I am someone who recharges when I am alone. Somewhat the classic definition of the introvert. I like people (even love some of them), but my energy reappears when I have time just me, processing what’s in my head, going through the little rituals of the day with no one interfering.
Yesterday morning I woke up to snow in an iffy mood. In part due to the fact that it was 7:30 and I had barely slept all night. Read in bed for a bit. Finally, padded downstairs, made myself a dimly lit breakfast.
I’ve turned into such a grouch about snow in my old age. No more childhood delight. Replaced with panic over power outages and driving on ice.
I made protein pancakes, because I wanted pancakes with butter and syrup but wanted them to keep me full longer than thirty seconds.
So, protein powder it was.
Like all protein pancakes, these were kind of just mediocre because my protein powder (from Trader Joe’s) just doesn’t taste very good. The texture was a lot better this time, though, so I spose I’ll share what I did in order that if you have protein powder that tastes okay you can make and appreciate them:
1 scoop protein powder, 1/4 C. plus 2 T whole wheat flour, 1 egg, 1/4 cup plus 2 T milk, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, pinch of cinnamon, dash vanilla. Serves 2.
With hot tea, naturally.
They did indeed do a pretty good job of leaving me full. And I got to eat butter and syrup. Did I mention that?
I did my next Saturday ritual of the farmer’s market which was sort of nice but I still couldn’t shake the persistently low mood.
So, in what may perhaps an enduring Saturday tradition, I took a hot bath and listened to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me in the tub. It was GREAT!
Nothing so revitalizing as a hot bath. Even Sylvia Plath said so in The Bell Jar, and Lord knows, she could use some cheering.
My brain is still a bit jumbled, evident from my general daily feeling of craziness and from the fact that I seem to’ve quit sleeping at night.
I’ve also been ruminating on the difference between feeling alone and being alone.
Feeling alone is wretched. Feeling like your thoughts are in a constant, inescapable cycle that leaves you feeling stressed and freaked out and disgusted with yourself.
For me the antidote to being alone is reaching out to others. First, reminding myself that everyone feels that way sometimes, especially at points in their lives where things change and the future is uncertain and one lacks control over how things are progressing, and at what pace.
Also, just hearing how everyone is doing. Dissecting our lives with Steve over cafe au laits (or cafes au lait?) at Dean and Deluca. Hearing “Forget You” on the radio and having to call my girl Erin to reminisce about duetting that song and singing it to our Americorps kiddos, then catching up on life. Getting an unexpected jingle from my friend Marisa and spending an hour catching up on our past years (she is doing Teach for America and makes any stress I get right now look like small potatoes). Checking in on a family member who’d been having some serious struggles and seems to be getting help. Bringing dinner to church friends with a death in the family.
I need others to survive and find meaning! It’s worth remembering, reaching out, and appreciating the feeling of togetherness.
And then I can be alone, eating my lunch under a bouquet of lilies from our church friends.
I am still trying, with only some success, to eat well and take care of myself. As Steve pointed out yesterday, nobody has to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. Nobody CAN BE perfect. If you do something better, that’s still something.
This was actually a HIGHLY delicious meal, with the star ingredient (my first taste and tragically the last of what had been a large jar, quickly decimated by the family), OKRA PICKLES!
FANTASTIC veggie wrap: mashed avocado, carrots, heavenly sweet wee farmer’s market cucumbers, greens.
And for Steve, who literally asked me yesterday, “So how is your yogurt stash doing?” because these are the romantic and normal conversations I have with my boyfriend, a bowl of yogurt. With apple and cinnamon.