)*
120 g Pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg, plus a dash as garnish
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1/4 tsp. Coriander
1/2 – 1 tsp. Unrefined apple cider vinegar, optional **
Sweetener, to taste ***
120 ml Almond milk (or whatever “milk” you prefer)

In a medium saucepan, cook the water on high heat until it simmers, and add the tea bags to steep for three to five minutes.
Remove the tea bags and lower the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining ingredients save for the almond milk.
Pour the chai tea into two mugs and set aside.****
In a separate cup, froth the almond milk with an immersion blender, milk frother, or simply put in a lidded jar and shake rigorously.  
Pour the milk on top of the tea and garnish with nutmeg.
Serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

*I used Trader Joe’s Rooibos Chai Tea
**When I was sick this time last year, the old boyfriend put apple cider vinegar in my rooibos tea and it tasted like a tangy hot apple cider. He had read somewhere that it helped with sore throats and the overall feelings of crumminess.
*** I used honey, about one tablespoon per serving. (I get such a sweet tooth for my tea as it gets colder.) But this can be easily made herbivore using maple syrup, stevia, coconut sugar, date sugar, or left unsweetened.
****The pumpkin puree has a tendency to separate and sink to the bottom. Simply stir until you add the almond milk.

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