Ned Tillman commented on yesterday’s post about taking time. “My wish for everyone is that they make the time to spend more of their life out in the woods, on the rivers or in a meadow.”
It is a great resolution, to spend more time outdoors, just enjoying nature. Not even “doing” things. Just walking or sitting.
For so many years, between commuting and traveling for work, we didn’t always take time to sit and do nothing. Or, to leisurely do things without feeling stressed. Like making cookies.
I spent three days making this year’s cookies. Taking the time to do them right. Slowly. No rush. But I made them simpler, too. Using one basic recipe and making three cookies from it. Thanks to my trusty old Gourmet magazines. These are from 2003.
I made basic butter cookies. Recipe is on Epicurious web site. I also made the almond spice cookies. And, one more. Basic cookie baked like a shortbread and then covered and baked again with a brownie topping.
The ones above were the sugar cookies, made with the basic dough. They almost taste like my mom’s, but since hers used margarine and these use butter, the taste is a bit different, as is the texture.
I did other things in stages, as well. Like wrapping presents. And putting the lights outside. I just finished that task this morning. So what if we are last in the area at putting them up. I did get there eventually.
I know I am lucky to be retired. I know I can hit the stores tomorrow morning for those last two items I wanted to get. After everyone else goes to work. Not competing for parking or standing in lines with those who have the limited time on weekends and at night to get it all done.
Still, I realize that I used to get caught up in the frantic rush to get everything done. Wanting to be finished, and then being totally wiped out by the time the holiday came around. No more, I say. I intend to keep this resolution. To do less than I did before, and to make what I do meaningful. To spend more time with friends and relatives. To spend more time outdoors.
And less time trying to overachieve. A less ambitious garden. Easier meals. Less TV. I’ll see how I do when spring comes.