I don’t know about you, but I’m angry.
I’m angry because our healthcare workers have to put their lives on the line. I’m angry for the teachers who are being stretched beyond their limits just to connect with their students. I’m angry for the seniors who won’t get a chance to end their final year with friends. I’m angry for my friends who have to alter their wedding plans.
I’m angry that the little things in life are so complicated. Mothers can’t hug their kids. Going to the grocery store is more than a chore, it’s a fight. Finding time to connect with friends requires a decent internet connection. Working out is regulated to whatever open space you can find. Even wiping your butt has become complicated.
I didn’t notice this anger at first. When this started to become a reality, like many people, I felt a lot of things — scared, worried, optimistic, anxious — but I wasn’t angry. I was hanging in the balance. I bargained for it to go away. Then I waited to hear from someone, anyone, on the right thing to do. How to protect myself and my family. Should I panic buy toilet paper and canned food?
As time went on, I started to feel the anger rise in me. The more conflicting information I received, the emptier the grocery store was, the more plans that were cancelled — I just didn’t know where to turn. It seemed like there was no course of action. No plan.
It can be tough, when you’re faced with these big emotions. It can feel like your life is out of control. Once you’re in this place of uncertainty, it feels like no amount of pep talking or positivity can break that barrier. I wanted to shut the world away. I wanted to spend every minute alone, not interacting, just existing in an isolated space that couldn’t hurt me.
But I knew I had to make a change. Isolation and fear can only get you so far, and I couldn’t weather this pandemic feeling like a boat lost at sea. I needed something to anchor me.
I found that stability in cooking. The routine of planning my meals, picking out the ingredients, considering the flavor profile of each dish, helped me find meaning in my day. Once I committed myself to making meals, I felt a little more balanced and order restored to my life. At least I had a plan. The world might not have one, but I could take comfort in knowing that my day to day could resemble something “normal”.
I’ve enjoyed getting back to basics, especially since I’m doing a lot of pantry cooking. I take every Sunday to sketch out a meal plan. In my life pre-COVID19 meal planning was a weekly chore I had to do. Now, I hold onto it as a piece of my life that I get to do. I’m making a lot more pastas, stir frys, and salads nowadays because that is what I can find at the store. Finding recipes that are fun and flexible is exactly what I needed in this time to pivot away from the immensity of the situation. I needed to step away, and consider what small actions bring me joy in my life.
Cooking brings me joy. Spending quality time with my family brings me joy. Providing for my family brings me joy. Seeing a project through brings me joy. All of these things I can accomplish while I’m whipping up a Sweet Pea Living recipe.
That is my suggestion to you. Try not to mask your feelings, or deflect them. Instead, try to get back to basics. I think once you slow down and take your days one at a time you will find happiness — even in these dark and uncertain times.
I’m just like you. My life can be hectic and cooking, cleaning and getting that workout in are sometimes the last thing on my mind. But, I’m here to share my tips and tricks on how to make adulting a little more enjoyable.