I was listening to some people at my gym talking and they referred to 2020 in the most perfect way: “a total and complete s*&t show.”
Sad to say, but they’re right about this year which continues to be filled with surprises, not many of them good. Just when you think things can’t go further off the rails, well, you’re wrong again. And it’s not over yet.
The last few months have seen the West Coast ablaze, and coronavirus continuing to tread across the nation like a conquering army, with the White House catching the disease like a house on fire. Political tension vibrates at a fever pitch in advance of the election. (Thank God it will be over in 2 days. At least stage one…) Feelings of unrest have been laid bare some of our worst instincts. Isolation from those we love best has led to increases in overdoses, declines in mental health, and loneliness so intense that we feel like we are smothering in it. So many are still out of work and losing jobs.
And I write about cooking, right? It’s what I do. It’s my little contribution to the world. I think I can make life a little better for us, weighed down as we are by the state of our world. Cooking something delicious; serving it with love, even if you are just serving yourself can be a small, but powerful antidote to the toxic atmosphere on social media and news (fake or real).
More than a feel good exercise, cooking equips us to manage the world on more than on a physical level. It’s important to continue to nourish our bodies in a way that we are metabolically fit to fight disease as cold and flu season come on us. Regardless of which rung you’re on economically, cook. Cook with what you have and can get. Cook it as you like, to the best of your ability and think of it as a gift to yourself. A gift to keep you strong as we move through this pandemic.
I know that we’re all tired of this. We all want to scream into a pillow. We want to walk until our legs fall off. Life is sobering right now. We must, for the foreseeable future, get used to being uncomfortable, uncertain and even anxious.
As we cook, even when the days land heavily on us nine months into this pandemic that has robbed us of so much; as the carnival barkers that seem to be our politicians crow (either in victory or defeat); as we worry, think and feel stress, turn to the kitchen to make you feel centered and yes, even calm and focused on what’s important. If you are safe and well; if your loved ones are safe and well; it lands on you to stay that way, for yourself and all those out there working tirelessly that we might stay safe.
So cook. Cook as though your life depends on it, but also allow the process to bring you comfort in these most uncomfortable times.