As you probably noticed, it’s been a little while.
There’s no big or dramatic reason for this. My capacities are just really limited right now.
For the last six weeks or so—really, since the start of the new year—I’ve found myself saying “I can’t” a lot. It’s not even a choice, the “learning how to say no” stuff that so many of us are working on. It’s a limitation I can’t control, a scarcity of ability and energy that’s out of my hands.
This is interesting in the sense that it has forced me to narrow down dramatically what does and doesn’t get my attention. My yoga practice is flourishing in spite of how limited I feel in other ways. On the work front, I’m focused on my nutrition private practice and the editing process for my next cookbook.
In every other way, I feel incapable. All but the most important work matters are on hold for right now. I don’t have a lot of energy to talk or socialize—which is weird, because I entered 2022 excited to end my quarantine and see friends again. I definitely can’t answer the dreaded “how are you?” question over text or email.
My best friend has asked me about a short trip at the end of this month, and I keep stalling on buying a plane ticket because I have no clue how I’ll feel by then. I’m not even watching much TV. In the evening I work on my book manuscript, I message a little with a few friends, I do a short meditation, and I sleep.
For what it’s worth, it doesn’t feel like a depressive spell. It might be overwhelm or burnout—I’m not sure. Maybe it’s wintering. Maybe I’m processing personal matters more privately than I have in the past.
Whatever the case, it’s strange.
One thing I wanted to mention today—a reminder I always need, and maybe you need it, too—is that nothing terrible has happened while I’ve been in low power mode. There are no work catastrophes. My friends don’t seem to hate or resent me for needing some time to myself. Life is waiting for me on the other side of stillness.
If you happen to experience a similar phase anytime soon, life will wait for you, too.
I’m not reading much of anything, digital or print, so it’s not easy to collect links for these posts. But I do miss the connection of writing and being here with this community.
Thanks for presence, even when I’m not very present myself. And happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.
I’ve never had much luck with vegan crepes. I think Alissa is about to help me with that.
Nothing like a big bowl of spaghetti and greens for supper.
I’ve never tried braising daikon before, but I really like the idea of serving it this way.
Speaking of capacity, homemade pasta isn’t even under consideration right now. But these butternut squash ravioli are made with wonton wrappers, and they do look really easy.
Red wine in chocolate cake is such an intriguing baking idea—and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, too.
1. Abdul Alim, who was one of Pakistan’s oldest survivors of Covid-19, has died of natural causes at age 104. I was so moved reading about his efforts to keep others safe and well.
2. It’s distressing to hear about sea turtle stranding and the vulnerability that sea turtles face in these times. But it is very heartening and affirming to read about the efforts that human beings are taking to protect them.
3. A physician’s sobering reflections on having to deny a patient an extra blanket for her bed, and how that experience captures healthcare providers’ moral distress during the pandemic.
4. Loved this argument for steaming cabbage. I’m a big defender of steaming as a preparation method for vegetables generally, and cabbage is one vegetable that I think becomes especially sweet and lovely when it’s steamed.
5. Finally, I loved reading about Margaret Wise Brown, the woman behind Goodnight Moon.
OK everyone. Thank you for listening and accepting me as I navigate this season. I appreciate you.
To-do list for the first Sunday of November, 2022: Wake up woefully unrested, given the extra overnight hour overnight (tough week, busy mind) Spend the early morning wondering what to write about today, over coffee. Eat breakfast (banana chocolate chip muffin, yogurt with hemp seeds and berries). Feel an idea of what to write about taking shape. Feel pretty good about that idea. Eat lunch (leftover one-pot Italian quinoa lentils, vegan parmesan, salad). Go to a fun orange wine fair, hosted by a…
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On Thursday, I met up for an early drink with a friend who had knee surgery about a month ago. She’s now venturing out for PT appointments weekly, and she’s finally strong and steady enough to plan something with a friend right before or after. My friend lives alone, like I do. As we sat together and caught up, she said how wonderful it was to be sitting at a restaurant with another person, surrounded by city sights and sounds. We talked a…