I asked for an extension on a big project this week.
I’d been trying to avoid it, telling myself that an urgent deadline is a good motivator and that I could get it done if I really pushed hard.
But my ability to work in a time crunch just isn’t what it used to be. And, like many people, I’ve been having a lot of issues with productivity this year.
I know that an extension only draws out the process of completion. Still, asking for it was the right call. It was a relief. And the even greater relief came when I was told yes, extension granted.
The gentle, relaxed response of the person who I’d asked about the deadline also reminded me that things rarely turn out as badly as I expect them to.
I sometimes challenge myself, when I’m ruminating over a scary outcome, to default to the assumption that things will turn out well. It’s amazing how hard it is for me to do that. Given two possible outcomes, it’s always my tendency to imagine that the undesirable one will happen.
More and more these days, I realize that I can’t get back time that I spend worrying about the future. I also won’t get back the time I spend wrongly assuming that worst case scenarios will come to pass.
They usually don’t. And when they do, the outcome is no less painful because I spent time anticipating it.
What if things work out? What if I succeed? What if that thing I’m dreading turns out to be fun? What if the conversation I’m stressing about surprises me? What if I meet someone wonderful?
These are the questions I’m trying to ask myself lately, just as often as I ask consider the doom-and-gloom “what ifs.”
There are usually at least a few possibilities alive in any given moment. There’s something to be said for soberly acknowledging that things might not go the way we want them to. But surely there’s something very wrong with only considering the possibilities we fear.
It would have been a lovely surprise if I’d been able to make my deadline work in the first place. But, since I couldn’t, having more time to work was the next best thing. And it was surprising in its own way, a reminder that honesty pays off and that people are usually pretty understanding.
Wishing you a week of positive thinking. By that, I don’t mean a refusal to look at difficulty or disappointment.
I wish you the willingness to see that life is full of possibilities. And sometimes it’s kinder than we expect it to be.
Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.
I’m extremely excited to veganize Jessica’s pumpkin focaccia (maple syrup in place of honey, and vegan parmesan—easy!).
I really love celery root, and I don’t cook with it often enough. Katie’s simple recipe is inspiring me.
Drooling over Isabel’s Mexican Candied Sweet Potatoes.
A bright, crispy shaved Brussels sprout salad from Amanda.
I’ve never pulled off a good vegan pecan pie. So I’ll just rely on Izy’s recipe to guide me.
1. Distressing news about the rise in Americans’ food insecurity in the time of Covid. I’ve been donating to my local faith-based food pantry, so appreciative of their mobile, outdoor pantry that’s serving hundreds of New Yorkers every morning.
2. A look, via The New York Times, at how the efficacy of Covid vaccines is being modeled. It’s sobering, but really interesting from a study design perspective.
3. A scientific answer to a question that every baker has pondered: what’s the difference between baking soda and baking powder?
4. I loved this look at seven women who overcame personal struggles during the pandemic.
5. I’ve never spent more time ruminating on my regrets and mistakes than I have this year. This article on self-forgiveness meant a lot to me. Maybe it’ll mean something to you, too.
I’m so happy that a lot of you are excited about my mashed potato holiday bowl. And I’ve got another, low-key holiday recipe for you tomorrow.
I was an avid blog reader long before I became a food blogger. Like many people, I discovered what might be called “healthy living” blogs first, then more dedicated recipe/culinary blogs. I had been reading food blogs for only a short period of time when I decided to go vegan, so vegan food blogs (Vegan Yum Yum, the PPK, Bittersweet) quickly became a source of guidance and inspiration. Over time, I fell in love with certain bloggers’ voices, felt as if I knew…
The first half of this past week flew by, a blur of class and reading and clients and work. The second half screeched to a halt with the arrival of a fall cold and a middle ear infection, which forced me to slow down and spend most of yesterday curled up on my sofa. I was supposed to travel to DC today for my cousin’s baby shower, but, with my first set of midterms coming up this week and more travel on the horizon…
Five years ago, just as summer transitioned into fall, I took a trip to Prague. I was a few months past a terrible breakup, still trying to find my footing. Enough time had gone by that friends were starting to ask me if I was ready to start dating again. It was a natural enough question, offered in an encouraging spirit, but it seemed ridiculous to even consider. I knew that whenever I did date again, it would probably have to happen long…
In a recent yoga class, my teacher got on the topic of samskaras. So far as I understand, samskaras are generally defined as impressions that influence our actions. These impressions might be formed from our pasts, experiences we’ve had early on that have conditioned us to behave a certain way. I’m used to conceptualizing samskaras as negative things. To me, they’ve always seemed to be akin to a lot of the entrenched patterns that one might try to identify, understand, and transform in…