Every now and then something simple affects me in a profound way. Take this quote that my wife posted on social media the other day: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” At first, I just dismissed these simple words from Theodore Roosevelt, not putting much thought into them. But a subsequent conversation with her a day or so later breathed a deeper meaning into these simple words. We can be completely content with our lives, our houses, our cars, our jobs until we see the newer, the bigger, the better. You are perfectly content with your paid for 2006 model vehicle as you give it a wash in the driveway until your neighbor pulls up in the brand new 2014 model. Your house is your dream home until you visit a friend’s home that is bigger and fancier.
The danger of comparing our lives to others is that we each know all the details of our own lives and typically not those of the other person to whom we are comparing ourselves. We compare our own “behind the scenes” to someone else’s “highlight reel.” And we can be pretty hard on ourselves. We decide that we’re not skinny enough, or rich enough, or happy enough, or as good of a father or mother, or as Godly, or as organized, or as successful as someone else when we make those comparisons. These situations always exist. Just as there will always be someone who is worse off than you, there will also always be someone that appears better off than you. But appearances can be deceiving, just remember that.
Social media is dangerous in this equation because it’s commonplace to brag on sites like Facebook and Twitter. We see all the bragging and don’t see all the bad stuff in others’ lives. And we all have bad stuff. But with the exception of those folks who post every single health ailment they might encounter (you know who I’m talking about), folks don’t post the bad stuff.
I’ll admit I’m guilty of doing this very thing. We all are. But I want you to know that the only person you should be comparing yourself to… is you. You should set goals and aspirations for yourself and strive to meet those, not the ones set by your friends, neighbors, or family. The truth is… you’re awesome. I know you are. Now start acting like it.
Y’all this recipe is a new favorite in our house. We are always looking for quick and easy meals that you don’t have to tear down the kitchen to make – not just for me, but for y’all as well. Well, this is one of them. The whole thing cooks in one large skillet; even the pasta – and there’s no draining. And if you can’t find the pesto mix, you can easily use a packet Italian dressing mix (now without a lot of sugar) or another seasoning to make it just as yummy. Y’all enjoy!!
Easy Pesto Chicken Skillet
- 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (0.5-ounce) package powdered pesto sauce mix
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
- 1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the cubed chicken with the pesto mix and allow it to marinate for about 10 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chicken and cook until the outside of the chicken turns white. Pour in the chicken broth and the tomatoes with the juice. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 17 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Remove the lid and stir in the milk. Cook 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and return the lid to the pan until the cheese has melted.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.