A few months ago I attended a workshop that Renee Trudeau did especially aimed at women entrepreneurs and those figuring it all out. A big take-away was be kind to yourself/listen to your wise self--it knows you best/take care of yourself-figure out yourself before taking care of others. It may sound hokey, but it's really a pretty accurate business model in human terms: how can you launch your business/yourself if you have no identity and don't know where you need/want to be? A recent newsletter from Renee's outfit caught my eye: "Are you making enough time for your friends?" She had not. And I knew I had not either. It can actually take a toll on your health and well-being and outlook on life, all of which combines to being unproductive because you become, ultimately, highly unsatisfied with what you are trying to do in terms of being productive.
Because of this week's quick travel to the East Coast, short-notice labor-intensive deadlines, and way too little sleep, by the time Friday night rolled around, as did a good friend's surprise birthday party, I questioned how I could manage to speak coherently in my exhausted state, much less be any type of pleasant company at said party. I almost did not go. But I remembered Renee's newsletter, and I went. And, sure, I was not too articulate, and not too engaging, but I did laugh a lot, reconnect with friends, and get a little more peppy when our showtune pianist extraordinaire (Dustin) started in on "All That Jazz" and a little soft shoe routine and impromptu chorus line got going.
At first we questioned the wisdom of inviting the husbands to the party. And we almost thought we had really erred in letting them come along when pianist extraordinaire broke out the super raunchy showtunes. (And, yes, there are some.) The women roared and howled with delight. The men scattered. But they (the men) came in handy after all.
1. They did a beer run (to get out of being around for the rest of the raunchy showtune interlude).
2. One of them fixed the chicken that was one of the more fabulous birthday gifts that the birthday girl received. This darling little wind-up toy...you put it on the floor to turn around in circles and out pops a little egg-looking thing. As this feat of engineering--getting it to work that is--occurred later in the evening (recall beer run was needed in care the open bar idea was not for everyone), this was absolutely hilarious to us at that particular moment.
(And here is the miracle moment, after much anticipation and frustrated attempts...the egg is laid.
Unclear what this ovalesque white thing actually was, or whether this fantastic and perfect birthday gift for the birthday girl (she has a chicken coop....loves her chickens) came with the egg things.
Toy chicken - for your next chicken-themed birthday party - available at Terra Toys I was told.)
3. Highlight: Amy's husband offered to walk me through how to smoke a salmon, which was what they contributed to the party--a huge, gorgeous piece of well-seasoned lightly smoky smoked salmon. The outing will start with Central Market shopping and then I will be walked through what sounds like a tedious series of steps of rubs, rinsing, something - and then we will actually, eventually, smoke the fish. I am told this will not be as tedious as it sounds...I am so game though. If I can make a smoked salmon as fantastic as his was and impress my family, I may alleviate the moments of culinary shame that I have never ever yet cooked a turkey for a holiday meal. A bomb diggity smoked salmon in my arsenal will totally make up for this.
Rest of menu: paleo sliders, some other stuff - my white-bean dip drizzled with olive oil infused with sage and lemon zest. The paleo thing is big these days with the buff neighborhood mom crowd. I'm lagging miserably now with triathlon training a long-ago distant and 5-7 pounds ago thing. But these burgers...seriously, who needs a bun?
(my almost pure paleo plate (went for the multi-grain Stacy's pita chips for the white bean dip)...and anything looks gorgeous on this lovely Spoke china plate that the hostess was not concerned about the rowdy crowd using)
The lesson: Feeling low energy/crummy/tired/sad/fat/fretful? Go to your friends' birthday parties. Way cheaper -- and way more fun -- than therapy.