Thursday, June 23, 2011


I've recently noticed that I get into certain patterns.

Patterns of favoring some yoga poses over others, especially in a home practice (e.g. revolved triangle... ugh.). Patterns of standing or sitting a certain way because it's something my body has gotten used to, even if I know it is not the ideal alignment. Patterns of not sleeping well.

And, there's also my usual pattern of initial avoidance when I have to tackle a big school/work-related project. Like now.

I just realized how many times I've seen this happen, and it's only now that I've put two and two together. When I have to work on a big project, I usually get extremely overwhelmed in the beginning, and my first response is to go on a crazy, compulsive cooking spree and cook/bake like a maniac. Not because we have to feed a dozen guests or anything. Just... because. Because it's my way of feeling productive as I procrastinate. Because it's a way of creating something when I don't quite feel ready to create yet, as far as the real project is concerned.

So in the past day and a half, I've made...

- homemade veggie burgers: Everything from scratch! (I'm also working on developing a recipe - more on that later)
- homemade ricotta cheese: Because I wanted to make a peach crumble out of the bowl of peaches I got recently, and I wanted to have honey-vanilla ricotta on the side. I know, my food brain thinks in a weird way. In all different directions.

... so as you would expect, I also made
- peach crumble (baked peaches with a crunchy oat topping)
- zucchini bread: also to enjoy with ricotta on the side... this time with minced dates mixed into the ricotta - doesn't that sound delicious?)
- no-knead bread: to enjoy savory herb ricotta on crostini - as a change from sweet ricotta

(Oh, and this is not counting "regular" cooking for dinner)

And after all that, I didn't even eat a whole lot. They were all really good though!

There's just something about this process that I go through before working on a project/deadline. As odd as it sounds. In past crazy cooking episodes, towards the end of cooking I have had to call my friend/colleague/neighbor, saying, "I need an intervention!" - at which time we would both set small tasks and deadlines for ourselves (by "small" meaning something that can be accomplished in a couple of hours) which we would then report back to each other for accountability. For someone like me who works from home most of the time, this has been really helpful. And then I go over to her house to deliver a baked treat or a sampling of a dish, because in all reality, A and I can't eat it all.

But I digress. Going back to the concept of patterns...

I wonder if this is a healthy pattern for me. Time is of the essence when working towards a deadline, and sometimes I berate myself for using up all that precious time to do non-essential things in the kitchen. But the thing is, whenever I do this (going through cooking/baking compulsions before the work at hand), I find that I can approach my work more grounded, centered, and more focused, as opposed to thinking in all different directions. Sure, maybe it takes me a day or two to get there. But today I feel more ready to work. So am I excusing myself? Or taking care of myself? I don't know. Meanwhile, today I am hanging up my apron...

What patterns do you notice in your life? Are they healthy or not?

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