Five Ways to Get Rid of Belly Fat! (just kidding.)

In and out goes the new year, along with our expectations of a great rapture — whether physical or spiritual.

We are all still here. Nothing cataclysmic happened. At least, not yet. (And not that fast.)

What were we to expect anyways? As I’ve been catching myself saying, we’re not getting out of this world that easy. We are met with an irresponsible fiscal crisis and millions of us desperately trying to keep up. Not to mention the unrest and violence all around the world. Certainly a lot to think about.

I came across an article about the state of our American Dream. That phrase drives me nuts. A seemingly deceptive baby-boomer term that has inevitably helped us get into all this mess.

I had to stand in a massive line at Urban Outfitters yesterday to get a gift card and nearly ran out screaming. Between the group of high school girls in front of me, the brain-rattling-endorphin-driven music, and the intense smell of sweet perfume; I almost lost it. None of their machines worked. I felt so bad for them. I know how it is. She kept apologizing to me. I kept smiling and throwing “No Worries” at her. It really is okay, ya know?

Maybe I’m becoming an old man. Well, little by little I am.

It led me to start thinking about what I wanted for myself this year. I’ll be the first to say that things can get messy in a flash. We all want our years to turn out certain ways, but we all know that just doesn’t happen. We don’t end up losing that belly fat or getting a high-paying dream job.

I don’t want to come off as dismal, but something I’ve been letting sink in. When these intense things keep happening in our lives (and the world that we live in) we can’t process it all. Like the shooting in Newtown and the ever-rising death toll in Syria.

Whew. Take some deep breaths.

I’m leaving a season of being burnt out. The smallest thing seems a bit overwhelming to me. Questions and car troubles and unemployment are all very much heavy on my back.

Take some more deep breaths. Into your belly, breathe it deep because it’s real, but it’s far from who you are as a person. Don’t make it question your goodness and what you have to offer this world.

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You see, that’s where I’m coming back to.

I’m over hearing people say how trendy cooking is. I think people who want to start a restaurant because they’re good home cooks is pushing it. I don’t think it’s ridiculous to dream, though. We are a generation looking for something real again.

Food is a good way to start. Yes, we write about and eat at your restaurants. I’ve waited and served these kind of people and listen to them diagram a roast beef sandwich for 20 minutes. It is what it is.

But don’t let this world fool you. This dream is fading. Feel it. Breathe it in. Accept it. We are changing. We are moving.

Food is changing. We will be shifting from consumers to house cooks. We will have to eat less meat. We will have to learn to suck it up and do the damn dishes.

I, for one, think the US will be better for these humbling things. Where we value sustainability not only in food and materials, but with relationships and the inevitably downtrodden human condition.

So why not start in your kitchen? Blow the dust off your spatula and fry up the perfect egg.

Marvel in its simplicity and complexity.

Let’s find our way back to goodness.

I’m gonna start with that sink full of dishes because somehow,

it makes sense to me.

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