Confession time: ever since my guests left, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. My siblings are back at their respective colleges, my parents are (mostly) back to work, and I’m a bit lonesome. At least I’ve got a few high school friends around and I’m now working (very) part-time as an office assistant at my uncle’s store. But other than that, I’m feeling a bit adrift. And with this mild case of the blues has come a certain lack of inclination towards exercise. I’ve been going to bed late, getting up late, and I can’t seem to get up the motivation to go for a walk/run.
Today, however, I made a concerted effort to fight the ennui. It’s a gorgeous fall day, crisp and cool and brightly sunny, so I decided that a nice, leisurely bike ride was in order. I hopped on my sister’s trendy Schwinn (my bike was in the back of the shed and I didn’t feel like digging it out!) and set off.
I think this was just what I needed to reset my brain. Cycling around my neighborhood gave me the perfect opportunity to just sort of contemplate all sorts of things, from job possibilities to what I’d make for dinner tonight. As I pedaled past one house, I heard the unmistakable sound of kids playing outdoors, and I was momentarily confused – it’s back-to-school time; had I stumbled across a group of naughty children playing hooky? But I quickly realized that I was hearing the sound of recess – my old elementary school and its playground were just visible through a little patch of oak trees, and I could just barely see kids running around playing jump rope and kickball and all those fun games.
Honestly, this inspired a mix of nostalgia and longing. Sometimes I miss being a kid and not having to think about crap like student loans, the GRE, and jobs. It’s easy to say that things were “so simple” when you were young and that you wish you could go back. But when all is said and done, I guess you have to just look back with a certain bittersweet remembrance and take all your past experiences and let them influence your future decisions. And guess what – neither mourning the past nor worrying about the future does any good in the present! So, despite the temptation to fall into the depths of despair about my big question mark of a future, I returned home with a determination to focus on the present, to live in the moment, and not to waste my time moping around and raiding the pantry while watching guilty pleasure TV shows on Hulu at midnight. ;)
And then, as a reward for my newfound sense of perspective, I tried something decadent and delicious for dessert after lunch. I picked up a plantain the other day, something I’d never previously eaten. This afternoon I sauteed half of my new acquisition in a little Earth Balance, brown sugar, and orange juice. The brown sugar almost caramelized, and the plantain slices were sweet, soft, and generally fantastic. Although I’d been a little skeptical at first, I’m totally sold.
How do you enjoy plantains, if at all? Do share your ideas!