Strength & Resilience

“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d believe at first glance.” ~ Jodi Picoult

Photo by Andre Moura on

Bamboo is quite a fascinating plant. Some shoots of bamboo have been shown to grow 3″ in one day. the Bamboo Wisdom website states, “Bamboo is a symbol of longevity because of its durability, strength, flexibility, and resilience. It survives in the harshest conditions, still standing tall and staying green year-round. When the storm comes, bamboo bends with the wind. When the storm ceases, it resumes its upright position.”

There are times in life when we must show strength and resilience. Those times when the hits just keep coming and we can do nothing but weather them to the best of our abilities. It’s trying times when events and circumstances don’t just happen singly, but seem to escalate and pile up, giving us barely a chance to catch our breath before the next circumstance arises.

Trust me! There are things I’d much rather be doing than putting out the fires of teenage angst. Teens who suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. Teens who have wishful thinking that they can go wherever they please without getting found out. Teens whose dissatisfaction with life causes them to create drama and try to bring everyone in the household into their tornadic spiral.

Comparatively – as those teens also go through situations that build resilience, they find that their perceived stress is not that stressful at all, and boundaries are there for a reason. Throw in a bio-mom who is ate up with more holes than baby swiss and it makes for a very stressful, albeit slightly entertaining if not infuriating week.

Having the neurodivergent mind as I’ve mentioned before . . . the mention of Baby Swiss brings me to a quick but satisfyingly tasty recipe for chicken. Throw in a few diced potatoes and carrots that have roasted for a few minutes and you have a wonderfully delicious but easy to prepare meal.

Monterey Jack Chicken

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


2 chicken breasts

1 T. butter

1/2 c. Panko break crumbs

3 T. dry ranch salad dressing mix

1/2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided

2 T. mayonnaise

5-6 Yukon gold potatoes

3-4 carrots

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil


Preheat oven to 425. Cut the potatoes into wedges. In a small bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss, coating in oil. Place on half of a baking sheet. Roast on the middle rack for about 10 minutes. Cut ends off carrots and peel. Slice into 1/2″ slices on the diagonal. Toss with a bit of olive oil and salt, pepper and 1 T. dry ranch salad dressing mix. While the potatoes are roasting, rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, melt 1 T. butter. Stir in the Panko bread crumbs, 2 T. dry ranch salad dressing mix, and 1/4 c. of the Monterey Jack cheese until the bread crumbs are moistened. By now the potatoes should be out of the oven. Place the carrots on the other half of the baking sheet. Place chicken breasts in the middle between the vegetables. Spread each breast with 1 T. mayonnaise. Spoon half the bread crumb/cheese mixture on each chicken breast, patting into the mayonnaise to keep from falling off. Sprinkle with the remainder of the Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a busy and somewhat hectic week, this meal was comfort food at it’s finest. Simple chicken with potatoes and carrots, but the ease of preparation combined with the seasonings made it so tasty, I just wanted to close my eyes and enjoy the flavor on my tongue. As long as I have sustenance such as this, I can be strong and resilient a wee bit longer.

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