It doesn’t have to be difficult

Sometimes I think we make life too hard.

I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to this. I take on too many responsibilities, berate myself when something isn’t perfect and often think I can do more.

I have resolved this year to focus more on what I have done instead of what I’ve yet to do. For instance, I have been running for more than a year now, but have yet to complete a race longer than a 5K. Rather than dwell on that, I am going to be proud of the 5Ks I have run and the fact that I am out the door at a quarter to 6 most mornings to put in two miles before my family is awake.

Sometimes we need to pat ourselves on the back. I don’t know when it became wrong to do so. We tell our kids and friends and family ‘Good job’ all the time. Why can’t we tell ourselves the same thing?

This was going through my head Friday afternoon. Both my husband and I were writing from home and he asked if I wanted to grab lunch. We are planning a great vacation for this summer, so saving money is a top priority. I told him I’d make something instead and, an hour later, I had.

(Confession: Lunch took me 20 minutes to make. I got distracted watching old So You Think You Cand Dance videos on YouTube. Season 2 people — that was the best year! Also, why didn’t someone tell me Ivan was an all-star on Season 8? I would have watched!)

Anyway, lunch. It was a quick meal. It was a simple meal. And it was a good meal.

Cooking doesn’t have to be hard. I’ve spent six hours on a dish, I’ve spent 15 minutes on others. Some meals will be more impressive. Some days will be better. It’s OK. That’s life. We have our ups and downs, our good days and our bad. This year, put your energy in finding the good and don’t be afraid to take short cuts when you can. Difficult doesn’t always mean better.

CHICKEN AND PASTA, SUPER EASY STYLE

  • One pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Seasoning of your choice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Box pasta mix (I used Pasta Roni)

Trim fat from the chicken and cut into bits-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and season with favorite seasonings. I used Mrs. Dash Original Recipe. Let sit for five minutes.

Make pasta according to instructions. Rice also works, if you prefer.

Cook chicken in a skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently. You could go hotter, but I find that chicken gets tougher the higher the heat you use to cook it.

Toss finished chicken with pasta or rice, and serve.

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