Here’s a quick marker of my progress in the kitchen. Left work early to get teen to physical therapy appointment. Drove home with 30 minutes to spare before my online writing class. Had a few minutes’ worth of homework to do and submit before logging on. I gave verbal instructions for an easy dinner for said teen to make as I cut a slice of cheesecake (actually) two before heading upstairs.
After class, which let out early, I realized teen had gone with a friend to dinner and I wasn’t hungry, but I needed something to pack for lunch tomorrow. Sooo… I prepared quinoa. I made a big batch that we can eat for the next few days. As the grains boiled and then simmered on the stove, I tidied the kitchen.
When the quinoa was done (about 15 minutes on reduced heat), I topped a lidded bowl with chopped carrots, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and poured olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. I sliced an orange, and put it in another container, and put it all in the refrigerator. I poured a small bowl of cereal for me to eat when I get to my desk tomorrow.
When I am up early and still sleepy, there will be no prep for lunch except taking the containers out of the fridge and getting a freezer block for my thermal bag.
I never saw this coming, but I now consider food preparation as another form of self-expression. It IS a creative act that plays off the other creative pursuits that bring joy and meaning to my life. Packing healthy creative meals has helped the financial strain I felt about returning to the office. It’s a new habit, and my superpower is preparation and planning ahead. What’s most amazing is that I no longer feel like feeding myself is a chore. I never believed THAT would be the case!
I’ve been down in the dumps lately (haven’t we all?–but I’ve felt it more acutely recently), so I celebrate these small victories when they appear. I am so delighted by my progress and proud of myself for moving away from false beliefs I held for too long.
PS: this is one of the meals I learned to create with the help of my PhD roommate. It’s also great with whatever veggies are available in your crisper at the moment and can be served hot or cold.