Food + Wine, Fun

Age of Worry

Worry exists at every Age.  When you’re younger, your Worries are larger than life.  They suffocate, they drown, they define you, they strip you of prudence and leave you naked with fear. Then you Age and become more wise, you decipher which Worries are worth the suffocation and which should simply be tossed aside.  You make a grown-up choice about what is considered an important enough Worry to use up the large amount of energy needed to do so. And isn’t that one of the hardest parts about growing up?  Making choices?  It’s also the most coveted part. Children beg for it, teenagers yearn for it – the freedom to make a choice.  What the children and teenagers don’t realize about the choice privilege is that with every choice comes a Worry.

I made the choice to be a mother. And now I am dealing with the Worry that couples it.I Worry every single day of my life.  I worry that I won’t be able to get all of my work done.  I Worry that if I get all of my work done, it usually means that I didn’t get enough time with my children, so I Worry that they’ve gone to sleep thinking I didn’t love them as much that day. I Worry about what kind of mother I am. What kind of wife, daughter, sister, friend.  Am I good enough? Will I ever be good enough? What is good enough? Will I know when I get there or still strive to be ‘better’ without knowing I have already been the best that I can possibly be?

And I Worry about my son who just started kindergarten.  At first I Worried that he wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t like his teacher, wouldn’t make friends, would be misunderstood.  Then I Worried the first day that I dropped him off, about whether he knew his way to his class or not. (He’s just so small!  I never told him the way! I never reminded him! I never practiced with him!) Then I Worried, and still Worry, about how long it will take for me to stop crying every time I watch him walk into the school all by himself.  
I play that image over and over in my head all day long- the image of him leaving me- he gets out, waves goodbye to me as I smile and tell him I love him, he closes the door, and I start to drive away as he puts his backpack over one arm and begins to walk, then his pace quickens as he slides his other arm through the other strap.  He walks quickly, so as to not be late, (he always was such a good boy, a rule follower, a Worrier in his own right), and he gets smaller and smaller as I drive away slowly.  He gets so small that I can almost pretend he’s handheld again.  I watch him through my mirror until he’s gone. And I cry. I cry every morning. He doesn’t know, he will not know, but I come home and I bury my puffy face into my husbands bare chest.  My husband, smelling of soap, holds me tight, lets me cry and he says things like, “I know this is hard, but this is all a positive thing…This is where the world gets to meet one of the sweetest, kindest guys ever…we can’t keep him a secret forever.” He says all the right things, perfect things, and I just tell him, “There’s a hole in my heart.” Because that’s all I know to say.  I say that over and over again.  There’s a hole in my heart, where my baby used to be. 

There’s a hole in my heart.

Because that’s all I know to say.  
My husband and I went out to escape the Worry last week, to a concert in the city and left the kids at home with my Other Mother. It was the first time we’ve had someone come and stay the night while we were gone.  And I Worried.  I didn’t Worry about my children, or their grandmother staying with them, I Worried about whether or not I could let go and have fun, take advantage of this opportunity and just enjoy.  The timing of the concert was horrible – a Wednesday night, in the middle of a sinus infection, with multiple prescriptions leaving me feeling like a hungover zombie and none of my work being done.  But what was amazing is that once we got on the interstate, I relaxed. My Worries seemed to be left at home with my children. I got to visit with my favorite brother, 

eat an amazing meal at a place I had never been, sit so close to John Mayer that I could see his Worry lines, and spend time with my favorite husband. 

Even though I still felt like a zombie with a hangover, and therefore a lot of the concert is more of a blurry memory, I enjoyed myself. Without Worry. And when the lyrics of one of his finale songs flashed onto the screen behind him, I sang and read along with Mr. Mayer and understood what he was telling me.  

Know your fight is not with them,
Yours is with your time here.
Dream your dreams but don’t pretend. 
Make friends with what you are. 
Alive in the Age of Worry.  
Smile in the Age of Worry.-
Sing out in the Age of Worry. 
And say, ‘Worry, Get out of here!’
I’m living my Age of Worry.  Right now, at this very minute of my life, I am at the Age of utmost Worry.  There’s nothing I can do about the things that will make me Worry from now until I’m old and grey.  But I can learn to smile, to sing out and be alive during my Age of Worry.  I can keep dreaming my dreams and make friends with what I am-

A Worrier with a heck of a lot of precious things to Worry about. 

*The No Worry Roast Chicken

Don’t let the casual nature of this ‘recipe’ fool you… This is the best and easiest roast chicken you will ever make.  Promise.  It takes next to no effort, but it does take some advanced thinking.  We eat a roast chicken about once a week so whenever I go to the store, which is generally on a Friday, I will start the process either that evening or the next morning so that we can enjoy a delicious meal the following Monday or Tuesday when I’m strapped for time.

Three days before you want to eat it, place your whole chicken on a heavy duty aluminum foil-lined roasting pan, breast side down.Using either your favorite seasoning salt (mine is Badia Adobo) or just salt alone or combined with whatever herbs/spices you like, season the outside of the bird extremely liberally.  Do not get under the skin, just season the outside of the skin very well, and also inside the cavity.  Make sure to get under leg crevices, etc.  The seasoning will seep through the skin into the meat while it rests in the fridge for days, uncovered.  This will also make your skin incredibly crispy.

Flip the bird over and do the same on the breast side of the bird.  Then, once your bird is covered with seasoning, place it in the fridge, breast side up, uncovered, for three days.

When you’re ready to cook, take the bird out, (it will now look a bit dried up)…

and place on top of the oven to take the chill off while you preheat to the highest temp (mine is 500 degrees).  Once preheated, place your bird in and cook on the highest temp for 15 minutes.  After the 15 minutes, do not open the door, but turn the oven temp down to 300 and continue to cook for 2 hours.  If you’re in a hurry go 375 for 1 hour but be sure to check.  You can also cook longer at 250 for 3 hours.  (If you’re unsure and new at this, use an oven safe thermometer to help!!)

Once done, allow the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.
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