This week I was feeling a bit off. During this COVID thing (for the most part) I’ve been able to see life in cup half-full mode. Trying to see the lessons that life is trying to teach. And that usually is enough to shift the way I see situations.
But sometimes, it just gets too hard. And the only thing left to do is to stop trying to feel better and allow yourself to feel whatever you have to feel. Frustration. Fatigue. Loneliness. Blahness.
I wanted to share this because in a way it sets the tone for this chapter. Some days were very frustrating and challenging to find that hopeful lesson. But just when you stop trying so hard and allow yourself to be and feel, beauty somehow comes to you.
How It Started…
You know when your mood is off and everything just goes down the toilet with it? Well, this was me – starting in my weekend grocery shopping.
As usual, I did my very best to get everything I could plastic-free. From my produce, to being very minimal in my pantry essentials. And it was going quite well until I went to pay for my produce.
The cashier that was ringing me up was quite nice. But I noticed that she carried her mask below her nose and this act alone already triggers me a bit. Does it sound uptight? Perhaps.
I’m just so tired of this situation. Because even if you are not afraid of getting sick, what happened to caring about others? I am tired my dear friends. It has been almost a year of living in this way.
To top things off, she packed most of my shopping in my reusable bags but decided to use a plastic bag to wrap my kale. I am FULLY aware of how dramatic and silly this might sound. But I work very hard every week to be as strategic in the supermarket as I can – to buy nourishing foods and shop in the most sustainable way I can.
I paid for my groceries and left. But the mood definitely weighed me down and carried out throughout the week. And it translated into my dishes and cooking.
Just a little side note: remember this my friends – before you start to cook, always check your mood. If you are not feeling it, keep your dishes simple. I say this because I most definitely did not do this during the week.
Because I was riding my moody wave of frustration over the weekend, I didn’t meal prep. Which made things a bit more complicated when lunch time came during the week and I had to figure out what to cook. Let me tell you there was ZERO inspo.
Have you seen the movie Like Water For Chocolate? If you haven’t you should. In the movie, the main character’s mood affects what others feel when they eat her food. There’s this one scene where she is crying while cooking which caused all those who ate the dish to also cry.
Let’s just say that here at home, JP probably would’ve been in a heck of a mood for half of the week after eating what I cooked.
In a way, I believe that this is somewhat true. When you are happy and inspired, you create magical dishes and flavors. And when you are grouchy, everything feels off.
Everything seemed to be going wrong in the kitchen this week!
I definitely made some questionable dishes. Like when I decided to make a chocolate mousse using the chickpea water (aka aquafaba) instead of egg whites. I won’t bore you with details, but let me just say that I will NOT be trying to repurpose chickpea water in my cooking anytime soon. It came out awful and ended up in the trash.
Throwing food out usually upsets me. But this was just salt to a very deep wound.
How It’s Going…
The first step in many situations is acceptance. I accepted that I wasn’t feeling inspired. I accepted that I was feeling very very tired. And I accepted that I have zero control over most things in life.
But here are some things that I CAN control: whether I decide to stop and listen to my inner voice (and needs), how I choose to see situations, and how I choose to respond to them.
And I brought this mindset to my day and the kitchen.
I realized that it wasn’t the time to create new and complex dishes. It was time to return to my trusted simple basics – like making my lentil soup. Delicious lunch in 30 minutes. Doesn’t get better than that. Nutrition, comfort, and simplicity in one.
Nobody’s journey is perfect. Understanding that mine (and yours) will also not be perfect is so important. Because more often than not, life will ask you to stop and adapt. And we may not want to listen, but it’s important to do so. Because we are constantly being redirected in life for our own growth.
We won’t make progress in all of our chapters. This chapter was not about all the amazing wins in my sustainable journey. This one was about the personal lessons. The awareness. The acceptance. The growth.
And to wrap this chapter up, I do believe that all of us are somehow being watched over. Because just when I needed a little love and connection, my garden came through for me. We got our first 2 lemons and eggplants of the season which made a delicious lemonade and eggplant sandwich. AND we had not one but TWO beautiful roses bloom.
If that’s not a sign of love and connection, I don’t know what is.