OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!
So, in case you’re not aware, I live alone. I live alone AND I have trouble feeding myself regularly because executive dysfunction + hyperfocusing on work = oh shit! I forgot to eat again today! I usually have this face-palm moment when I’m feeling incredibly nauseous and shaky because my blood sugar has absolutely tanked.
I do this so often, y’all, and it is so not good, and on top of how not good it is, I’ve had these weird stories in my head about how I *should* be better at this and I *should* cook for myself every day and I *should* be an adultier adult so every time it happens, it makes me feel like shit about myself on top of nauseous and shaky (and more often than not, actually pukey).
I am, finally, letting that go and over the last few weeks (after one of my kiddos suggested I might be autistic because THEY are and my head exploded and then settled into everything making so much sense) I’ve been making all sorts of accommodations for myself so that I *do* eat at least twice a day.
Sometimes that looks like ordering in. Sometimes that looks like dumping a can of soup into a microwavable bowl. Sometimes that looks like making up a charcuterie board (aka Bourdain Board) and rotating things onto and off of it over a course of days until I’m sick of grazing (almost never happens). Sometimes it means I eat nothing but hummus and cucumbers for days, but whatever.
As long as I’m eating, I finally, in this, my 54th year of life, refuse to shame or judge myself.
This week, I discovered this:
Metro has it in stock pretty much all the time, and my local Instacart (which I am completely dependent on) has them in their list of shops so it’s easy enough to dump one in my cart and stash it in the fridge. They keep *forever* – this one had a best before date in January 2023 – so I don’t have to worry about freezing and thawing OR getting to it before it rots in the fridge (this is my biggest former shame – all the food waste – ugh).
Y’all, this is a game-changer. Let me explain.
I woke up yesterday morning and did my usual routine of feeding dogs + cat, making coffee, doing admin, etc and then found myself absolutely RAVENOUS (which is what happens when I start to feed myself regularly – my body remembers that food is a thing and I actually feel hungry on the regular). I was in the middle of doing some stuff over at the new teaching network in preparation for 2023, though, so I didn’t want to take much of a break to shove some food in my face AND I hadn’t yet populated the Bourdain Board.
I dumped this into a microwaveable bowl and dished it out over a slice of thick-cut Italian bread with a fuck tonne of fresh cracked black pepper.
And then I *howled* because when I was a kid and I used to ask my mother “What’s for dinner?” she would often quip “Shit on a shingle” and this meal that I put together in exactly five minutes?
It was exactly what I imagine shit on a shingle might look like. (Hence, no pictures!)
It was delicious and quick and it filled my belly *before* noon (the daily goal) AND it made me laugh (extra dopamine? YES PLEASE!).
This shift I’ve made away from trying to *force* myself to be neurotypical (I’m not) and adultier (boring) and toward whatever delights my senses, makes my life easier, and creates space for me to be *exactly who I am at any given moment* including too hyperfocused to do a so-called “proper care and feeding” has been absolutely life-changing. I know some of you have noticed how much lighter I seem – you see it in the lives or in the classes I’m teaching and you’ve said so – and I’ve been noticing it, too.
I think this is why, y’all! I think the slack I’m cutting myself and the tender, loving care I’m showering myself with is the best medicine I’ve ever taken. Yes, therapy has helped enormously (and in fact, without therapy I wouldn’t be questioning that mean voice in my head that shoulds all over me in the first place), but this one shift from trying to shame myself into being a “better person”, which makes self-care (or the lack thereof) a weirdly moral issue (which it is *not) to making all kinds of allowances for the way I *actually work* vs how I think I *should* work has changed everything.
This is how I talk to myself lately.
“No desire to shower? Sink bath! No time to cook? Pipin’ Hot Soup Company delivers! Pile of laundry in my line of sight? Pick it up and put it in the tub until I’m ready to do laundry! Body too tired and sore to wrangle the bedding? Change the pillowcases and the top sheet. Too many dishes to do all at once? Do them in shifts! Don’t have the emotional bandwidth to go on that outing? DON’T GO.”
And that’s progress, so I’ll take it.
P.S. This is TOMORROW! See you there.