Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stress Management

Hello, my name is Ashes, and I'm about to lose my #&%^!
That's kind of how I want to introduce myself sometimes. But I don't. I smile and make happy small talk and do my best to make every one happy. I think most people have some kind of mechanism we can call a "Stress Management Button". We hit it when we don't want to look like idiots, burden the poor cashier with our woes, or generally simply don't want people knowing we're drowning in a sea of WTFamIsupposedTodo?!

Sometimes we lose that filter. I seem to have misplaced my filter at some point on Monday and I would be pleased if I found it again. Yesterday and today for some reason I cannot find my Stress Management Button. Not that I'm going around screaming at the top of my lungs "Dear God Why?!" but I simply can't say anything to anyone for fear of blurting something like "I'm having a terrible day, thanks for asking." Probably in a snarky tone, as I crinkle my nose.

Because of this recent destruction of my calm I've been thinking a lot about how human beings manage stress. The Google has a lot of articles about 'taking time out for you' and 'making lists to help manage your time' and 'how to get back in control'. Nothing that will help my brain stop playing things on loop, or imagining horrible scenarios, or keep me from telling Jex that his Vulcan-ness is going to give me more work than anything else ever of all time.
I can't 'take time out for me' there's too much crap I need to do, I will not enjoy the shower/nap/game/downtime at all; actually it will probably key me up even more than I am already.
I've done the list, the list is what is stressing me out. It keeps growing, nothing is ever actually finished. And why on earth did someone write 'fix Jex's drivers' in that tiny space between 'check visa status' and 'find shot records'?! Is that what it says? All I see is a scribble? OMG this is probably a super important scribble I have to figure out what it says!

That's just it. I can't get back into control. Because if I would really be honest with myself I was never actually in control to begin with. I cannot control what Jex does or does not say in the most mathematical and unfeeling way. I cannot control that what he says may or may not make someone cry. I can't make the car in front of me stop slamming on it's breaks every time the phone in said car get's picked up by said car's driver. There is no law of the universe that will allow me to get everything I need done in the time I've allotted to do it in if any of those things requires more of me than I previously thought it would. We can't control our world, we can't control our peanut butter, our government, or the guy next door; It's simply not a possibility.
And that is why we're stressed.

We think we should be able to 'get back in control' of our lives, our job, our money, our refrigerator, closet, body, pets, children, cable package, phone bills; the list goes on and on. I don't know when we got this idea that we can actually control things, but there are magazine articles galore about the topic.
We can influence, of course. We can make changes for the better, make informed and wise decisions, we can guide our path, we can put forth effort. At the end of the day however, we cannot actually control anything.

It's hard to admit, personally.
Though now that I've written this out and taken a step back I feel better. I can't control what's going on; honestly who would want all that responsibility? The only thing I can control is myself, and even that control is a bit shoddy sometimes. That's fine. I'll learn from it, get better, move on to the next challenge life tosses in my face.

Stress Management looks different for everyone. Contrary to popular belief the Google Machine and the people on the internet do not have all the answers. I don't have all the answers; actually I probably have none of the answers.
I kept my mouth shut all day, got home and cried, then sat down to work through the problems via text. Read through the horrid stream of consciousness blather and streamlined my thoughts, let them less of a chaotic shape; this is my deep breath. Now I'm imagining myself as someone kickass like Red Sonja, She-Ra, or Wonder Woman (yeah her outfit is silly, but she's still awesome). Later, with those images in my head, I'll probably go on a walk. It's dumb, but it works. I think I can manage not to freak out when the internet gets slow, or crashes when I HAVE to email TIME SENSITIVE documents to someone, now. (^_^)

What does your deep breath look like? If it involves a hot cup of delicious you are required to share.

Till next time my lovlies,
~The light heart lives long.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Visas and Veganry

Hello my lovlies!

Jex and I are wading through the wonderful world of "Visas for a foreign country". It's awful! (^_^) no really it's not very fun. Mostly because the agency we're working for has to go through another agency because of all the hullabaloo with the Thai government right now and it's making everything take that much longer. Time is something we're kind of running short on. Doesn't help that they send us the Visa package on a long American Holiday weekend so I can do NOTHING to start the process till Monday.

That being said I'll just skip to the reason I hopped on the blogger (other than trying to find my zen because of the above). I want to share with you the Awesomesauce I cooked up a couple Vegan Vendzdays ago. Why not wait till Wednesday? Because I have no idea if I'll be running around like a chicken with my head cut off or calling 400 different people and agencies and dancing around the house to horrid hold music for hours this coming Wednesday, that's why.

Ashes' Protein Stuffed Mushrooms

1/4 of a med onion chopped
1/4 cup or a little less shelled pecans
Six good sized Stuffing Mushrooms or One Sm Portobello mushroom
Fresh ground Sage, Rosemary, and Salt to taste.
Coconut oil for cooking the onions.
about 1/4-1/2 cup of water for steaming the mushrooms.

Chop the onions coarsely and throw them in a sm pan over med heat. Stir every now and again, cooking till they're almost golden brown. While the onions are cooking shell the pecans or if you bought shelled pecans throw them in a food processor with the spices and pull the stems from the mushrooms (I saved the stems for omurice the next day, but you can throw them in the pan with the onions if you like. Just add a little extra oil).
When the onions are the desired level of gold throw them in with the nuts and spices. Blend away!
Fill each mushroom with the mixture. It should be fairly moldable, not super crumbly. If it's too crumbly to work with add a touch more coconut oil.
Using the same pan you cooked the onion in place each mushroom stuffed side down, turn the heat up to med and brown the tops, about 2-4 minutes. Flip the mushrooms over and turn the heat up to med high. Add the water (I use less water for smaller or portobello mushrooms and more water for white mushrooms, also less water if you cover your pan, more if you can't or choose not to cover your pan).
Let the mushrooms hang out for 5-10 minutes, serve warm with your favorite sides.

I pared our mushrooms with some garlicy green beans and pan fried carrots.
I'm also thinking about trying to make a miso version of these mushrooms.

Till next time,
The light heart lives long~