There are two things that I really believe in: six degrees of separation and self-fulfilling prophecies.
Six degrees of separation is pretty simple.
My college best friend Sarah’s now-boyfriend Mike went to college with my high school best friend Jen.
All three of them live in different states.
We only know it because Jen saw that Mike was a mutual Facebook friend and put two and two together.
There’s one example and that’s even fewer than six degrees.
With social networking, I think it’s amazing how small this world is and how many common friends and acquaintances most of us actually have.
As far as the self-fulfilling prophecy, well, that’s a little bit more complicated.
I have a bad habit of looking at the metaphorical “glass half-empty” instead of the “glass half-full.”
When things are going well for me, such as when I’ve moved to a new city that I love with a great job, some fabulous new friends and an apartment that has a lot of potential…as soon as I can afford to decorate it, I’ll focus on the one thing that isn’t going swimmingly in my life and fixate.
And if by chance, I wake up one day and feel like everything is going great?
When the dishes are all put away, my blog is up to date, my boss and clients are happy and I’m feeling well-rested, I look for something wrong.
I wait for something to go wrong with the same anticipation that I wait for the 135 bus in the morning when the temperature is below freezing and I’ve forgotten gloves.
When everything is going well, I feel unsettled.
I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And usually, when you expect something to happen hard enough, it happens.
How do you stay on top of those feelings?
How do you stay positive and tell yourself to enjoy the present and expect the best from the future?
Even though optimism might not be my greatest strength, I’m a realist and know that everyone has off days.
Days where you come home and need a bowl of something comforting.
In the spirit of January New Years resolution, comfort in a bowl doesn’t have to be from Ben or Jerry.
It can be a healthy, veggie-packed chowder that you can eat as a light lunch or with half a sandwich for a heartier dinner.
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3 small red potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 medium fresh red chilies, minced
- 7 ounces sweet, yellow corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Fill a medium-sized stock pot with vegetable broth and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Add thyme to the broth and simmer until fragrant. Add the potato to the broth once simmering.
- In a separate pan or skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and chilies to the pan/skillet and stir to coat with fats. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the corn to the large pan of vegetables and cook for two to three minutes. Carefully pour the mixture into the broth and potato pot and bring everything to a boil for about two to three minutes. Reduce to low heat and simmer about 10-15 minutes.
- Pulse the chowder a few times with the hand blender until about half the mixture is blended.
- Taste and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream as desired.