Wednesday, October 23, 2013

all that matters

With the economy still in flux and the general population holding onto work and wages to meet the demands of raising a family, sustaining a lifestyle, or just to make ends meet, there has been a lot of talk about how global economics are changing and how people (women in particular), need to "lean in" to succeed.

I know I'm quite late in the discussion of "leaning in"'s been discussed in countless of articles that either validate or debunk the question if it is possible for women to "have it all".  But sometimes I wonder if there is a bigger question, that's not gender specific, that we really should be asking?

As a society of responsible adults, maybe we should re-examine the idea of what "all" is?  Does having it all mean working exhausting 14 hour jobs to have 90 inch flat screen televisions, luxury cars that outnumber the drivers in the house, and mortgaged-to-the-hilt mansions filled with more stuff?

What exactly are we striving for?  And worse, what message about self worth are we telling our kids?

Sometimes I wonder if "having it all" really means "keeping up appearances".  I remember watching a documentary on the decline of manufacturing in North America, where in one scene, a man who already owned 6 televisions in his house, bought another mammoth one because it was "so dirt cheap". What value are we teaching when we make so many sacrifices (hard work to make these purchases, scarce available space in the house, over consumption of electricity, more time spent in front of a screen and less with each other) just to own a $200 flat screen TV?

I'd like to start a new movement...called "having all that matters". Because I don't think having every single one of those things are definitions of "success".  And while I believe all of us should pursue our own personal goals, whether it's a career or lifestyle goal, we should really be asking ourselves, to what end are we doing this?  At the end of the day, what exactly are we bringing home?

Although I don't have 6 flatscreen TV's, with my own definition, I guess I really "have it all", because I have what matters to me and I know exactly what I have at home.

And that's something we can ALL strive for.

"All That is Sweet Cookies"
(Maple Banana Peanut and Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Adapted from the Kraft Peanut Butter Cookies
(makes about 12-15 cookies)

Trying to name these cookies was a task in itself, as it had all of the yummy qualities of what sweetness means to me.  The Canadian influence of maple syrup.  The peanut butter and banana qualities of a morning breakfast treat...and chocolate.  As sweet and rich as this sounds, there are no refined white sugars, so it's not as lethal sounding as it seems.

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (I used all-natural peanut butter:  warning, it makes the cookies dough texture more "wet" when mixed). 
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (optional...this makes the cookie more "banana bread" like in texture)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic chocolate chips
  • Heat oven to 325 F.
  • Mix together peanut butter, banana, vanilla and baking soda until smooth.
  • Add egg and maple syrup .
  • Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  • Drop tablespoons onto cookie sheet.  
  • Bake for 20 min. or until lightly browned. (Do not overbake.) 
  • Cool completely.

Pair with milk or enjoy on it's own.

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