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I like to think of myself as an eternal optimist but this morning I woke up in an extraordinarily bleak mood. The darkness that engulfed me upon opening my eyes seemed to mirror the dark skies outside. I felt heavy and my morning coffee and oatmeal didn’t change it either; actually as I was reading the news of the day, I felt even more dismal. I got ready to go see my nurse practitioner for a follow up exam and when I was at the gas station filling up the car, I was thinking that I’m 45 years old and nothing is going to change, everyday will be the same; worrying about trivial and petty things that do seem to matter just the same, but in the grand scheme of things, shouldn’t life be deeper and bigger than that? Am I going to live my life just sweating the “small” stuff? That got me even more depressed, thinking that if I don’t get it in gear with my book, I might just miss the opportunity to leave something tangible of myself in this world. All this was rattling in my head as I was getting closer to my Ob/gyn’s office. When I went in for my follow up exam, my nurse practitioner examined me and said that everything seemed to have corrected itself and I was in better shape and my mammogram next month should verify that, but she said that I needed to keep my stress levels down.

After hearing this good news, my mood gradually lifted throughout the day and then it got much better when I started prepping dinner for my hubby who is coming home tonight. There is something so therapeutic about snapping string beans, chopping garlic, peeling and slicing potatoes. The smell of roast beef wafting though the house while at the same time the sound of drippings crackling pierces my thoughts, both act as a soothing balm to whatever worries me. By the end of today I will be right back where I ought to be, relaxed and looking forward to a new day.

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The menu is a very simple one; roast beef studded with garlic cloves rubbed in salt and pepper, a potato gratin with heavy cream, Swiss cheese, salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg, broccoli rabe sautéed with garlic and parmesan cheese and red pepper flake (that’s for me) and string beans sautéed with slivered almonds and garlic. What is even better is that there will be left overs for the baby boy, so I don’t have to plan another menu for a day or so. Hooray!