I turned 28 this week, which means that I’ve survived a whole decade of being an adult! Yay!
Every time my birthday comes around, I tend to reflect on how my year went, how far I’ve come (or not) and where I would like to be in the next year. My hopes and aspirations rarely concern material things, money, or external achievements (e.g. gaining educational qualifications, getting a new job etc). They always relate to my level of wellbeing and finding meaningful ways where I can be content and at peace with myself.
This year, I really tried to listen and act on what I truly want and desire. I’m the type of person who will bend over backwards for someone, to the point that I get really exhausted and sick myself. In the past year, I’ve tried to not give into people’s expectations or be persuaded by them. So while I’ve tried to stand my ground, I’ve noticed a few things…
Society always expects that you are doing more out of your life. There shouldn’t be anything ‘wrong’ if you choose to have a lazy weekend of nothingness over travelling interstate to see a music festival. There shouldn’t be anything wrong if you are in a mediocre job plodding along not solving the world’s problems. People in my generation were taught that we can do anything we want with our lives. However, this encourages us to set extremely high expectations of ourselves to do more and more – it gets exhausting.
Society also expects that you should be doing more with your love life. When you are single, people ask when you are going to get a boyfriend/girlfriend. When you’ve got a boyfriend/girlfriend, people ask when you are going to move in together. When you move in together, people ask when you are going to get married, have children, buy a house. STOP IT! Why can’t we be content with the stage of life that we are at?!
So yes, sometimes I still feel like I ‘fail’ with trying to put myself first (notice my expectations of myself?!). I was so exhausted from work and life that I got sick around the days of my birthday. I didn’t have any cake (I didn’t have the energy or motivation to do something as arduous as the celebratory cakes that I make for my business). Instead I put together a ‘simple’ platter of all of the things that I’ve been loving recently. It was super easy and I loved it!
'A few of my favourite things' birthday platter
- Sultana grapes
- Fuji apple drizzled with black tahini and almond butter
- ½ avocado sliced sprinkled with black sesame seeds
- Black rice and avocado sushi (see below)
- Cookie dough bliss balls
- Lemon coconut bliss ball
- Ceres Organics Super Good Muesli
- Goji berries
- Rose petals
- Dried blueberries
- ¼ cup black rice
- ¼ cup brown rice
- ½ avocado
- 1-2 sheets of nori
- Dash of rice vinegar
- Dash of coconut sugar
- Prepare all of the fruit, savouries, treats and pantry items as desired.
- For the sushi: Cook the black and brown rice together in a small pot of water for 30 minutes or until tender. If there is any water leftover, drain. When the rice has cooled, stir through rice vinegar and coconut sugar,
- To assemble the sushi, place 1 sheet nori on a dry chopping board. Place rice and avocado along one edge of the nori and gently roll. Secure the end of the nori with a dab of water. Repeat for other nori sheet. Slice as desired.
- Assemble all of the items on a display platter, plate or chopping board as desired.