Monday, November 28, 2011

showing kindness to myself

Every morning, as soon as I (finally) climb out of my warm bed, I head to the kitchen and put water on to boil. There isn't much to do while the water is boiling, so I put on my rubber gloves and do all the dishes left in the sink from the night before. This may be the best idea I have ever had. I do the dishes every morning while still half asleep. By the time I start feeling alert, the dishes are nearly clean and my water is about to boil and it feels almost like someone else has done the dishes for me: later on, after I've returned from the office, I come home to a clean kitchen and very little memory of having cleaned it. It feels like a favor I do for myself almost every day. 

Lately I've taken a similar approach to cooking. On an ideal Sunday, I get enough groceries for the week and make one big meal--usually some kind of stew. This will be my lunches for the week (works better for me than sandwiches do) and, if I am very good, my dinners, too. I enjoy my lunches, but my gratitude for dinner is even greater. This evening, for example, I heated up a hearty portion of a Moroccan-spiced chicken and chickpea stew and poured myself a (small) glass of wine and a (large) glass of water. My dinner was tasty, emotionally satisfying, and I have the entire evening ahead of me to write (ahem). It feels almost like someone else cooked for me (and cleaned up) and all I have to do is pour a little more wine, write, and enjoy these homey comforts.

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