So this month has by in a bit of a whir really. Spending time down in Wales with my mother has been (whilst under the worst circumstances) really lovely and reminded me how much like the Gilmore Girls we are – if slightly less social and slightly more interested in watching Midsummer Murders. Having to leave her and come back to work has been a wrench and one that, although obviously necessary, something I think I would happily give up if it meant I got to live the Good Life by the coast.
Mother and I doing our best intrepid explorer impressions along the beach
Getting back into the swing of things has been quite strange really. It’s always a bit odd when you first return to normal after the holidays, but this time it feels different. Coming back and finding everything to be pretty much exactly how I left it has been somewhat startling. Logically I knew that the world wasn’t about to stop just because I had done and whilst losing Mr B is a huge factor is my life, it barely matters to the big wide world in general. Things tick along as they have always done and people bimble about absorbed within their own spheres and it’s time for me to slot back in. I think realising this; that nothing has change no matter how much I have, has spurred me on to make some alterations.
Now on one hand, I despise the idea of “resolutions”, especially at this time of year. Sure there are a number of things I’d like to improve about myself in the preferably not to distant future – for example I’d like to be fitter (or at least able to walk up a flight of stairs without dying), braver (though this is perhaps more of a work in progress) and have some notion about what I actually want to do with my life other than watch TV, do granny crafts and eat my own body weight in cake. The trouble is, I think people always look to make these grand sweeping life changes in the new year, which I see as a bit of a folly. Attempting to start (or stop) something in either January and February – the most depressing and cold of all the months – is perhaps not setting yourself up to succeed. If these kind of resolutions were encouraged in July when it’s sunnier and brighter, people would be a little more inclined to set themselves reasonable and achievable goals, or at least not feel quite as depressed when it all goes pear-shaped. As it is, the only sensible thing to do at this time of year is wrap yourself up in a cocoon of blankets, munch on leftovers and pray for summer.
Instead, I think it’s better not to try and set such stern objectives, but instead gently suggest things to your subconscious. I find myself tricking my brain into things, hoping it won’t notice when I go behind our back and confuse myself into doing something. Rather that setting a goal that I know I won’t enjoy the journey too, unsurprisingly not achieving it and then wallowing in a pit of failure and despair, I’ve been attempting to come at takes from previously untried angles.
One of the main things I’ve realised in an effort to make myself healthier and more self-sufficient is that it would actually be rather beneficial if I learnt to cook, rather than just relying on the boyfriend to constantly feed me (Seymour). For the most part I remain completely ambivalent towards the kitchen. I go from not hungry to starving to not hungry again in the space of half an hour, and much like a panda’s sex drive – if I am not sated immediately the opportunity is lost for days. This usually means I wander round the kitchen, morosely opening cupboard doors and staring forlornly into their depths whilst lamenting my inability to combine the contents before settling for another afternoon on the couch with my hand in the chocolate pillows cereal box.
No more though! After cooking 3 WHOLE MEALS for my mother (from scratch might I add) and neither of us dying or secretly feeding it to the cats, I’ve proved to myself that I am actually able to survive in the kitchen and can nearly almost not quite but come close to enjoying myself. My lack of enthusiasm stems not from lack of ability (or childhood training), but a complete and overwhelming lack of motivation (no surprises there). However, rather than just taking a bullish mind set and enduring resentment directed towards myself, the kitchen and Jamie Oliver, I’ve come up with a cunning plan. We have recently signed up to HelloFresh – a company that sends weekly parcels full of fresh food and recipe sheets that can be combined into delightful pre-selected meals. Now this might seem frivolous or constrictive to some, but it’s the perfect choice for me. It means I don’t have to face the continual and weirdly panic-inducing choice anxiety over trying to pick something for tea every night, or endure the stress of going to the super market and trying to corral myself (and Ross) from buying every shiny thing that crossed our path. We spend a little less than we would on a weekly shop and get 3 full meals (plus enough leftovers for lunches) and I actually find myself getting excited about food preparation in a way I haven’t since I last watched Chocolat and tried to create my own magical hot chocolate powder (and succeeded only in making myself nauseous).
Please enjoy these very professional photos taken by the Man Muffin whilst I fart about trying to prepare a meal
Last night was the first package we received and I do have to admit it was a little bit sad how over excited we were about unwrapping bags of food, especially considering we’re 25 year olds living in a first world country. Everything was delightfully packed though (in 100% biodegradable materials, including sheep’s wool which I will be using for craft purposes) and the ingredients were perfectly measured, completely fresh and organic and absolutely scrummy. I prepared a “Refreshing Pasta Salad with mange tout, pine nuts and mint” and had, quite literally, all of the fun. Things were chopped and decanted into tiny ramekins, pots were utilised with gay abandon and Ross took 5 millions photos for prosperity.
I have to say though (and I am aware that this is only the first week) things are looking quite positive for this #NotAResolution lark I’ve started, and I have high (though not unrealistically unattainable) hopes for the future.