Happy Sunday, everyone. I’m back from my visit with my friend, doing my best to settle into a routine in spite of deadlines the that continue to loom.
A young, successful couple found their dream home. Shortly after purchasing it, the couple sat at their kitchen table to indulge in a delicious breakfast. The wife looked out the window, and to her surprise, she saw her neighbor hanging dirty laundry on the clothesline.
‘That laundry isn’t clean, it’s still dirty!’ she said to her husband. ‘Someone needs to teach her a thing or two when it comes to washing her clothes!’
A couple of days later, the couple sat down at their kitchen table for another meal. The wife saw her neighbor hanging clothes on the clothesline. But this time something was different.
‘Wow, look!’ the surprised wife said to her husband, ‘Her clothes are clean! Someone must have taught her how to wash her clothes!’ Without raising his head from his plate, the husband kindly responded, ‘Actually, honey, I got up early this morning and washed the window.’
It was the right morning for this fable to find me. Since I got back home on Thursday, I’ve noticed myself being more judgmental and critical than usual. Harsh judgment is a tendency I’m growing out of, but it still emerges when I’m insecure or stressed. Simply recognizing that there’s a source of the impulse has helped me to curb it: when I find myself judging more than usual, I stop to examine what might have triggered feelings of insecurity or low self-worth.
I had a lovely time with my old friend, and coming home was a little tough. I felt lonely, and—though it was difficult to admit—a pang of envy for the new-ish partnership that my friend has found himself in. It’s a strong companionship that seems built on deep respect and care. I celebrate it with him and for him, but when I got home to my place on Thursday night, greeted by the quiet I’m still getting used to, I couldn’t help but long for something like it. Feeling overwhelmed with work (and low on the necessary motivation to get it done) didn’t help.
So, I retreated to the place I often seek when I’m feeling this way: criticism and judgment, of others and myself. I feel grateful to my teacher for sharing a story that made me more conscious of what was going on. Today, as I sat down to write this post, I reflected on how far I still am from feeling at home with myself again. Nothing to judge, nothing to despair about. Just a homecoming to anticipate hopefully.
Here’s to a new week and a fresh perspective. And here are some of the recipes and reads I bookmarked while I was traveling back to NYC a few days ago.
I made my kale colcannon over the weekend, which is an annual St. Patrick’s Day ritual for me. But there’s no reason to reserve colcannon for March only, and Hannah’s version is the next one I want to try. It features cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage along with kale, which makes it a serious celebration of crucifers. You can find the recipe in her awesome new cookbook, but I was happy to see it posted on her blog this week, too.
I try to bookmark at least one mouth-watering vegan sammie each week in an effort to keep my lunch game strong. This week, Natt’s beautiful beet hummus sandwich—and her recipe for homemade wheat bread—caught my eye.
For all of the bowls I make, I haven’t thought to try a mashed potato bowl. Christine’s loaded mashed potato bowl with sautéed mushrooms is inspiring me.
1. Anthea Rowan reflects on how her mother’s stroke led to the disappearance of her lifelong, severe depression. Such an interesting look at “thinking habits,” to use the author’s phrasing.
2. If anxiety runs in your family, this one may resonate with you; it definitely resonated with me.
3. An interesting perspective on resilience, which posits that “resilience is largely about body awareness and not rational thinking.”
4. A touching story of coworkers rallying around a colleague whose son had been diagnosed with cancer—and a reminder of how precious and rare worker-friendly paid leave policies are around the world.
5. A new study of 4,600 American suggests what many might have known or suspected intuitively: the Great Recession led to increases in blood pressure and blood glucose across age groups.
Enjoy the reading material. I’ll be back this week (or next, depending on how caught up I get) with a simple stuffed sweet potato recipe that’s been keeping me company at dinnertime lately.