Navigating the Messy Middle and Grilled Stone Fruit
Is your life spinning you around in circles right now? No doubt, disruption is messy; uncertain and confusing. It’s hard to feel grounded. During this time of unexpected transition, it’s tempting to focus on the unmet expectations – in many cases job loss or illness at worst, dashed summer plans at best.
According to transition expert and best-selling author Bruce Feiler, we’re in the stage of change known as the messy middle. It’s hard to find your footing while the disruption continues to unfold around you.
Yet transition has its upsides too. And if you’re having trouble spotting them, it may be time to get creative. How has this time in history affected you? Do you have more time on your hands, or less? How has your story shifted? Can you adjust your priorities to better meet you where you’re at right now?
Personally, after months of a quarantine rut which revolved around the same few pairs of yoga pants, I decided to change my wardrobe and my outlook. I wanted to show up as the person I want to be. For me, dressing in a comfy skirt and casual blouse took me from loungewear living to back on task. I rewrote my story, literally, and in it consciously removed all of my formerly self-sabotaging excuses. Too busy, not ready, not sure…all gone.
In my new story, I’m the hero. I own my accomplishments. The degrees, the experience, the certifications and the successes. I stand in my value. I have everything I need to live the life of my dreams.
Does that mean I’ll just envision and seamlessly step into this new reality? Hell no; as Bruce Feiler reminds us, change is never linear. But if I set my compass in a clear direction, I’ll create the community and find the support to stay the course no matter how challenging things get.
How about you? Where have you or are you planning to shift into this messy middle moment?
These are heady questions, worth putting aside some time to think about. Writing your story is a powerful tool for navigating change!
Another great way to shake up your routine this summer is in the kitchen. Summer food is always the bomb, but this year you may have more time to experiment with digging into some delicious new food ideas. Like grilled stone fruit. Peaches, plums, nectarines are all in season. Pick up a couple of pounds from a farmstand if you can, or these days wherever you can safely get them.
That’s all you need for an easy, healthy, fancy-tasting treat without too much kitchen time. Grilling adds a subtle smokiness while caramelizing the natural sugar and intensifying the flavor, no marinating required.
Here are some suggestions for successful fruit grilling:
• When choosing fruit, go for firm before soft, as in not rock hard, but solid enough to hold their shape in the face of a gentle squeeze.
• Be sure to give your grill a good scrape before you use it to avoid any residue from foods past.
• Grill on low to medium heat (by grill standards, of course), charring is not encouraged, light grill marks are just right.
• If you’re not all that grill-savvy, try a grill pan on the stove for a next-best alternative.
Now for the fun part, get creative!
Go savory and combine grilled fruit with veggies like arugula, tomato, fennel, endive, arugula, spinach, rice or white beans. Add a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and serve up a sensational salad or side dish.
Or whip up a chutney to top your grilled steak of choice – tuna is my top pick. It’s as easy as chopping a cup of fruit, then stir in a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Top with with fresh berries, or enjoy over a scoop of frozen vanilla desert.
Try this easy salad recipe, Grilled Summer Stone Fruit, or create one of your own and enjoy every last bite!