Idling in the Middle

Making decisions, especially the big life ones, has always been hard for me. This does not make me unique, I know, for I can imagine that decision-making – whether regarding a relationship, a job, a move – is universally intimidating. My difficult decision du jour concerns the next phase of my professional life and what that might look like.

It’s complicated because I am smack dab in the middle of middle life; that is, if you subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary definition:

The central period of a person’s life, between around 45 and 60 years old.

Yeah, that’s all I’m going to say about that. holds no punches, however, in laying out the experiences one might “enjoy” during a mid-life crisis.

…a period of psychological stress occurring in middle age, thought to be triggered by a physical, occupational, or domestic event, as menopause, diminution of physical prowess, job loss, or departure of children from the home.

Let’s be honest. If you’re going to attach “crisis” to a period in one’s life, odds are things are going to look bleak. Reading this definition reminds me of those television commercials about new medications on the market, you know the ones with the scary disclaimer at the end that names all of “potential side effects.”

But they don’t have to. Look bleak, that is. As I muddle through this time of self-reflection and analysis, I remind myself I always have a lifeline: free will. These are my decisions, after all. I have freedom of choice and more important, freedom to change my mind. If I decide to do over my do-over, who am I hurting?

The details of the next chapter are unclear. It’s both exciting and unnerving, but I’m pushing forward, staying open-minded and seeking good counsel from others. In the meantime, I’m learning some things about myself, while honing my skills in acceptance, patience, trust and faith. And who can argue with that?

Snow Day Cookies
In this part of the country, we’ve been experiencing some “testy” winter weather. Snow and ice…and more snow and ice. Which means more time indoors for navel-gazing and contemplating my future. These Snow Day Cookies provide the perfect distraction — sweet, gooey, and downright humbling in their magic.

2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped black walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Combine sugars, softened butter and vanilla extract in a second bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamy. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts if using. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto non-greased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Yields 2+ dozen.

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