Growing up, my sister and I LOVED playing with Barbies. We played nearly everyday, in all our free time for hours on end, and for years beyond what would generally be considered socially acceptable. At one point I know we counted and had over 120 Barbie or at least 9 Ken dolls (which meant having a boyfriend or husband was a pretty big deal) along with many kid and baby versions. For us, playing with Barbies did not entail just the usual dressing and hair brushing activities; rather we used them to create our own microcosm of society. We used them in all the usual childhood playtime favorites – house, bank, school, shopping, etc. as well to analyze divergent personalities and situations across a variety of different scenarios, playing out issues and experiences we encountered in real life or saw in movies. I was obsessed with cheerleading, so naturally we devoted much of our Barbie’s lives to practicing and performing stunts. To my mother’s absolute consternation, we stole fabrics that she had purchased for other projects or cut up old clothes to make elaborate uniforms for them along with other clothes which were sold at our own version of shopping malls complete with mini price tags. We used real school textbooks to “teach” them school, and each of the students (the studious ones anyway) completed their assignments on small pieces of cut up paper, each in their own unique handwriting style which was graded and filed neatly in an index card holder, with separate tabs for each class along with scores recorded in an actual gradebook, a prized possession gifted to us by our grandmother. Our Barbies learned valuable lessons (from our limited worldview obviously) about everything from household chores to money management, from learning how to drive to conducting private detective investigations, from dating to divorce, from perservance and hard work to parties and hanging out.
In fact, as documented by Kyle “hanging out” was a popular favorite past time of many of our most prominent actors. Barbies permeated just about every aspect of our free time, so when we first got a computer and a web camera, we simply had to hold family photo sessions with them in addition to taking sports and senior photos. Another one of our ideas of fun was to use this new computer to create a book which was entitled “The Time of Our Lives.” This book featured an About Page for each of our key characters in that particular generation of Barbies. The About Page included some type of avatar that we had created to depict the character along with some key facts about them like name, age, crush, best friend, worst enemy, and favorite things to do. A few years ago when Kyle came to visit me in Boston, she brought a copy of the book and we laughed hysterically at the fact that every one she had created listed “hanging out” as their favorite thing to do. Ironically, her boyfriend and I pointed out, that is probably still Kyle’s favorite thing to do herself! In fact, that week we began referring to her as “The Serena Williams of Hanging Out.”
Although I think I know what she means when she says this, I find it somewhat challenging to think leisurely about leisure time. I am someone who loves to cram as much (or more) than is physically possible into a day, so concepts like “relaxing” or “free time” are confusing to me. While I could give the Energizer Bunny a run for his money, simply hanging out is not one of my core competencies. Earlier this year, I contemplated many questions designed to help you understand yourself, your nature, and interests better and one that I struggled with at the time was “if you unexpectedly had a completely free afternoon, what would you do with that time?” Interestingly, due to some (pretty fabulous) stars aligning amongst my work colleague’s schedules for today, I had literally five hours of meetings originally scheduled in the afternoon canceled! Since I thought that day was fully booked, I had worked ahead earlier in the week and can very nearly consider this “my unexpected completely free afternoon.” #BESTFRIDAYEVER
And the answer to the question of how to best spend this time is now quite clear to me – although nothing spectacular or even out of the ordinary, I will be doing a little more of the things that I love: barre, reading, writing, and taking Coco for a longer than usual walk. By considering questions like this along with other recent activities like building the List of 100 Dreams I am more clear on what I actually enjoy and will consider free time well spent as opposed to a rare opportunity which can be easily squandered. Call me a killjoy, but I really want to maximize my time even, if not especially, on my free days. And so I will – I am off to read a new novel for fun over one of my favorite satiating breakfast options with a distinctive flavor – Whole30 Sausage Egg Sandwiches.
- Ground/Minced Turkey 1 lb. (400 g)
- Minced Chives .25 cup (5 g)
- Tarragon 1 TBSP
- Minced Garlic Cloves 2 each
- Sea Salt .5 TSP
- Black Pepper .25 TSP
- Water 2 TBSP
- Eggs 12 each
- Coconut Milk .25 cup (60 ml)
- Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
- Coconut Oil 1 TBSP
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing well to incorporate.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat and melt 1 TBSP of coconut oil.
- Using your hands, form 6-8 small sausage patties and place in the skillet.
- Cook fully on one side allowing the sausage to brown (about 3-5 minutes) and then flip to finish cooking.
- In a blender pulse the eggs and coconut milk until foamy. Alternatively, you can whisk well to get some bubbles in the eggs.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium low heat and melt 1 TBSP of coconut oil.
- Pour some of the egg mixture into the pan to about .25 inch thickness.
- Allow the egg to slowly cook until it is almost cooked through or to desired doneness (similar to a frittata).
- Using a biscuit cutter or a small glass, cut the egg into rounds roughly about the size of the sausages, making sure you press all the way through. I used a small pan, so I could cut about 3 rounds per batch.
- Carefully peel away excess egg and flip the rounds to finish cooking.
- Repeat for the rest of your eggs.