19 May, 2011

No Pretense

I've tried to muster the enthusiasm for brisket, eggs, and the coming asparagus. I've tried to cook my family a dinner that is worthy of attention. I've tried to care to want to serve the girls more than bread with butter and honey. I've tried. I've tried. I've tried.

The truth is, I just don't have it in me.

Shopping, planning, cooking, writing, and even reading about food is at the bottom of my list of tolerable activities right now. My energy is devoted to not killing my kids when their energy gets the better of me, to answering the calls from my family when the last thing I want to do is talk, or avoiding the constant crooked finger beckoning of alcohol, sugar, and fat.

It would be easy to say that it's grief. And that would be true. My Dad, my dog, even grief over my old professional life. It's also burn out, insecurity, and the extra weight of life, life, life. I could say that the last 3 months have been killer, but so have the last 6, the last 9, hell the last 18! I could wallow in the crap that has happened from ski accidents to deaths. I could wallow, but then I really wouldn't get out of bed in the morning. And frankly, I don't actually want to wallow - it takes up too much energy.

I want to think about Happy Foods, to enjoy cooking, to get excited about being creative in the kitchen, to grab the girls and hit a farm. It just isn't there, though. I frankly don't give a rat's ass about food right now. I'm desperate for people to bring me casseroles or a pot of chili. I would do anything for my husband to decide to make Spanish Rice every single night.

On top of that, I really don't care to photograph or write about anything I do eat or cook. Hell, I posted a picture of a ridiculous can opener last week. My blog needs some quality control. Or a serious kick in the butt.

I wish I was the kind of person that could stock up on frozen meals or processed food. It really would make life easier right now. The fact that I haven't got there yet means something. It means that not all is lost. Somewhere inside is the person that I do know that I am, the person that ultimately does care whether my kids eat fruit in season and that we know our farmer.

Food blogging started as an outlet for me, a way to practice my writing and get me out of my comfort zone. Then it turned into my comfort zone. Now I'm not sure what it is. Mostly, it's a challenge and I don't mean that in a good way. But I made a commitment and for now I'm sticking with it. That commitment includes being honest and open. In doing that, however, I feel like the tone here hasn't been great. My frustration with life is certainly evident. Coming here must be like hanging out with a whining pessimistic friend - eventually it gets to you.

That doesn't mean I can suddenly pretend to be chipper and fake enthusiasm for another brownie recipe. Perhaps the asparagus will indeed snap me out of things, or maybe I'll find some fiddleheads somewhere? Or maybe time will simply allow my creativity and motivation to slowly creep back? Those girls of mine don't give us much choice. Just the other day, out of nowhere, The Monster asked me to cook some Czech food. Know any good recipes? I've got to find something for some new explorations or the middle aisles of the grocery store just might become my new home instead of the farmers' market. That gives even me a little shudder.

But I would still take any cheese covered casseroles left on my doorstep.


Unknown said...

Dammit I wish we lived closer.

karen @ badlandsquilts said...

I wouldn't call it whining pessismism (cause I do the same way too much), I'd call it reality. Life is busy, life is challenging... Right now we are busy with baseball at nights for my 3rd grader and still have a few weeks of school left. It is hard to find time for a decent meal/or sewing when you are gone several hours at night a few times a week and are still managing field trips, lunches, volunteering, etc. I'm hoping when summer is finally really here for a fresh perspective and a bit of motivation.

Unknown said...

I think this is very much reality, i cant even describe to you how what you wrote is exactly how I am feeling right now. thank you for sharing it, it really made my heart smile because its normal! thank you!

Neil Butterfield said...

I think many people feel like this, however do not have the guts to express their feelings publically.

Phiddy said...

My life for the past two years and one month have been utter hell. I won't go into the boring details about it all but, needless to say it's hard to not feel bad about this stuff. Hard to not to want to cover your head with the sheets and not get out of bed in the morning. Even harder to not lose your patience with your other half when he is screaming and ranting and raving how unfair it all is.
But, you go on. One foot in front of the other. Till it gets easier or, something happens that brightens your day. A friend calls, you get a surprise letter in the mailbox, you see a rainbow.... whatever it is, these small things help. And, you hope that somehow you will make it thru to the other side.
I wish you peace.

Julie said...

Sometimes you need to take some time off from everything and just wallow in whatever it is you need to wallow in. Be sad. Feel it. Live on bread and honey for a bit. Take care of yourself! Hug.

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

I can only imagine how you feel. When my husband tore his quad tendon the last thing I wanted to think about was food. Everything -- from laundry to dishes to showering -- was overwhelming. You've been through a hell of a lot. Take some time off and return when the joy creeps back. And it will. Eventually.

Thanks for sharing your honest feelings. Sending you cyberhugs.

Anonymous said...

Hugs. I have no words of wisdom andi live too far away to send you a meal but I will think warm thoughts for you as you go through your dark days.

Roving Lemon said...

Chiming in late to say: I'd rather read an honest expression of emotion than an airbrushed glossy food ad any day. Wish I could FedEx you a cheesy casserole.

Linda said...

I was so moved by your posting. I have to say, you need to be kinder to yourself.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I was sad. My father passed away unexpectedly in September, in Calgary, in the house in which I grew up. Things will never be the same for me and my family.

I have struggled. For a while nothing really mattered. But after a while it really does get easier. The pain lessens a little bit. We don't feel so guilty about laughing at that joke. I didn't feel so badly about taking the sleeping pill last night. It helps every now and then. I need to sleep.

Food is an amazing thing. For me, its therapy. Its not just the eating. Its the dreaming. As a Calgary girl living in Edmonton. Honestly, Calgary is more of a foodie city, and I love it for that. But Edmonton is moving forward, with great resturants worthy of any big cities, like Bistro La Persaud (my favorite) or Corso 32, where we went for my birthday dinner last night. Not like any other Edmonton restaurants I think.

For the first few months after my dad died I was a foodie not interested in food. It seemed so trivial at times. But if it is your passion, it will come back. Allow yourself the time for it to return. Everyone is diffent.

I've loved your blog for ages..... and I hope in the future you get the chance to resume it in a way that works for you. Don't do it because its expected ... do it because when the time comes it gives you what you need.

My twin sister Susan, also an avid foodie (and food / travel writer), would be prepared to leave casseroles on your porch on our behalf, so be careful what you wish for.

Anyhow, hugs, I don't know you (though through your website I think I have a sense of who you are), do what you can do muddle your way through. If you need to take time off do so.

Linda from Leduc

Wade Balsdon said...

You sound pretty much how my wife and I are feeling right now. Try to be strong, seasons do change. Chin up :-)