Things happen. Life changes. You can either make your peace with it in whatever way you can find, or you can live life pining for what once was. I was under the misconception that I’d chosen the former.
I woke up one morning only to discover that, regardless of the words of acceptance I spoke to myself, my heart was angry and staging its own protest about letting go of “what was.”
How fair is it that just at the point where I was finding balance, bodies flare, new symptoms move in, and another tiny chunk of “normal” is chipped away. After all, I thought I’d worked through all of the “five stages of grief” stuff.
Then it hit me. This? Is life. It’s never static, doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and the only way anything will ever stay the same is, well…it simply won’t.
|An empty cast-iron plant hanger in desperate need of a plant. A sad sight indeed.|
Thursday I woke up after what felt like a long, emotional hibernation and decided I was completely over mourning. For now. In the last month I’d heard the words, “I want my damn life back!” come out of my mouth one too many times.
Yes, I miss being independent. I miss the sense of satisfaction I derived from my job and I sure as hell miss the income from it. But I’m kinda over sharing my brain with someone who’s acting like a jilted, 13 year old girl.
I spent a couple hours doing inventory of what I missed most, aside from the lack of physical limitations, and one of the first things that came to mind was cooking. I used to make all kinds of weird and freaky things, like homemade breads and soft cheeses, both filled with fresh herbs.
The funny thing is, most of THAT stopped before I got sick. I’d stopped doing so very much of what I enjoyed even before I returned to work in 2009. My life had effectively entered suspended animation when my Mom became ill and it just never emerged from it.
|The dwarf dill and rosemary found a home in my dining room window.|
So I bought a few herbs, oregano, basil, the love of my herb-life, dill, and heady, calming rosemary. I may not be able to plant an herb garden outside of my kitchen door like I always dreamed of (stupid chickens ate my only attempt. Whose idea was it again to let the feathered bastards free range? Oh yeah, mine.) but I have flower pots, potting soil, and big windows just begging for something green to hang in them.
It took a while to re-pot the herbs. I kept burying my face in their foliage and just breathing in their amazing scent. It was…therapeutic. I probably looked like a moron to passing traffic, just standing there on my front porch with my face stuffed in the middle of a plant. But who really cared about that, I was deep down happy.
|The oregano and basil found a home in my kitchen window.
I chose a boxwood basil since it won’t grow as big as
the regular variety. Perfect for container growing.
As I was introducing the plants to their new homes, I began thinking about foods I would soon be adding the herbs to and first on the list was homemade yogurt cheese. That would be about the time I remembered the yogurt maker spirited away in the closet.
The Boy was the one who caught me standing on a chair with my entire upper torso deep in the undiscovered country of our coat closet, desperately searching for the box I knew was somewhere in the back. Knowing me as he does, he stood quietly by in case I managed to fall off my chair-stool, then silently walked away, shaking his head.
|I found this at a kitchen supply store at our local outlet mall.
Over the years, it’s definitely repaid it’s $20 cost several times over.
Yesterday morning, I made yogurt. It was only a half-batch, since my self-control under-shot the mark and I ate half my starter before I even…started. But that’s OK, because I can use what I made yesterday as a new starter, which means I’m only a day away from cheese.
|I small jar of homemade heaven.|
I’m thinking this afternoon I’ll pick up some buttermilk at the store and make a batch of cheese from the recipe I found years ago in an old Foxfire book.
Green things in windows and making something in the kitchen that doesn’t come out of a box. Small things, maybe even silly things. But they’re small, silly things that remind me of all the things I haven’ lost.
Life is life and every day is different than the ones before or after. There will always be reasons to laugh, reasons to cry, and reasons to grieve deeply. Nothing will stay as it is right now, so the cycle of acceptance will play itself out hundreds of times more before I’m done.
|I may not be able to climb the tree like I used to and
pick enough mulberries to make jam, but I can
still pick enough to turn my hands and mouth purple.
For today, I’m tired of mourning things I feel chronic health crap has taken from me. I’m tired of being mad as hell at my body over things that are no fault of my own. Today, I think I’ll instead look to the things I still have and the small joys I can find around me, like the smells of fresh rosemary and deep, dark soil that surround a person as they gently repot a tiny plant.
I’ll decide about tomorrow when it comes.