Tag Archive | midlife crisis

Set Up for Failure on Thanksgiving

For the entire eighteen years I have been married, I have strived to make the best Thanksgiving meal for my family. For all eighteen years, I have destroyed the turkey. It was either not cooked long enough, too tough, too mushy, no flavor, burnt, yada yada yada. This year, knowing that it has been a tough year and hard to get into the holiday spirit, I vowed that I would make the best turkey ever. I am lucky enough to have professional smokers/chefs who told me the tricks of the trade to make the best smoked turkey. They practically held my hand with directions and I was excited for the holiday to come!

Four days before Thanksgiving, I started to brine the turkey and go over everything that I would need to do. I wanted to make all of the other dishes ahead or at least get them prepped so that the day that I smoked the turkey, I wouldn’t be distracted. Then my monkey mind started kicking in. I was beginning to worry about if I messed up, what would we eat? What if I didn’t cook it long enough? I could make my family sick and it isn’t exactly the best time in this world to have to go to the hospital. Chatter chatter chatter. My mind was whirling while I was trying to focus on not screwing up the turkey.

Smoking day arrived. I dropped my husband off at work at 5:30 am, came home, started the smoker, pulled the turkey out, did the rub, the garlic, the butter and pushed the probe into the breast and placed it in the smoker. I sealed it up and every hour, checked to make sure the pellets were being fed and that everything was a go. Every…single…hour…for over twelve hours. And the internal temp never hit 160. Now it’s night time. Temps are dropping fast and my smoker can’t keep up. I pull the turkey, which is black on the outside, wrap it in aluminum foil and tell myself I can save it if I slow cook it in the morning (Thanksgiving morning) for just a few hours. I get everything else made and set the table but the little voice in my mind kept insisting that I ruined a turkey…again.

Well guess what? I pulled the turkey out, unwrapped it and it was absolutely disgusting. Tough on the inside, burnt on the outside. It was a mess. My husband’s attempt to cheer me up of, “Well at least you are consistent. We are used to it by now.” I know he was joking trying to lighten the mood but it did the opposite. I won’t lie, I couldn’t even sit down. I excused myself and went into my bedroom and sobbed.

But then a thought occurred to me. I was SO busy focusing on not screwing up the turkey, ruminating over turkeys past destruction, that I pushed all common sense out of my head. I had ALL of the tools to make this day successful but because I was fearful of failing, that’s exactly what I did. Realizing this, I ran out to my family and informed them that we were having a Thanksgiving do-over the following weekend. They rolled their eyes but played along. I knew where I had gone wrong and was going to make it right. I moved my smoker out of the shade of the house and onto the sunny side covered porch. I PREHEATED my smoker, like you do with an oven (duh) before I put my turkey in and made sure the temp got to 160. This time, when my family sat down for dinner, we ALL agreed; this was the best turkey they had ever had…ANYWHERE!!

The reason why I’m sharing? You are never too old to learn a lesson and don’t let that monkey mind or fear create your failure. Breathe, pause and allow common sense to help you in your endeavors.

Much love!! RaeAnne

Just a Mom. Yeah, right!

Mid-life crisis, financial changes, moving, career change, death. These are all things that have a huge impact on our lives including how we interact with other people. We all react differently, handle things differently and others looking in may not like or understand how you handle your situation. The most important thing that you need to remember is you need to deal with it. What makes you feel the most comfortable, most secure, what makes the most sense is more important than someone else’s opinion. Having said that, you also need to remember that if there are children in our lives, they are sensitive to what you are going through and their feelings/thoughts are important too.

For the past two weeks I have been dealing with all of the above. I’m not one (anymore) who blurts out everything of what I am going through or the struggle that I am dealing with. Instead I’ve learned that if I sit back and watch what is unfolding, to gather as much information as possible, to find a peace no matter how awful a situation may be, nine times out of ten the decision I make will tend to be the best outcome. So I have retreated into the comforting arms of my house, privacy, animals and family. I put aside my writing, my blogs, my marketing and promoting my books even though I was right in the middle of promoting my paranormal romance, Shadows. I needed to make time and breathe. I’m coming out of this struggle, (I wish I could say unscathed but then what would be the point of going through the struggle in the first place?) and I’m finding a new balance in my life. I’ve allowed myself to be just a woman, just a mom, just a wife, as if there is such a thing as “just” for us. Allowing myself this time, I’ve seen how much I have missed and that I need to once again adjust my life. My daughters, who are the most important people in my life, are struggling and needing their mother. My 5 year-old had the most horrific nightmare the other night that her entire body was shaking and she was physically nauseous. It took 2 hours to calm her down and even then, she was wrapped around my arm in a death grip before she allowed herself to fall asleep again. Tonight she was so scared that even tucked into my bed with the light on and the dogs in the room, she would not fall asleep unless she was touching me. I know that she is picking up on my struggle, my emotions and my inner disease which brings me back to my struggle on how to deal with things.

We ALL go through struggles, successes, failures, changes, life lessons. We all wonder if we are on the right path or sometimes ask, ‘how the heck did I get on this road?’ We all deal with them differently, see them in a varied light but in the end the decision needs to be our own. The thought that I present is that perhaps, if you see a friend, family member, co-worker struggling with a life issue, maybe hold your tongue, your opinion and simply ask what you can do for them. Maybe it’s watching the kids for a couple hours so they can take a breather, a casserole that just needs popped into the oven, a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or massage. The more we are able to fill their bucket, the easier it may be for them to fill their child’s bucket and with a drought going on in this world right now, we all need to lean on each other. Life is meant to be fun, even with the ruts, enjoy the journey.