We have been away for a little while.
Mostly, I mean that we went away for the weekend with some pretty fantastic friends, but also, I mean that the last few months have been chaotic, rushed, a little bit crazy. Away from where I want to be.
My second-to-last semester of grad school wrapped up at the end of April, with all of the projects and craziness that grad school entails. My sister got married on a weekend sandwiched by final exams and major projects, and I started a full time job three days later. Two weeks after that, the next semester (my last!) started up; those weeks were also filled with a car accident, rental car chaos, and scrambling to finish two major projects for presentation at an international conference on Memorial Day.
These are all good things, you guys, but I was pretty wiped.
I spent March, April, and May feeling vaguely and increasingly ill. I started thinking and talking about it more towards the end of April: could this be a food allergy? Could it be lactose intolerance? I cut things out; I started taking Lactaid. It all helped until it didn’t. By the time I got to Minneapolis for my conference, I felt awful. I missed a fantastic presentation (not mine!) because I was keeled over in bed on the phone with my health insurance nurse line to figure out whether I needed to go to the hospital.
When I got home from the conference, it all disappeared. Just like that, three months of sickness vanished. I could suddenly eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. And I realized that all of it was just stress. Yes, “just” stress. I’m not sure it gets a “just” when it takes over that much of my life.
Turtle is always telling me to slow down. She slows me down and reminds me to take care of myself and makes sure our house doesn’t fall apart on the days when I leave at 6:30 in the morning and come home around 10 at night. I could do any of this without her. But there are so many parts of our life we have talked about wanting and have been not-so-good at having/doing.
Well, this weekend we went away for our annual excursion to the cabin with some friends and some dogs. We ate, we drank, we sat by the water and enjoyed the slowness of it all.
I have about 100 pages of work to read, but instead I read a book about a woman whose husband comes home from the war with a brain injury and they end up training pit bulls to work with veterans. I have no regrets.
This year, we signed up for a farm share. Don’t worry, I have no big plans to turn this into a food blog. I have no idea what I’m doing. I found a blog about CSAs called “What the fuck, CSA?!” and it told me what to do with my 40 garlic scapes, which is good because my CSA just emailed me to tell me they are giving me 50 more garlic scapes tomorrow. If I don’t stay on top of this, we will soon be overrun by green leafy vegetables that we don’t know what to do with!
Here is a thing about cooking: sometimes you need help to do it. Sometimes it can make all the difference to have someone wash the cabbage and roughly chop the garlic scapes. And you can’t do homework at the same time, and you can’t rush, and you have to spend some quality time with your spouse because otherwise ALL THE VEGETABLES WILL GET YOU. And, frankly, I am incredibly grateful for that, even if we both end up hating the 20 servings of cabbage and radish slaw this is currently resting in our fridge.
I am trying to balance things and find my way back towards the life that I have been wanting to live. At 9 am, I will jump back into the chaos (I still have to read those hundred pages…), but I’m hoping to stay a little closer to where we want to be.