As we grow older, the obvious often eludes us. With time, we build a complicated maze around the original thought, and then tire endlessly to get to the very beginning. Whoever gets there first, is hence ‘enlightened’.
Such a moment occurred a few days ago. The obvious had been staring at me, but somehow the self-imposed clouds of ‘experience’ had managed to float away to reveal something to me. What might have led up to this realisation could be the particular mode I’ve been in for the last few months.
As a new mom, I spend most of my time thinking about how to make life predictable again. My many failed attempts at making a habit of sleeping at a certain time, in a certain way, on a certain cot led me to something. I wonder about what kind of person my son would become and how much I could influence his choices. I came to realise that if we can learn how and when to sleep, we can also learn how to think.
What now seems obvious dawned upon me. I could gift my son the habit of positive thought. This excites me. As for myself, I’d like to get used to these habits:
- Laugh louder than I should until laughing loud becomes normal
- Practice gratitude each day until I become grateful
- Pretend to be surprised at the little things in life until I become inspired
- Eat healthy and well until that becomes the only way food is meant to be eaten
There is another thing I could make a habit out of…
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups shredded)
- 1 large carrot (1½ cups shredded)
- 1 green papaya (1½ cups shredded)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ cup green onions
- ½ cup chopped peanuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 bird’s eye chilli peppers (sub ½ teaspoon minced hot pepper)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup water
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the chicken is done, remove from heat, drain water, let cool, and shred with two forks.
- Chop the cabbage into very thin pieces, like it would be for coleslaw. I did this by rolling up several leaves together and making thin vertical slices across the roll and then chopping them once horizontally. Peel and grate the carrots. Cut off the skin, remove the seeds, and grate the papaya. Roughly chop the cilantro and green onions. Toss the chicken and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled.
- Mince the garlic and chili peppers. Place garlic and peppers in a small mixing bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil, and fish sauce. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.
- Toss the salad with the dressing. Add the crushed peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.