Hungry for Less

Maybe it's because I'm 30 now, or because the older I get the more introverted I become, or because I insisted that I was going to take on no more new clients and then took on three new clients, plus two new writing projects of my own and a new column I want to pitch to a site I've never worked with before, but I woke up this morning and I wanted to cancel all our weekend plans.

It happens, every now and then, usually when there's a new food documentary on Netflix and the sky is that washed-out shade of grey and the kitchen begs for cleaning. It happens on weeks when I was more social than I planned to be (and, so, usually, less productive), and on weeks when Nora is growing or teething or leaping, or really doing anything but taking consistent naps so that we can live on some semblance of a routine. It was one of those weeks where I had to play it minute by minute, and I spent lots of time with wonderful people, and now it's Saturday and I'm tired and my heart is hungry for my quiet kitchen (preferably cleaned) and some meditation in the form of broth or dough or sauce or a roast. 

When I was young, I never stopped, so I never needed a way to find my center. My batteries never ran low, so I never felt the pull to recharge them. I'm not old, yet, but I have an old soul. And that old soul wants to hide today, to slink into the kitchen and shrug into a big apron and a fluffy sweater and putter away. Maybe I'll test Nora's birthday cake. Maybe I'll harvest some sage, which desperately needs to be pruned from the herb garden, and make a brown butter sauce to drizzle over the sweet potatoes I need to cook today, or send to the composter tomorrow.

It's not that I don't want to go to the neighborhood barbecue, or that I wouldn't enjoy the neighborhood pub crawl tomorrow. I'm excited for tomorrow morning's church picnic and tomorrow afternoon's book club, for which I'm making a recipe I'm going to feature as the first in a series I'm picking up at Nora's first birthday. I'm writing. I'm cooking. I'm more myself this week than I've felt in a long time, and the tired part of me wants to burrow down into that feeling of release I get when it's just me and my words and my big wooden spoon, making magic quietly in the kitchen.

Of course, I won't. I can't play the introvert card and skip the cookout. We're hosting for the pub crawl, so I'm on the hook for that, too. Growing up is about finding your bliss and finding your balance: so to reward myself for not ducking out of our social obligations today and tomorrow, I'll let myself meditate in the kitchen in the time tucked in between. I'll charge my batteries one simmering pot at a time, with tastes stolen between the bursts of laughter between friends and running hugs and baby snuggles. 

I guess that's what I've learned most recently: it's not one or the other if you look at life right. You can have both, if you'll let yourself.