Tomorrow is my birthday, and it is also the second-to-last day of the year 2018, so I’ve been mulling over resolutions. I know what you’re thinking. Resolutions, though touted by psychologists as a useful strategy for goal-setting and prioritizing in the coming year, are nothing more than a set-up, a non-refundable ticket to the kingdom of disappointment. It’s easy to question the value of organizing our lives around intentions that we often fail to keep. For years I’ve fallen prey to these illusory promises and the inevitable failures they reap. But hey, it’s a new year; let us withhold judgement, shall we?
A couple of years ago, when I was dealing with a particularly stressful time in my life, I started a ritual of paying special attention to washing my feet each day in the shower. Point of fact: I am a fastidious person with excellent hygiene, and I shower every day (sometimes twice). The foot-washing was more than a path to cleanliness; it became a symbolic practice of washing away the day’s stressors, negative vibes, bad juju, whatever you want to call it.
From a religious perspective, foot-washing is the ultimate act of humility and respect. The spiritual meaning of washing is purification – cleaning the mind spiritually much as water cleans the body naturally…the day-to-day outward thoughts and actions that absorb so much of our time…” (New Christian Bible Study). Years ago, my friend Janice told me that she removes the clothes she wore to work as soon as she gets home every day and changes into something different. For her, the ritual provides a way to literally shed the demands and burdens of work and the energy attached to them. I see my foot-washing much the same way.
So for 2019, I resolve to continue this practice in earnest and to consider the greater gift it provides me – a way to end each day without regrets, to wake each morning and embrace its promise. The year ahead lies in wait. Wash your feet and make the best of it.
This recipe for Easy and Delicious Chicken Salad is borrowed from the lovable chefs behind How to Feed a Loon. I didn’t have sliced almonds so I just finely chopped some whole almonds. Still delicious! I think a generous dollop of this fresh, crunchy, delectable chicken salad on a croissant or soft roll would make a nice addition to any New Year’s day brunch.
Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (skin and bones removed)
1 cup seedless grapes, halved (red and green varieties are great)
1 cup almonds, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Kosher salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon, then add more, to taste)
Freshly ground pepper
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, grapes, almonds, celery, scallions, dill, & parsley.
In a small-medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon, mustard, salt and pepper.
Add the mayo/mustard mixture to the chicken mixture and gently stir until well mixed.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.