I’m not a wonderful cook. Because the rituals of cooking don’t interest me very much, I haven’t learned how to make the things that I love to eat. I may have to reconsider. I’ve been making a monster lasagna today, and I discovered something. Cooking, all of a sudden, seems to relax me.
I’ve had a strange couple of weeks, involving much more emotional turmoil than I can easily handle. I’ve been feeling fragile, tired, angry, sad. I’m not yet back to myself. The one good thing about it all is that I seem to have gotten some excellent crying done. I’m such a stoic that it tends to build up. I’m good to go for at least another year.
It was a manifold crisis – a miscommunication in my family (well, it was more than that) was the breaking point. But it had been building.
I’ve gotten a bit disheartened about the difficulty of securing a professional position. There aren’t any university jobs. I’m now refocusing on finding a job as a discourse analyst or rhetorical strategist – maybe at a PR firm or something like that. That may be better than pursuing some sort of IT or Project Management position. It would be more targeted to my talents. I don’t have the certifications that would make me an attractive candidate in some of these other fields anyway. And, as a former Jehovah’s Witness, I’m not comfortable with sales (grin). I’m good at it, just not comfortable with it.
Anxiety about my future is compounded by student loan debt and the feeling that I might have wasted my time and money getting the Ph.D. It seems bizarre, but the degree seems to work against me more often than for me.
All of this hit me at once, or perhaps it was a relay, a cascade, a feedback loop. I had the it’s-not-fairs. I was swamped, smashed, splintered into bits.
I can’t, and don’t, stay in that horrible psychological space for long. Life keeps moving on, after all. Fortunately, I also appreciate small comforts and pleasures, and there are all sorts of ways to lick your wounds (so to speak).
Today I discovered that as I was chopping, and mixing, and layering the lasagna, I went into a state of serenity. It was almost hypnotic. Very relaxing. I started to breathe more easily again, like I do when I meditate. I took the pace way down (I tend to move quickly).
The lasagna smells great. I’ll have to remember the cooking method of stress management. I shouldn’t resist it simply because of the “traditional gender role” aspect of the thing.
Today is the five-year anniversary of the day I very nearly died. I can’t help thinking that the pregnancy I lost that day (a ruptured ectopic) might have been a little girl or little boy now. I can’t help mourning the fact that I will never have another baby. Knowing this day was approaching made the family problems worse, as related things tend to do.
Any little comfort helps. And I can’t complain, really. I’ve been surrounded by love and caring as I struggled through this difficult terrain.
And now my little boy comes in to this tiny office of mine and gives me a hug. It’s not such a bad day after all. He’s such a gift of the cosmos, and I am grateful.