There’s something really special about cooking for yourself.
I have been married 16 years, have 3 elementary aged children, and day by day I am usually making something for them. Which often ends up being meat. Or sweet. Or sweet meat. maybe maple salmon but a soy based marinade or pasta and meatballs, etc – now, mind you those meatballs inevitably have kale in them and the pasta is gluten free…but still it’s kid/man friendly food.
so when my husband picked up and took the kids on vacation for the week while I stayed to recover from a concussion, yes, concussion, but that’s another story – I couldn’t watch tv, surf the web, exercise, run around too much, all doctor’s orders – i had to – yes, I had to REST.
Now I know you can sympathize. REST is not a word that comes into our vocabulary too often. I mean not pseudo rest like when you pretended to be sick so you could stay home and watch tv but REAL REST – no screens, no exercise, no awesome social encounters, not even too much phone – just REST. For anyone in this day and age that is a feat. For a mom of 3 it’s like – what just happened? Who pulled the plug – on EVERYTHING?!?
The first day was pretty bleak. Dark. Still. Alone. Quiet. I never heard the quiet be quite so loud. A whole lot of nothingness. And then the thoughts around it – is this what my life is when the kids aren’t around? A lot of nothingness? Is this what it will be like when they leave the house? panic. I don’t have a passion right now, I don’t have a career, I don’t have a hobby. I am hobby-less!!!!!!!!! Lonely and alone and passionless and friendless! What is even the point!!!
The next two days friends came over. I felt better. But tired.
I knew what I had to do. I knew what I was being FORCED to do – goddamnit, this former meditation teacher couldn’t find any more excuses it was so damn obvious. I had to meditate. I had to. I mean I literally had nothing else to do. So I did.
It was ok. Kind of empty. But I did it each day To pass the time. And I cooked. Because it didn’t involve a screen, gave me something to do, and came with an amazing reward at the end. And I cooked. I cooked for MYSELF. I don’t remember the lat time I cooked for myself. Red lentil stew, fava beans with lemon cumin and jalapeno, kale salad, kale steamed, kale sauteed, couldn’t get enough fucking kale, rice with cumin and turmeric, fresh ground flax, nutritional yeast on top, ginger mint tea, artichoke with vegan chili lemon aioli. I’m a good cook! Who knew:)?
And it was pretty! I never do the presentation thing but suddenly it was pretty. It was pretty and delicious and each meal satisfied me in this way – something about cooking it for myself with love – it surprised me. Cuz I cook for others. not just for my family. I love having 25 people over for dinner and that’s when I really cook. And I love it – I love when people ooo and aah and go on and on. So why – why cook for me?
I would say cooking for myself this week has been nourishing, soothing and holding – even more so than the acupuncture and bodywork, the meditation, it’s just been a gift. A gift for myself. for my body. for my healing.
It’s like – like I am being my own mom this week. And with my mom gone now almost 12 years, I missed me – I missed me mothering myself and being mothered. Hi Mom. Thank you. My belly sends you love.