Skip to main content

Strange Turns

My life has gone in some very peculiar directions. I am contemplating that thought because this week I am house/dogsitting, meaning that I have an entire house to myself and not a whole lot to do. So, what have I chosen to do with my time? That's the peculiar part.

Years ago (before I got sick) I always said that I would rather clean than cook. Things sure have changed. Given my own kitchen for a week, I'm thrilled to be using a convection oven and gas range. I'm picking out new recipes to try from The Joy of Cooking and following them exactly. Yesterday, for instance, I learned how to make a poaching paper that lays neatly on top of a simmering pot of fish fillets, lemon, onion, carrot, and celery. My biggest mistake with that dish was leaving out the salt. (Today I refurbished the fish and vegetables with a brown butter sauce.) I bought portobello mushrooms for the first time. I've learned how to dress a salad, not just slosh the vinaigrette on top. I've discovered that cheese, no matter how luscious, always tastes better with fruit.

Now, part of the reason for all this is that almost all processed foods make me sick, and I'm not yet wealthy enough to hire a cook, so I've had to learn to make everything from scratch. It's sheer necessity. And as they say, when life hands you lemons . . .

Another part of the reason that I now enjoy cooking is that as I've purged all processed foods from my diet, my sense of taste has changed. I eat hardly any refined sugar or additives. Believe it or not, because my tastebuds are no longer trained to look for the flavors of sugar and MSG in everything I eat, I can actually taste layers of flavor. My sense of smell is more sensitive now, too.

Another thing I'm doing with my time is writing - some of it for pay. My health taking a dive has been an odd blessing, in that I now work from home. But I happen to love meaningful work, which means that in addition to my paying jobs, I also have a bunch of projects I'm working on. I just love the fact that even on a day when I'm not feeling well, I can pop open my laptop and put in an hour or two of work. So while I've wanted to be a writer since I was about seven, what's amazing to me is that God actually made it happen. That's what I do now. I'm a writer.

The final thing I'm doing with my time is . . . nothing. This too is a new direction. Because for most of my life, I've put unbearable pressure on myself to produce, to accomplish, to do. And for most of my life I've been tired, go figure. Now I take things slowly . . . not only for my physical health, but for my spirit. I'm trying to learn to listen to God. As I go through the day, I'm listening for these moments: time to take a break and follow a train of thought. I need to pause and ask God about this. I'm worried - let me read a chapter out of that book. I'm tired, and I'm forcing myself to keep busy because I'm afraid that if I stop, I'll feel lonely and out of control - so stop! Now is the perfect time. Now is when I need to rest, to express my trust in Him.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How to Waste Time When You Could Be Watching a Zombie Movie

Today I read one of those horrible articles that the internet seems to have been designed for, consisting of 40 tips for becoming as successful as the author: "How to Live a Full Life (and Leave Nothing on the Table) by 30." Yes, that's really the title. Normally I wouldn't publish a blog post in response, but because I managed to Come Down with a Chronic Illness (and Achieve Basically Nothing Else) by 30 and Am Currently Feeling the Aftereffects of One of the Treatments I Periodically Take, Which Causes Me to Feel High and Lose My Inhibitions, I'm just going to go for it. (Author's point #33: "Seriously, You Can Do Whatever You Want." Why thank you, young man, I think I will!)

The author's name is Ryan Holiday, and he has published several books. It sounds like he is also very wealthy, because note point #15, "Sooner Is Not Better," where he says he had a weird goal of becoming a millionaire by 25, but it didn't happen until after

Lyme Recovery, Seven Years In

When I first got my Lyme diagnosis, I went to the library and borrowed all the books on Lyme disease I could find (there were only three, if I recall correctly). One book was the personal account of a woman whose undiagnosed Lyme crossed her placenta and infected her unborn son, who later died in childhood after horrific symptoms. That book and a second featured images of magnified ticks, and I would peek through the pages taking care not to accidentally touch the photographs. I realized I might never have children. I returned the books to the library.

The third book was Biography of a Germ by Arno Karlen, a scientific essay on the Lyme spirochete. I didn't finish it because I took it back to the library as part of my stop-scaring-myself-silly dragnet. But I remembered it fondly. The author methodically explored the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burdorferi, as an organism in its own right, a marvel of evolutionary survival that relies on a complex chain of ticks, small ani…

Me Eve, You Adam

Recently a male friend read Paradise Lost, as part of a book group that was predominately women. How I would have loved to be a fly on that wall.

I told him what I always say to people reading Milton for the first time: He was an incredible poet, but a horrible man who who portrayed the mother of all humanity as a bimbo, perpetuating an offensive stereotype as some sort of religious reality. Oh, don't get me started on this guy. I become incoherent talking about him.

After the book club meeting, my friend texted me: You were right about Milton's Eve!

I laughed for a long time at that. Then I got to thinking. What if Eve had been created first, Adam had sinned first, and Milton had been a woman?
Reverse Paradise Lost Note: Since I could not hope to parody Milton's splendid poetry, I have written this in play form. Please imagine that what follows is an excerpt of an entire work. Book II. Eve: I have completed my monumental task of naming all the animals, and I have greatly e…