This is what I want to be. A confection. Even if I feel like a slice of whole wheat most days, nutritious, necessary, boring, I want to be dessert. And not just any dessert, I want to be a Parisian macaron.
I don’t know when it was that my profession became my identity. Perhaps a long time ago, and I just hadn’t noticed, or perhaps more recent, but all the frivolity and elegance is gone. I am serious and dependable, which can also translate as anxious and exhausted. And for what? My kids are growing. And the passing years act as though they’re in a race. Before I know it my kids will be in college and I’ll be contemplating a face lift. I don’t want to be staring at myself in the mirror wondering where my life went, not recognizing the lined face staring back.
Can anyone tell me, how do I go about becoming a Parisian macaron? Or at least, how can I find some balance?
(And if you’re in Portland and haven’t stopped by Nuvrei on NW 10th and NW Flanders, what are you waiting for?)
In an effort to lose ten pounds, and teach myself some discipline along the way, I have decided to go on a refined sugar and flour fast. Easier said than done, as I am the biggest sugar and flour addict I know. But summer is coming so putting it off is not an option any longer. And I have found it to be true that weight loss is 85% diet related. I will start tomorrow. I know it sounds like I’m putting it off, but I have a reason why. Today needs to be spent poring over my half dozen cookbooks (because I am not a genius in the kitchen I rely on cookbooks, and I really like those with pictures so I know that a semblance of the food pictured is expected), and planning every meal and snack. If I don’t have everything planned and within reach, I will panic and give in to the nearest brownie.
I have done this before and know that it will be difficult. The last time I did it, I felt such compassion for addicts of one substance or another and so much respect for the ones that kicked the habit and persevered. It isn’t easy. Sugar and flour withdrawals are nothing to sniff at.
Tomorrow evening I will be cursing all those female standards of beauty that we women fall for, while at the same time telling myself not to give in to my sugar deprived brain telling me that I’m fine the way I am. To help myself along, I should probably make fifty or so copies of one of my favorite pre-children photos and tape them throughout the kitchen, pantry and car. Maybe line my purse with a bunch of them as well.
As I am writing this, I am enjoying what will probably my last sugar laden sweet – an almond croissant dusted with powdered sugar from my favorite bakery – for the next two weeks. I am eating it as slowly as I can in order to prolong the pleasure. Should I spoil myself with such treats all day, as tomorrow will inevitably arrive with its new burden? Hmm… what a dilemma!
I read somewhere that truly beautiful people can obliterate you. I don’t remember if it was Margaret Atwood or Isabel Allende who said it, but the phrase stuck with me. I’m not certain I agree, though. Sure, there are some beautiful people that just leave you speechless. I have a few such friends. When I see them I almost hate them, I’m so envious. But then I have moments when I’m so charming, I even charm myself.
I grew up in a subculture where cosmetic enhancement of any sort was frowned upon, yet beauty was the calling card of any girl lucky enough to claim it. When I was young an uncle told me that if a girl was not beautiful of face, she would do well to be likable, and I truly believed him. I think the French teach their daughters the same. I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure. The whole world agrees that French women are utterly charming.
Anyway, a few days ago I was reading a post written by a friend, and she mentioned a project she was going to be a part of, regarding beauty. A project that will explore the concept of beauty from all angles, seeking to find what is the “truth” of it. Because I am so enthralled by the word, let alone the idea, and because Holly never fails to amuse and enchant me with her intelligence, I decided to go and find out if more participants were needed.
Yes, more were needed. And guess what? You can be a part of this too, should you so desire. A Beautiful State of Mind - The Project, is still seeking contestants. Visit #mce_temp_url# to find out more and participate in the discovery of your inner and outer beauty. Rhiannon, the founder of this project, is seeking women of all ages and all cultures to explore this often elusive and misunderstood concept.
Now for the icing on the cake, here is a photo of me taken with my iphone, sans make-up. Notice that it’s in black and white - the better to hide the imperfections. My son thinks the only difference is I look faded. Haha!