People often ask me if I like to cook. My response is usually something in the ball park of, “Oh, if I had more time and I wasn’t rushing around to get it done after work and before sports practices, I’d enjoy it a lot more.” I’ve also always been sure my outcomes would be much better if I had time to research, prep, and lovingly prepare recipes. Well, voila! I have all the time in the world right now, and am I producing incredible culinary masterpieces that have my children drooling and running to the table? No. I’m not.
I’m still pretty much banging out the same old meals and I have even less motivation to do so. What the hell went wrong? Here’s what I’ve discovered, not only about my desire to cook, but also about sheltering in place and time management.
First, there are so many things I love to do in this world. You all know I love to organize, but I also enjoy reading, writing, biking, yoga, yard work, hanging with my kiddos, time with friends and family, taking online classes…and the list goes on. I have found in this past month, that I start an enticing project only to look up at the clock and say, “Oh crap! I have to start cooking,” and then rush through prepping another meal. Some things never change and quite frankly, I’m not so sure cooking is on the list of things that I love to do. That my friends, was lesson number one for me. I still wasn’t making time for it because I don’t really love to do it.
Lesson number two, and I know you can probably relate to this one. Perhaps we thought at the onset of this self isolation, “I am going to get so much done while I am staying home! I can tackle all those projects on my list.” Bwaaaahaaahaa! Let that guffaw loose! Yes, we are home. No, that doesn’t mean we have all the available time in the world. Some people are working from home, taking care of kids’ remote learning, and even more challenging lately, is making sure our children’s mental health is not faltering. It’s getting harder for them. Lesson number two: Being at home does not mean 12 waking hours to do as I freely choose.
Hold on to your hats now, because lesson three is the winner winner (chicken dinner?) I was taking advantage of 10 free minutes the other day, to do one of the things on my project list. There was no way in hell the task would be fully accomplished in ten minutes, but I’m pretty good at chipping away at a job until it is finished. Then, the little voice in my head said, “Oh, if only the kids were back at school and Paul was at work, I could get so much more done.”
Subsequently, the other little person in my head piped up with, “Yes, and when Jupiter aligns with Mars and the Three-Eyed Raven comes to perch on the tree outside my window, that’s when I’ll have the time to get it all done!” There is rarely ever the perfect time for any endeavor to begin. It happens once in a blue moon, that the stars align, and you are able to have an abundance of endless hours to get things done to your heart’s content. Perfect situations and a bounty of hours are scarcely found. That’s when we need to remember the perfectly imperfect concept.
Pining away for something that is not to be, will not change what is. I have to just roll with what I have. So, I can let go of the expectation that things need to be a certain way before I start a task or for something to happen, and just dive in with whatever I’ve got.
My grandma used to have a magnet that stated, “Inch by inch life’s a cinch. Yard by yard life is hard.” Let’s work with what we have, do what we love, and chip away until we sit back and say, “Damn, that’s good!”
What’s that project you’ve been wanting to tackle? Hobby you want to start? Call you need to make? Whatever it is, don’t wait until the moment is “right,” because if it’s important to you, you can and will make the right moment happen, even for just ten minutes. Use whatever scrap of time you have to do the things you want to do, or love to do. Oh crap, look at the time. I have to go. I need to start cooking.