Sunday, May 22, 2016

another work week begins

It's late. We had such a lovely weekend, though, that I want to pop in and say something about it before I go to bed.

Wait; scratch that. It's not just about having had a lovely weekend. It's also about choice.

There are always so many good opportunities, so many interesting, rich, and rewarding things to do. So many things I want to do. So many things I want to learn. So many things I want to make. So many things I want to read.

These interests create pressures.

There are also pressures created by the fact that I don't come from means. That I put myself through college - beginning with undergrad - and not in a lucrative field. So when I get the opportunity to freelance, to continue building a solid foundation of experience (and demonstrate my worth - my freelancing rate is going up), I have a hard time saying no. We have bills to pay. I'm always worried about what would happen if one of us wound up in the hospital. If my hubs got one of the many cancers that a certain genetic trait predisposes him to get. If, if if ...

So many worries.

I need to stop worrying quite so much. I know it's not productive, but it's hard to stop.

Just like it's hard to step back and say, "I am going to complete all this work by my deadline easily. So it's okay not to work this weekend."

I didn't so much consciously make that choice this weekend as ... a book arrived in the mail on Friday. A book my mother read in her book club and has been insisting I should read so we could talk about it. I requested it from the library on Monday and it actually arrived at the local branch on Thursday - I had planned to go for a nice long walk on Friday afternoon and pick it up. But then the book showed up on my doorstep! Funny Mom!

I took the book to bed with me on Friday night. We slept in the sleeping nook in our guest room that night because the weather had turned cold and there was more heat in the attic than downstairs. This is all setting the stage for the perfect moment: Saturday morning, I woke late (for me). Cass was fast asleep beside me, Zaha curled in a ball between our feet. I pulled the book out from under my pillow and started reading.

I was more than halfway through it a couple hours later, when we finally went to go get coffee. I had originally intended to head downstairs as soon as I awoke on Saturday, hit the elliptical for a couple miles, then make a grocery list, and generally do some tidying up.

Instead I lay in bed with my dearest darling next to me and our little lamb of a cat curled at our feet and I got lost in a book for hours.

It changed things.

We got coffee and made dinner plans with a friend for next Friday. We ran a couple errands at a lazy pace. I bought fabric, frivolously, to make a dress for a friend's new baby - after I finish the fox quilt for her, that is! Cass was completely in the spirit of the thing, picking out cute buttons for the dress. As we get older, I think we both are really growing into this role as part of several families' "villages."

We came home and I worked on that fox quilt, while watching a Harry Potter movie.

I never did work out.  We had a family dinner in the evening, and that was that for the whole day. .

Today was much the same: a few necessary errands done, with some frittering about sandwiched in between. A little bit of yard work, but we were halted several times by rain. Eventually we gave up and called it a day, our planned task left unfinished. House not quite so clean as I'd intended it to be before the work week starts.

But you know? Sometimes you just have to give yourself space to breathe. Time and space to let whatever it is that's inside of you unfurl.

Here's to unwinding.

I made this awesome and dead simple curry dish on Friday. It was supposed to be dinner, but it was so good I ate two bowls of it for lunch and we had to make rice to stretch it for dinner (even then, it was a light meal!). I used a good vadouvan mix for the curry powder, substituted aleppo pepper in for the red pepper flakes, used light coconut milk instead of full-fat coconut milk (because my stomach can't handle a lot of fat like that), used the entire contents of a big bag of spinach from Trader Joe's (because why not?), and used fresh-cooked (not canned) garbanzos because if you have the time to soak and cook, why not?

It's a really delicious dish - I think it'll be going into our regular weeknight rotation because it's so fast and tasty. Try it!

This coming week, I'm trying this fancy oatmeal recipe. I'm using coconut sugar to sweeten mine, and I prepped a TON of both chopped almonds (which I toasted!) and stewed rhubarb (probably four times as much as the recipe calls for!), figuring I could just quickly cook up a couple batches of the oats on various mornings. I'll let you know what I think once I've tried it - but I do so like starting the week with something special to eat for breakfast. A special breakfast is like a hug from your Weekend Self to your Workaday Self, don't you think?

Apparently, I'm very much focused on self-love and self-care right now. Not a bad place for an overachieving perfectionist to be.

Be good to yourselves this week!

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