There are certain things I miss from when I wasn’t working. Not the constant sluggishness and untreated depression/anxiety, but certain little rituals that always gave me moments of happiness in spite of everything else.
One thing is working out every day. Having real, vigorous workouts that left me tired and sweaty and feeling just a bit nicer for knowing I’d done something good for myself (and for my girlish figure). Nowadays, I do take a brisk walk during my breaks and lunches, but it’s nowhere near the same. Yes, it’s exercise, but it doesn’t have that sense of accomplishment. And it isn’t so much doing this one special thing for me as desperately needing to escape the office for a while.
Another, perhaps even bigger thing is that I miss cooking. I miss having home-cooked meals every day. I miss trying out new recipes. I miss how every Saturday, I’d cook some extra-special meal. And I miss how often I took pictures of what I made. But since I started working and because my schedule can be so haphazard, it’s been hard to find the energy or feel like I have the time — which, when I have to work into the night, I actually don’t. My current job (to put it mildly) is draining. After I get home from it, I usually don’t have much left other than the anxiety of knowing I’ll have the go back. My main impulse is to “hoard” all the time that I’m not there. Or to wonder “What’s the point of getting into anything pleasant? The feeling will just get ruined as soon as it’s time to go to work.” Which, ironically, might be making things even worse.
Today, I reclaimed one small part of my former world. I decided I’m making baked brie (a small one) for dinner tomorrow. And I’m going to try something new with flavoring popcorn: I bought a pepper mill and a little grinder full of Himalayan pink salt. When I got home and put those on the shelf and just looked at them for a while, remembering all those recipes and thinking of this snack experiment I’m so looking forward to… I actually cried. Funny how something so little can unexpectedly mean so much.
Here’s hoping my next day job at least has a regular schedule. I need some of my old routine back. I need it so much.