-Jeannetta Marley Donica
Okay, I know this sounds like a crazy title! The only people who might understand this phrase are my siblings. It’s a mantra we heard A LOT around our house growing up. If myself, my brother or my two sisters ever complained about chores, or said we were angry, or were generally disgruntled, my Mother would just purse her lips, fold her arms and tersely say, “Well, you have the same britches to get glad in young lady (or young man).” We all hated hearing her say that. On the surface it seemed like a crazy thing to say. I would think, “What does that even mean?” This saying, coupled with her unnatural love of burning things (the fire department was called to our acreage more than once to help control a “bonfire” that she lit up, but that’s for another blog!), made me believe that my mom was a little off her rocker. She took no guff and condoned no wallowing in pity. She pushed us to be the best we could be and she expected excellence as the rule rather than the exception.
My Mother died at the young age of forty-nine of breast cancer and her favorite catch phrase became lost in time’s wake. Imagine my surprise when I heard the words rolling off my tongue in response to my own kids’ bad attitudes. The first time I said it, my ten-year-old son looked at me as if I had gone crazy. I chuckled to myself as the meaning of the phrase came rushing to me in a flash of insight and suddenly my Mother seemed like a brilliant philosopher and not a raving lunatic. In actuality, her words were profound. I’m not sure even she grasped the deepness of her saying, but the enlightened-ness of that motto represent words to live by. You see; attitude and/or perception are everything.
Your situation (or your britches) won’t miraculously change, but your attitude about the situation (or britches) can change. Changing your outlook really can transform your entire life. It really is simple to modify the story you tell yourself, such as: I’m not overweight; I have the opportunity to learn about getting healthy. I’m not an unemployed loser; I have the opportunity to explore doing something I really love. I’m not so behind on everything; I have the opportunity to become organized. Attitude and perception color everything you do every day. If you tweak your attitude in order to see everything in a better light, the whole world opens up and your life suddenly becomes about opportunities instead of drudgery.
So, far from being crazy, my Mother was, in reality, quite enlightened. I never told her that I admired her brilliance, as I was only eighteen when she died and had not come to fully appreciate her wisdom. However, if I could see her today, I would hug her tightly and explain that her mantra helped mold the positive person I am today. I would tell her thank you, for tolerating only the best from her children. I would convey that I do my best everyday to have only the “gladdest of britches.” Thanks Mother!
Keep you britches glad. Keep Shining. Peace Out!
Of course, if you’ve been reading my blog very long you know that I say eating real, whole food represents one of the best ways to keep your britches glad and your attitude awesome! The following recipe is plant based and gluten free. Eat as much as you care for!
Sweet Potato Potage
8-9-Cups veggie broth (depending on how thick you like it)
4-Jalapenos finely chopped (I wear plastic gloves when cutting them up)
6-cups chopped sweet potatoes or yams, peeled (or pumpkin)
2-leeks washed thoroughly and chopped fine
3-cloves garlic, minced
4-stalks celery, chopped
2-cups unsweetened almond milk
¼-tsp cayenne pepper
2-Tbsp coconut sugar
2 cups toasted walnuts (put in 325 degree F oven on cookie sheet for 6 minutes, take out of oven and stir and return to oven for 6 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool).
Put onion, jalapenos, garlic, celery and leeks in pan with about 1-cup veggie broth and sauté for ten minutes. Add the rest of the veggie broth, sweet potatoes, cayenne pepper, coconut sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to boil and simmer for at least one hour (longer will make it taste better). Add the almond milk and let simmer for about 15 more minutes. Adjust seasonings. Serve with walnuts sprinkled on top. Enjoy!