A little off topic, but only a little... Life's a Picnic has come along at a time in our lives where things are pretty challenging. It is my attempt to make things seem better, despite some pretty difficult and uncontrollable circumstances. The named turned out to be an ironic play on words, it wasn't my intention, but maybe my subconcious was pushing the buttons.
So, struggling for some purpose (control?) and trying to make things better for my beautiful boys, I chose to spend some time cooking, planning and trying new things, and I have found lots of joy doing it. On bad days, it gives us someting to look forward to. Sure, it's not a holiday or a winning ticket in tatslotto, but it is something that I can do that makes us feel special and loved. It's hard to be all doom and gloom with a beautiful meal on the table and a decent glass of wine to go with it.
Over the weekend I was feeling pretty crappy about things, and interestingly it really reflected in the couple of fails (which are unusual) I had in the kitchen. I think it was my approach rather than my execution, but my head was so full of stuff that I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing. Last night's marinated roast beef should have been a beauty, but instead it was over cooked and over marinated. A soup I made lacked zing - I tried to rescue it towards the end, but if I had given it some love throughout the process I would have seen what was happening earlier, and perhaps been able to bring it to where I wanted it to be. There is something in that.
As I stirred in more spices and stock into the big pot of soup, I felt like it was too little too late. Later, after the failed beef and a day of domesticity I was feeling blah (like the soup) and I thought If only I had spent some time at the start of the day thinking about what I wanted to do for myself and planned it in, I wouldn't have ended up resenting the fact that another weekend was gone and that I had done nothing that made me happy. God bless my lovely boys, once they saw the steam coming from my ears - as the water was slopping out of the sink onto the freshly mopped floors, the sauce for the beef was boiling over and I was swearing like a trouper - they hovered and offered to help, but it was too little too late on all of our parts. It was over - hot, salty tears, snot - the works.
I guess I just need to remember to pick my battles, to love myself enough that little failures (like tough beef) don't send me into a spin and to take care of myself, particularly in rough patches. So that's my aim for this week, to look after myself like I look after others, to ask for what I want and to make sure I have some time for me.
I don't think I'm on my own in feeling like life is tough sometimes so I hope that Life's a Picnic inspires you when you're having one of those days or at least makes figuring out how to feed people one less stress.