I struggled to focus yesterday – and my mind was in a million different places (or so it seemed) all at once.
I started the day cooking. Cooking lots. Three meals at once. This was a sure sign that hunger was on my mind and that I was in a danger zone.
Truthfully I’d been in one all week. The stress of life has made me want to eat anything not nailed down – particularly sweet things which is very unlike me.
I’d had a lot of nightmares, woken up stressed and thinking about food.
If I pre-prepared everything for the day, measured it, boxed it and put it in my rucksack then I’d be safe. Failure would be impossible.
Firstly I prepared my oats – a Slimming world favourite of mine. 35g of rolled oats are classed as a healthy extra, and I mix them in a tupperware box with natural yogurt, cinnamon, Truvia, strawberries and blueberries. They’re delicious, natural, and waaaaay better than a bowl of crappy coco pops.
Ok – breakfast done. The first box is ready.
Then I turned my attention to the stir-fry, which was already taking shape on the hob.
Lean pork strips and a bag of pre prepared stir fry with additional soy sauce and a couple of cloves of garlic.
This would see me through work until the evening – and the protein would keep me feeling full. I stirred the contents of the large frying pan and added a bit more soy sauce.
Hmmm. I might need a snack.
I picked a chilled red apple from the fridge and placed it in my bag.
OK – what about my evening meal….
I couldn’t come home hungry. I’d be chewing the door to get into the kitchen otherwise.
I would fill the slow cooker – that makes a bowl and a half of something or other.
Curry – I’d do a chicken balti stew and use my new measuring spoons for the curry paste. That’s 2 syns measured and accounted for.
I got my spoons on eBay. They’re magnetic, stick together – and the red matches my crockery.
I really like them!
I’ve never before owned a measuring spoon – and certainly not a tablespoon. Honestly I wonder who does as I’ve never seen them in anyone’s kitchen but they seem omnipresent in almost all recipes.
I finished filling the slow cooker with ingredients, turned it to low, boxed up my stir fry, wrapped several carrier bags around my tupperware to avoid leakage, placed them in my bag, and made my way to the car, and then work.
As the day wore on I talked to many colleagues while they milled in and out of the office for their appointments with HR. They’ve all asked me and themselves the same question.
‘What are you planning to do next?’
Some have pre-prepared and surprising answers, ranging from chainsaw wrangling to HGV certification. Others feel they will waste a lifetime of study if they change professions and are laser focused on finding something as close as they can to the current status quo. Some still want to pursue roles that may be available in other parts of our company.
There isn’t a unifying response.
At the moment I can’t answer for myself and what I want. I’ve tried a few times – but when the question is asked it ultimately leaves a void hanging in the air that doesn’t currently seem to be fillable.
As I type though I’m struck by the fact that I seem to have come full circle since my very first blog post. When I wrote it I was preoccupied with the question ‘What do I love?’
At the time I couldn’t answer.
The question had been gnawing at me for a long time and had made me realise that my life was largely superficial.
I liked many things but loved nothing. The way I lived had numbed me to most of what surrounded me.
Honestly although some parts of me still feel that way from time to time I definitely feel like I’m different now.
Not just physically, but mentally.
Although it’s nice to know people read my blog (and I like it to be interesting) I never really set out to do anything other than prove to myself that after years of simply consuming the work and content of others I could once again create something and sustain that creativity.
As life moved on so has my blog. In a relatively short space of time it changed from being about dropping out and getting a dog to facing up to a long term problem with alcohol and the death of my mother. I used it to confront my feelings about these in much the same way as I would use a mirror to come to terms with my reflection.
The act of editing, spell checking, re-writing and trying to ensure honesty has in the past left me exhausted.
Clicking ‘publish’ when everything is linked to Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Facebook can sometimes be quite daunting. People you have never met will sometimes see you at your worst and once you have presented this version of yourself then it can’t be taken back.
It’s out there. (cue spooky music)
My diarising has moved recently to another battle – this time with weight, and the theme has become one which I am intensely uncomfortable with – physical fitness.
This is something that I’ve always felt out of place talking about (I still more often than not feel like a failure and a fraud even with minor successes) but like everything else I’ve experienced, the revelation I’m faced with is not that I’m unusual, but how much like everyone else I am.
Funnily enough, they’re also a lot like me. We all periodically struggle for one reason or another and we all feel frail from time to time.
Writing about this has often brought people into my life that I didn’t know who have shared similar experiences, or just feel like they’re also struggling.
Because I’ve been open they have been kind enough to do the same with me – and often what’s been shared has been truly humbling. The more honest I am, the more people comment or directly share their experiences with me – and the closer I have become to many of them.
I never realised before I started writing that there was a wall around my life, and the world was standing right behind it – within touching distance.
I think what I’m trying to say is that today – amongst all the questions about what to do with my life I realised that I can now say that I have something that I love in my life, and that’s writing.
I think about it all the time, and I now look forward to it as an act of combined creation and therapy. It’s made me think differently about everything and look for the simple things in situations that can enable me to describe how they make me feel.
For a while I tried to use mindfulness to relax, but now I use the structure of words, sentences and paragraphs in my head to bring order and calm. If you see me drift off it’s highly likely I’m considering how I would write about whatever is happening around me.
Every moment has become part of of the creative process, and I cannot imagine at the moment how I ever lived without writing about my thoughts and my life – good or bad.
Internet – even if this isn’t what I end up doing for a living it really doesn’t matter, because I now know the answer to my question.
I have two things I now love.
Writing and honesty.