Today, in lockdown, I told myself to cop myself on. I had been swaying towards feeling a little sluggish, a tad sorry for myself, and generally just a wee bit sad and frustrated about the state we have all found ourselves in, in Ireland. Having no control externally can lead to having no control internally so I needed to nip that in the bud.
So I decided to write a list of all the things I like about me and my life. It took me some time, but I did it. The temptation in lockdown is to over analyse and beat ourselves up for past mistakes, maybe even current mistakes. There is also the temptation to think we are not achieving enough in lockdown, for me anyway. But these are surreal times, there are no rules. We all just gotta do the best we can. So I kicked myself, I did some meditation, and I remembered how amazing and wonderful I am, and how amazing and wonderful we all are. This kind of self-love is not narcissistic in my opinion, it is necessary and important just now.
And so the day went on. First and most important step, what will I cook today? I read cookery books voraciously, I record every cooking programme I can, and I am trying very hard to improve my skills in the kitchen during this period. But the culinary advice I seek most just now is my Mum’s. An amazing cook and baker, I ring her every day to find out what she and Dad are having for dinner and despite me not eating red meat or pork, her recipes are my go-to, and I have managed to adapt them to my own cooking. I haven’t seen my folks in a long time now but that little cookery connection makes me feel like they are present in my meals, and I know I am present in theirs.
It’s Sunday so as a self-employed person, I then planned my week ahead. I have a bad habit of working at weekends but this weekend I slowed that down big time, in favour of me time, or to more accurately define it, still time.
Like lots of people I plan to cook myself out of this crisis, but I also plan to work myself out of this crisis. Creativity does not stop because of lockdown. In truth, creativity is enhanced because of lockdown. Mostly, I am using this time to be as creative within my job as I can be. It’s exciting times if you look at it that way. Creative times. And creativity kills the negative critical voice that can creep in. Creativity kills the temptation to feel sad, because creativity makes the world look a bit brighter. It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to feel out of control. But use those feelings to create. Creativity creates optimism.
Remembering Bill Withers. It’s a lovely day after all. (And its vegetable curry for dinner)