Is it just me, or is it getting harder to focus? There are birds chirping outside, the sun is shining, and FLOWERS ARE GROWING IN MY YARD. And I’m supposed to sit at my computer and type?
I think not.
I think, instead, I’d like to sit in a warm patch of sun, sipping on an unseasonably refreshing beverage, and watching the grass slowly turn from gold to green. Life is short, but here in Michigan, Spring is shorter, and I have every intention of soaking it in while it lasts.
We live in a society that’s obsessed with being busy. All. The. Time. You have to be doing something, otherwise… what are you doing? If you ask me, we have an unhealthy perception of what it means to be productive. (If you’ve ever felt guilty for taking a little “me time”, or relaxing for a moment, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. God forbid you take a minute to enjoy yourself, because what a waste of time that would be.)
So many of us spend our days working away for an imaginary time somewhere down the road when we can finally stop, and be happy, and enjoy ourselves. Like we need to earn the right to be happy in the future, by being miserable today. Like happiness is the finish line, and life is the race. In some ways, that can be true — sometimes we have to suffer through something we don’t particularly enjoy in order to earn a living and do the things we want to do later on — but spending our whole lives planning for a time when we can let ourselves be happy? Now THAT Sounds like a waste of time.
“Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don’t put off being happy until some future date.” – Dale Carnegie
This is something I’ve been struggling with a lot, lately. I go through phases of feeling overwhelmed by all the things I need to accomplish (or think I need to accomplish), and end up pushing myself through each and every task without any enjoyment at all. I never feel like I’m getting enough done, I’m always falling behind, and every day I feel more and more drained. I count myself among those lucky enough to do something I love, and yet I still manage to fall into the mindset that I can’t be happy until it’s done. How messed up is that?
Well, not today. Today, I’m enjoying myself. Did I get to those things on my to-do list yet? No. And that’s okay. The world will keep turning. Did I allow myself to breathe deeply, and enjoy the life I have while sipping on a delicious passion fruit mojito? Why yes, yes I did. Time well spent, if I do say so myself.
I first discovered passion fruit just a couple months ago, after seeing this gorgeous raspberry passion fruit curd my friend Shannon made. If you’ve never had a passion fruit before, you’re in for a treat. They are both sour and sweet, with a tropical flavor entirely their own. They come in two different varieties — dark, purple-skinned fruit no bigger than a lime, and large, yellow-skinned fruit, closer in resemblance to a grapefruit. I’ve never had the latter, so in this case, we’re talking about the small purple variety.
When it comes to picking out passion fruits, look for them to be slightly heavy for their size (too light can indicate that the inside of the fruit has dried up), with a dark, heavily wrinkled outer skin. If you can only find perfectly smooth passion fruit, let them sit on the counter for a few days to ripen. At first I thought mine had gone bad, until I realized that’s how they’re supposed to look… fear not, the riper they are, the sweeter they’ll be.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have patch of sunlight, a book, and a tall beverage that need my attention. Tell me — do you ever feel guilty taking time for yourself? What’s your favorite way to kick back when you do? I’d love to know!
(ingredients per drink)
1 passion fruit
1 1/2 oz. white rum
1 oz. mint simple syrup (instructions below)
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 cup club soda, to taste
lime wedges and fresh mint leaves, for garnish
For the mint simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
8-10 mint leaves
For the mint simple syrup:
1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a simmer. Let cook until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat, and add the mint leaves. Let steep for 1-3 hours. The longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor will be. Once finished, discard the mint leaves and store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
For the mojito:
1. Add the juice/seeds of the passion fruit to the bottom of a tall, chilled glass. Add ice, and set aside.
2. Combine the rum, 1 oz. mint syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake well, then poor into prepared glass. Top with club soda, and garnish with a wedge of lime and fresh mint leaves.