Living Better in the In-Between

The woman on the youtube video says that rolling out a pie crust is quite simple and not at all a daunting task.

The woman on the youtube video is full of lies.

I’m rolling and flouring and doing everything she says to do, but my crust is cracking and crumbling and falling apart.

I call one of my sisters for confirmation that I am not a complete and total reject who somehow missed out on the cooking and baking gene. She reassures me that her pie crusts fall apart as well, so I take a deep breath and continue on.

I have been preparing for this moment for days. I’ve read articles. I’ve watched videos. I have no less than four pie-related tabs open on my computer. One for a crust recipe. One about making a lattice. One telling me the best way to slice the apples. Etc. Etc. Now, finally, it’s go time.

It takes me hours to make the pie. It takes so long, in fact, that Pandora stops and asks me if I’m still listening. Twice. (I was listening to a “Josh Garrels” channel, if you’re wondering. I didn’t and still don’t know most of the artists or songs, but it was pretty good company).

Why put myself through this whole pie making nonsense?

I suppose it’s part of a sort of self-imposed therapy invented to ward off the depression that’s been my on-again, off-again companion since coming home from the World Race.

I’ve realized that I tend to live in extremes. I will leave the country at the drop of a hat when given the chance. I will fly kites on strange Nepalese rooftops, raft the Nile River, dance without hesitation in Latvian living rooms.

And these are all wonderful, exciting, adventurous things.

But that’s simply not how most of my life actually is. The time when I am traveling and having grand adventures is only a small percentage of the time I spend living. And while I spend that portion well, I tend to spend the rest of my time not so very well.

In between the magnificent moments are hours spent binge-watching shows on Netflix or, I don’t know, looking at funny pictures of cats or whatever else the internet has to offer.

And I’ve come to realize, this type of lifestyle isn’t exactly sustainable. I don’t want to spend vast swaths of my life simply waiting for the next big adventure.

I want to live better in the in-between times.

And this is where the pie comes in. I don’t cook all that much. And it’s mostly because of fear. I feel that at my age there are a wide variety of cooking related skills that I should have, but somehow never managed to acquire. So I feel stupid, and intimidated, and this keeps me from trying. As it turns out I seem to be able to face big, possibly dangerous fears. Jump on the back of a motorbike in crowded Ho-Chi Minh? Sure! Sleep with a rat in the room in Kenya? Whatever, he won’t bother me! Eat food prepared under questionable circumstances? Go for it, I’m not worried about parasites!

But it’s the little fears that hold me in my place. It’s the little risks that are hard for me to take.

I’m trying to get over that. And I’m trying to make my everyday life more adventurous, even in ways that seem small.

And so today, I made a pie. I felt that making a pie on a weekday with no particular reason for needing a pie sounded like a rather reckless, adventurous, and even in some ways, luxurious thing to do. Because people just don’t do that sort of thing you know.

It was also exhausting. Don’t forget exhausting.

So. How do you make your everydays adventurous? How do you live well in the “in-between” times? Someone who’s trying to get better at living her days well would really like to know.


3 Thoughts on “Living Better in the In-Between

  1. Jeni your pie turned out awesome! That’s prettier than any pie I’ve ever made. Lattice is one of the most difficult things to master. You ROCK.
    Also, I brought this up in our bible study tonight as well…we were talking about something or other that reminded me of your post and I just agreed wholeheartedly with what you were saying. Even though I’m not particularly adventurous like you I still struggle with turning every day moments into things that God can use. I spend a lot of my time thinking about how I’m wasting my life because I’m not doing all of these great things, even though I maybe am and I just don’t know it? Anyway this is my sickie brain thinking its foggy thoughts.
    Hope you enjoy your pie and I can’t wait to make one with you soon!
    Love you! 😀

  2. Melissa S on October 29, 2013 at 12:36 pm said:

    I think that making a pie sounds like a life affirming thing to do. I don’t make them often. They are such a tricky thing to create! Bravo on making a crust from scratch too! You’re right, they tend to be ‘special occasion’ things to make. Why not make one “just because”?

    I always aspire to bake, but never make time to. I always want to get a coffee can full of chocolate chip cookies made to keep in the freezer “just in case” we have random guests.

    Baking and cooking is wonderful, because you usually either are planning to share it in the company of friends/family… or you can treat yourself.

    I want to figure out doughnuts. 😀

    Blessings to you and your culinary adventures!! I always enjoy reading your blog!!

  3. Kristi Dulitz on November 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm said:

    I can so relate! Until I have a deadline, I will just procrastinate my life into oblivion. Yay for adventuring out into the little things, they will keep us going until we can have a grand adventure. But now I want to make a pie. And go skydiving. Want to come with?

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