I was supposed to have dinner with John* yesterday, but he woke up feeling like “death.” Of course I immediately excused his attendance, and forgave him. He apologized for being flaky, and I told him, “Until I’m less flaky than my pie crusts, flake on, dude!” I don’t usually use young person parlance, but I often do with John, just to make him laugh. We are 20 years apart in age, and using current idiom feels silly to me. I only do it in text, because I don’t think I could carry off saying something like that without laughing uncontrollably.
I didn’t post yesterday. Reason being, I hadn’t finished cleaning the kitchen. I still actually haven’t finished, but I did do all of the major tasks less mopping the floor yesterday and today. And I began cooking today. I had planned to make something from one of my new Christmas present cookbooks, and I have at this moment simmering on the stove Polk Family Black-Eyed Pea and Mustard Green Soup, from One Big Table by Molly O’Neil (http://onebigtable.com/). No one I’ve ever known makes black-eye peas at New Year’s. In the Midwest it’s more likely to be steaks. Here, in my adopted home town, it’s posole, tamales, and green chile chicken enchiladas. This recipe makes a huge vat of soup. So far, it’s delish. Of course, one person can not eat a whole vat of soup, so I immediately started thinking of taking some around to various folks, and ended up making a huge pan Stone’s Restaurant (sadly, now closed) corn bread to go with it. Of course, that leads me to what dessert I could make. I’m a little too tired by now to make this:
but perhaps I’ll summon up some energy in the morning. Thank you, Life in the Garden blogger-lady, for sharing your creative genius with us! Back to my point, my kitchen is looking much better and I can do things I am passionate about, cooking and baking. I have restored that activity to myself, and am very grateful. Cooking is my way of showing love. A friend of mine says I’m an empath, but I haven’t opened myself to using my gift. She says I can heal people with my cooking. I don’t doubt that. I put every fiber of my being into cooking, and it’s odd, I do feel exhausted when I’m done. Perhaps some of me does go into what I make. That’s a beautiful concept.
It’s the 28th of December. The old year is at an end, and the new year is rushing to greet us. I feel so much pressure. So much will happen in the new year, so much I am not ready for. And I am so slow, so slow getting myself and all in order. I don’t like the feeling, feeling that all must start a different way in the new year, that I must somehow suddenly make everything right, get everything right. And the inevitable depression that follows when all is not right. It hasn’t seemed to matter how much I try to keep that from happening, it does. I suppose I should feel good when the pressure and anxiety are gone and normalcy returns, but I don’t. I feel like a failure. I suppose that’s something to talk about with my therapist tomorrow.
Baby steps. So small, so slow in coming. The pace of my recovery is excruciatingly reminiscent of the movement of a tortoise. My heart is saying, “speed up, speed up” and my head wants to slow everything down, down to the a place where it can absorb everything, remember everything, oversee everything, where the smallest details are so important, where everything in my brain gets lost and has to be found over and over again. And I can’t give in. Because life is passing me by. The life that I want will be gone if I don’t run after it, grasp it, and make it mine. If I fritter away the time at things that don’t matter, there will be no time for those that do.
I will finish cleaning the kitchen tonight, the floor and the pots and pans I’ve used today. And I will keep it clean. And tomorrow, I’ll spend four hours looking for work, four hours working on finishing the food gifts I made today, two hours with my children, an hour at the therapist, an hour driving these gifts to their recipients, two hours doing laundry, and an hour cleaning the bathrooms. Wait, what does that add up to? Fifteen hours. That leaves seven hours to sleep, an hour to write, and hour to read, and an hour to talk to Trey*. I don’t know if I can do it, but at least I can make the attempt. I have a plan. It sounds like a good plan to me. There might be better plans out there, but this one is good enough. For tomorrow. I’ve padded some of the times so there’s a little give in my schedule. And I won’t be disappointed (much) if I can’t achieve everything.
I want to read. I want to read things that matter. Like the Utne Reader sitting in the living room, and I never did finish Guns, Germs, and Steel, and now Jared Diamond has published /Collapse. I guess I can read them together, if my brain with allow. That is my goal. It will take me a bit, I suppose. A couple of weeks. And there are so many things I want to do. My brain is so active with ideas. But I’ve been thinking of rotating my interests each evening: An evening or two to work on quilts; An evening to have friends over; an evening to work on Christmas projects; an evening to watch a movie; an evening to work on “cleaning up my life” projects, like explaining to the University why I don’t owe them $10K. I suppose that the quilts should take a back seat to cleaning up my life, eh? And during the day, looking for work until I find work. Tomorrow I’ll probably forget this plan. But I must get my life in some sort of order. And I will. I am. I will. I will.
The soup was delightful. I’m going to make some notes in my cookbook, clean up–yet again–the kitchen, read a little, love on the dogs, love on Trey, and get some rest. Because I have a big day tomorrow.
My promises: 1.) to finish the kitchen tonight; 2.) To follow my plan tonight and tomorrow as closely as possible; 3.) to enjoy everything I’m doing, or at least know that I’m taking care of business, giving it the best that I’ve got, and that I’ll enjoy the result; 4.) to look my best; and 5.) to make all more pleasurable with good music, good food, and love.
1.) My children, because they give me the motivation to act/
2.) Trey, because he’s such and incredibly wonderful person
3.) My dogs, because they are such a comfort and a pleasure
4.) My eye doctor, because my mini-surgery went well yesterday
5.) My insurance, because without it, I wouldn’t be here.