What’s Keeping Me Busy
In early January we had a baby shower for my daughter Taylor. Her in-laws flew in from Texas and we had a bunch of young women here at our house to celebrate. It was a blast. At the end of January I invited a few of my friends to InTea so they could rub Taylor’s belly. Each of them brought a copy of their favorite children’s book.
Taylor was in a car wreck in January. A lady pulled out of nowhere, horizontally, as Taylor was driving 40 mph on her way to meet me at the swimming pool. Her car was totaled and she had to spend the night in the hospital because she was having contractions and because her car’s airbags went off. She had a rental car for two weeks and was without wheels for several more weeks until she could get a new one. I spent a lot ot time running her to appointments (OB/Gyn, massage, chiropractor, physical therapist, grocery store, and stores to buy baby items). I’m grateful my counseling practice was a little slower this time of year so I could enjoy taking her places.
I had a stress fracture in December so I took up swimming for a few months. I was amazed I could lose six pounds over Christmas, all the while eating fudge and cookies. Now I’m back to walking the dog, everyday, with John and doing yoga two mornings a week, and I think I’ve put those pounds back on. That dog walking, and talking, though, is the key to a happy marriage.
Two weeks ago I attended an all day seminar by the Institute for Brain Potential: Mastering Sixteen Key Habits of Emotionally Resilient People by Kateri McRae, PhD. All her research fit neatly with the project I’ve been working on the last three years. I’m having lunch with her tomorrow to learn more.
Last weekend I spoke at The Writer’s on the Rock conference here in Lakewood. My talk was called Pain to Published. In April I get to go to Spokane, Washington to speak at Moody Bible Chapel. I’m eager to talk about my last three years of research and writing (I hope it becomes a book).
What I’m Reading
Every year I put a little sticky note next to my computer. There I jot down the books I finish. At the end of the year I do a blog post dedicated solely to describing those books and giving a one-sentence blurb about each of them.
Typically I read non-fiction and memoir. Since I’m a counselor, this serves me well. However I am in a book club and our club’s picks have me all over the literary map! We’ve read satire (Where’d You Go Bernadette?), humor (A Walk in the Woods), serious (Three Cups of Tea), romantic fiction (Outlander), books that later became movies (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, Wild, and Room), etc.
Recently I started listening to Modern Mrs Darcy’s (Anne Bogel) What Should I Read Next podcast. So that has me adding books to my list or pulling books I already own off my bookshelf to read for the first time.
Here is the list of books I’ve been reading the past two months:
The Anatomy of a Calling: A Doctor’s Journey from the Head to the Heart and a Prescription for Finding Your Life’s Purpose by Lissa Rankin, MD
Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life by Steve Wiens
Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds by Kelly Turner, PhD
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward
My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
Descent by Tim Johnston
How to Have a Good Day Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life by Caroline Webb
Presence by Amy Cuddy
A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold
Here’s what up next:
What I’m Dreaming About
In January and February I was dreaming about my boy Tucker. I was rafting in cold rivers and sledding, having great adventures. Maybe I’m living vicariously through him: The day after Thanksgiving he took a job in Winter Park, CO to work for two realtors. His field of study at the University of Colorado was Business Finance with a Real Estate emphasis. He got a job after college reading old medical office leases and was bored out of his mind. He quit his job—even though we told him not to until he had a good job in its place—but he ignored that. He took a gig working on a sailboat for a few weeks, spent a few days in Cabo, and attended concerts the rest of the summer.
Then he called us up and said he was moving to Winter Park and the guy who hired him had a cabin he could lease. We were excited for him, but wondered why kind of place he’d be living in. Well let me tell you, he’s in paradise! His cabin is one room, recently remodeled, a mile from the town and sledding hill, sitting on 550 open space acres. Moose sidle up to his house to keep warm. Coyotes howl, and the river nearby is his to fish in. He jokes that his house is famous, based on the beer photo below, but it actually is famous. Eisenhower used to stay in it back in the 40s. Tucker is working seven days a week and has never been happier. He’s thrilled about the real estate business and the way his bosses are mentoring him. You know that quote, “You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child”? Well there’s a lot of truth to that and right now John and I are giddy; happy for him.
In late February and now March, I’m dreaming about babies. This morning, just before I woke up, I was holding a baby girl with golden shards of hair. Her hair, like a blowing wheat field, was lit up in amber light. Rik and Taylor know they are having a girl. She’s due in two weeks. This is our first grandchild and even though John says he doesn’t want to be a grandpa because it makes him feel old, he’s lying. That guy loves children more than anyone I know.
What I’m Watching
John and I only have a few shows we watch with regularity: Dateline, Homeland, Downton Abbey, and The Amazing Race. Sometimes we watch Rick Steves travel shows, and some Showtimes shows that have incredible writing and acting but are rather risqué so I won’t go any further here.
What I’m Listening To
Our go-to on Pandora is Brandi Carlile (no, not Belinda Carlile from the Go-Go’s) and Holly Williams (Hank Williams Jr.’s daughter) but lately we’ve been listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton.
Favorite Foods This Time of Year
These Sumo Oranges. Oh my! My pregnant daughter got me hooked after she couldn’t stop craving them. They are sweet, and sour, and easy to peel. They are only available for a short time. I found these at Whole Foods.
I love these individually wrapped packs of salmon from Whole Foods. They make life easy. Simply thaw, place in glass dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Here’s our easiest go-to dinner. Thaw and cut up one chicken breast. Cook chicken pieces in olive oil, add to this vindaloo sauce from Costco. Lightly toast a piece of naan. Add a packet of veggies to the vindaloo to make it healthy. Dinner is ready in less than 15 minutes.
Two or three mornings a week John and I have smoothies. Our nutritionist gave us this recipe: Frozen fruit (this size from Whole Foods is perfect for two), protein powder (1.5 scoops), 15 – 20 almonds, non-sweetened almond milk, a squirt of flax oil, whip up in blender and voila!
I love this peppricot jelly from Pepperlane. My friend Karen’s brother owns the company and makes each batch of jelly. You can find it at King Soopers. This cheese (Petit Basque from Istara) is so good . . . kind of nutty. You can find it at Whole Foods and if you’re like me, you can only buy a tiny slab because it’s pricey. If you really want this snack to be perfect, put a dollop of jelly on the cheese, on top of a water cracker, and top with one walnut.
Well, that’s it from here. What are you reading, watching, doing?
We need beauty; that’s clear enough from the fact that God has filled the world with it. He has given us sun and rain, wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and breath that sustains his heart. (Psalm 104:15)
Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.
She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."