This week felt like a blur. I was trying to get to the end of a work project that had been weighing me down for weeks. On top of that, I was dealing with the holiday season and end-of-year commotion that consumes so many of us in December.
At one point toward the end of the week, after a day of agitation that included subway delays, slow-moving crowds, and being late for everything thanks to my own silly overcommitting, I got to thinking about how lucky I was to be overwhelmed.
Seriously. I remember April 2020, almost two years ago, when the streets of New York were empty and there was nowhere to go, no one and nothing to see. I thought about the monotony, the sense of waiting for life to return without any certainty about when that might happen.
Then I thought about my day of running downtown and uptown and back again, the crowds of people that had waited with me for subway cars that were nowhere in sight, the fact that I’d said yes to a few more things than my introverted temperament can easily handle, the messy apartment and relatively empty fridge I’ve got because I haven’t been home much.
And I was so, so grateful.
What a gift it is right now to have slightly more work than I can handle gracefully, more plans than I can juggle easily, more festive things I’d like to see or do than I’ll have time for before Christmas.
How great it is to be alive and busy, to be hugging and connecting, eating and drinking and making merry (slightly muted holiday spirits notwithstanding).
Maybe I was a little frazzled this week, but if that’s the price to pay for life returning, I’ll take it.
Wishing you a week of feeling alive, whatever that might mean to you. Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.
Tis the season for edible gifts, and Sara’s chocolate hazelnut toffee looks delightful (for giving or hoarding selfishly).
I love Amanda’s stuffed acorn squash for a festive main dish.
A cozy, wintery mushroom risotto to warm you up on short days and chilly nights.
I’m not a big jackfruit lover, but I think I’d make an exception for this tasty looking jackfruit butter “chicken.”
What could be cuter than these vegan eggnog cupcakes?
1. This is my kind of virtual tour: around the world in 47 vegan pastries!
2. Laura Hoffman and her two siblings were triplets, and they were born prematurely. In this essay, she chronicles how her relationship with her body, which is smaller on the left side than the right, has changed through time, shifts in self-awareness, and medical procedures. It’s beautifully written and very intimate.
3. Connie Wang draws a lovely parallel between the tenderly cut and pitted fruit she was served as a child and life: “Life is filled with bitter and hard things. When you extract pits, piths, and peels, fruit becomes a reliable source of pure sweetness, only softness.”
4. Also on the topic of food and memory, I loved reading about Erica Gaetano’s tradition of making and eating pizza fritte (fried dough) with her grandfather.
5. Some fun ideas about how to beat the winter blues.
Now it’s time to wrap up the busy Sunday afternoon of this busy week. Sending you warm thoughts this evening,
Happy Sunday, friends. I hope this weekend reading post finds you staying warm and well. It’s been a hectic few days here, as I finish up a big freelance project in time for the start of my new semester. Amazingly, that semester begins this coming Thursday. It feels as if my first semester just ended, and I wonder if I’ll feel the same way in May, at which point my whole first year will be behind me. When I first told people I was going…
So happy that the “12 finds” idea appeals to you guys — I’ll certainly be making it a regular feature from now on. Thanks for your comments! And here we are, just in time for some weekend reading. To start with, Laura–who writes the marvelous blog The First Mess–has created a vegan fennel and mushroom pate for Food52. What?! Sign me up immediately. Meanwhile, Emma, who writes the adorably titled My Darling Lemon Thyme, has a roasted cauliflower, chickpea, and quinoa salad with…
Happy Sunday! By the time this post goes live, I’ll be headed out of town to spend some time with one of my closest friends from college. I have the treat of seeing him a few times a year, since his folks are in New York, but it’s rare for us to have a five uninterrupted days together. I can’t wait. My hope was of course to have all of my ducks in a row before I left: school projects wrapped up neatly…
Happy Sunday, and to those who are celebrating Mother’s Day, a lovely afternoon. On Thursday morning, when I arrived at my regular yoga class, a good friend commented on the slouchy pants I was wearing. “Love them!” he said. “Not your usual look.” (The usual look is leggings.) Without skipping a beat, I replied, “yeah, I’m feeling lousy about my body today, so not in the mood for spandex.” The thing is, I offered this reply lightly, with a smile. I wasn’t registering…