Uninspired. Unmotivated. Underwhelmed. Not about Christmas, but about cooking. I calculated that I cook, on average, 1,075 meals a year. (I cook breakfast for my boys most morning: eggs, sausage, toast etc.) I’m not feeling it this month. I usually gear up for my big monthly shopping trip with a bit of vigor. I sit on the couch (with comfy hot drink in hand), spread my cookbooks out, gather up my coupons, lay out my paper, and vigorously plan. I figure on four major meals a week that I then base leftovers and lunches on. Maybe it is the holidays. Maybe Thanksgiving took it all out of me. Not sure, but this time around I was pooped out. I looked at my cookbooks and sighed, “I just can’t do it this month. I need a break.” (Someone suggested that I needed new cookbooks, but I’m pretty sure that is not the root of the problem.)
My solution... I downsized; I just planned five meals, made my grocery list and went small scale. It felt better. I was more at ease. I could actually take all three boys with me; we did all our shopping in under an hour. It all fit nicely in the van, and no one had to straddle milk or eggs on our drive home. Unpacking went pretty fast too. My short list that now hangs on my fridge seems attainable. Maybe I’m trying to simplify due to the craziness of the season?
However, I’m going to have to do this next week, and the week after, and.....that does not sound especially exciting. Now I regret not planning and pushing myself to do my huge, once-a-month grocery trip. I don’t want quality time with my boys to be driving, shopping, and hauling. I’d rather hear them playing in the other room while I spend my extra moments writing and escaping....quality time, right?
I have some newly acquired friends who seem to thrive under their motherly cooking duties. They derive great joy that exudes to all people when they stir and simmer in the kitchen. I just get it done. I like the results of my efforts. I love sitting and eating as a family. I’d rather eat in the relaxed atmosphere of my home than at a restaurant with boys who turn into monkeys and climb the furniture, chat with random people, and are always finished eating before we, the adults, have even begun our soup or salad. But the process of planning, cooking, and cleaning up is not life-giving to me.
I think my husband has it pretty good. (Not that I would trade places with him. I love that he goes off to work, and that I stay here.) However, I can’t help but be a bit jealous watching him come home each evening to sit down to a meal that he didn’t have to prepare. Isn’t that what is the most fun about eating out? Not having to plan it or clean it up? Order, eat, and walk away. I’d love, just for one month, to hire a cook or even a professional shopper. Actually, I’d like a domestic assistant this year for Christmas. I would have plenty for them to do: fold laundry (including the arduous job of matching socks), prepare all meals, clean the kitchen floor after each meal, disinfect the bathrooms, make all the beds, run daily and weekly errands....oh, and a nightly massage. Just for one month. I don’t think I’m asking too much. I’m just asking for another me, right? In your dreams honey.