…but I eated it*. (But I made a few more, so have one.)
Bear has really been urging me to take some time out. Workaholicism is a constant threat, and with all the stuff that’s happened in the past four months she clearly thinks I need a break. Problem is, I’m so used to filling my time up with stuff and things and tasks and projects that I sometimes forget to just have fun. So I promised that tonight I’d do something just for the fun of it.
That something ended up being making chocolate chip cookies from scratch, another famous first in my ever-expanding takeover of the kitchen. I had a blast, actually–I was looking forward to it all through doing the dishes (since Taylor had made supper). Once he finished putting our lunches together and got out of the kitchen, it was my turn. So got the dishes out of the way, and mixed up some batter per a decent recipe–nothing too fancy, just your classic chocolate chip cookies. Needless to say, they turned out awesome! Very chewy, which I prefer, and quite tasty–I used all brown sugar instead of half brown, half white. And yes, I did eat the last of the batter out of the bowl (even though you’re not supposed to because of the egg)–I definitely had the Bear thing going on, hands curved like claws, dining on dough like a bear with honey!
I really enjoyed the experience. Granted, some of that enjoyment was simply knowing what was going into my body. I’ll admit I love Chips Ahoy, but with these I had a much better idea of ingredients, and could change things around–I’d like to try raw sugar or honey sometime as a variation, see what happens. (I actually found out that brown sugar is worse than white sugar, since in its processing its outer coating is removed, then applied again! Details here. Also, here’s a good discussion on other alternatives to raw sugar.)
However, it was also a relatively stress-free activity. I didn’t have to do it; it wasn’t expected of me. I simply did it for the fun of doing it (and because I wanted a little something different for dessert!) Ever since I discovered that cooking doesn’t take nearly as much time as I’d feared, I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of making things happen in a culinary fashion–if I’m not cooking every single night, it’s fun! Since Taylor and I take turns with supper, I get some breaks. However, I usually enjoy when it’s my turn–kitchen alchemy!
So far, Water has really been about the healing process and maintaining health. As with other months, I’ve started by focusing a lot on the external issues, and then worked my way inward. So right now I’m doing things like taking raw cut-up vegetables to work, and figuring out more ways to reduce the amount of processed food I eat, for sake of my long-term health. However, I’m also sorting through some emotional fallout and issues that need to be dealt with–it isn’t fun, but I’m finding ways to deal with them that aren’t my usual “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” or “Run away! Run away!” Forgiveness is a big part of this month; I can be so damned hard on myself sometimes–“Oh, look, I screwed this tiny little thing up–I am the most horrible person in the world. WOES.” Okay, maybe not that bad, but I am one of those people who is hir own worst enemy.
I’m also learning to not feel guilty for going easier on myself. I have to remember that just because I forgive myself, doesn’t mean that I’ll suddenly revert to all of my absolute worst possible behavior patterns all at once. Maybe, on the other hand, it means that I can trust myself a bit more.
So believe you me, I am enjoying my Water month–not that I wasn’t enjoying the others, but this is a welcome break. Granted, I’m well aware that Water isn’t always the nice warm bath, and Bear isn’t always cuddly Mama Bear. Sometimes you get pounded by tidal waves, and mauled by an angry Bear. But this month, I think, is meant to be a break before I dive into the more intense work to come–as well as a reminder that I am allowed to take breathers as needed for my health. I was talking to Bear about this during my meditation today. She said that while dedication is certainly admirable, the spirits really don’t want a burnout on their hands. Better to get a bit less done, but do it more consistently and with more joy and determination, than to try to cram more into what time we have, and push myself past my limits into burnout territory. There’s shaman’s sickness, and then there’s just dissociation from your body to the point of ignoring its needs and causing ill health (to say nothing of mental stress!). Or so I understand it.
From what I’ve gathered, there’s a time and place for ordeals. They’re necessary, and sometimes life just throws them at us when we didn’t expect them. But as for living in a constant ordeal, I’m really not a hair shirt kind of person. I’ll roll around in the thorns as necessary, but I want my (increasingly eco-friendly and relatively healthier) cookies, too, dammit! (Speaking of which, I’ve eaten entirely too many of them tonight–please step away from the baking stone…)
* Maybe it’s not complex humor, but I love LOLcats. ICHC FTW!