Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
~ From: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
I don't know what it is about February, but it always seems to kick me to the curb.
I'll be cruising my way through January, committed to the spirit of renewal and all round healthiness - vowing to prepare food packed with nutrients and "clean," sodium, fat, and sugar free" ingredients - and, with gym pass in hand, vow to the Great Gods of Towanda I will never eat chip dip again.
And verily, it is good.
For a time.
But sometime between the 1st and the 5th of the month, I begin my slow descent to the world of self medicating with pie crust.
How do I know this?
Because I am a blogger and, as such, have publicly documented every mood, feeling, and meal I have partaken in since the year 2000.
Which has it's own psychiatric implications, I know, but conversely, can be quite handy in tracking one's life.
For example, around this time in February 2008 I wrote:
"The last couple of weeks I've run the emotional gamut from feeling "under the weather" to, right now, experiencing a full blown case of mid-February depression - with a side salad of health related anxiety, just because.
Among the many things about having the blues that bother me - not the least of which, feeling like Chicken Little 24/7 "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" is how sneaky they are.
One minute you're making statements like "2008 is going to be the ride of my life!" And the next, you're crab crawling across the kitchen floor because someone has come to the door unannounced and you don't want them to see you.
You haven't showered, brushed your hair, or left the house in three days, and not five minutes ago made a comment to Larry King that "the world is going to hell," before clicking over to the food network and opening a bag of chips.
As you hide from the offending door knocker, you work up a froth of seething rage that, in the moment, seems completely normal and not out of proportion to the event at all.
That, my friends, is depression. Or at least, what it looks on me.
Like an old pair of baggy grey sweatpants: Not the most flattering, but comfortable in an "I've stopped caring" kind of way."
In reading that, and other similar offerings, it strikes me my life has evolved into a series of well worn ruts and familiar roads - and that in order to move forward instead of sideways, I need to do something drastic.
"I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas."
I need to turn left when my inclination is to turn right. Go out when my desire is to stay in. And stop playing life's great game so safely.
Yes, a plan is good, but as a person who once "lived on all the edges there are" I fear I may have gone one step too far.
Last week I told somebody I work with that my greatest joy is in being at the office writing reports and evaluating programs, and after I said it, I wondered who I had become.
There was a time when I would have given ANYTHING to have the career I do - but now that I have it, the most the interesting, challenging, and meaningful aspects of what I do are the ones most feared and the least appreciated.
I have dared to touch my dreams and instead of reveling in the miracle of it, I have allowed myself to move sideways.
(when I want to turn left, I must remember to turn right. when I begin to feel stress, I must turn it around and find the joy...)
Gratitude for what is.
Peace for what isn't.
And so it goes.
But it does beg the question: Is real change possible?
Once we know where our ruts are, can a left turn create a brand new path?
I'm not entirely certain, but I'm willing to begin the walk...
In honour of that, today's recipe is one from 2008 for Apple and Cheese Muffins - a recipe I loved but haven't made in ages.
I have a huge bowl of granny smith apples kicking around that I have to use and I'm thinking about a "baking as meditation" evening in order to do that.
These are very, very good and I hope you enjoy!
Apple Cheese Muffins
For printable recipe click here
- Non stick spray or oil to grease the muffin pans
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 2/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup chopped apple
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- Preheat oven to 375F, prepare muffin pans with non-stick spray or oil.
- Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; beat well.
- Sift flour, soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture.
- Stir in oats, apple, cheese, nuts, mixing well.
- Add milk last. Spoon into pans and bake for 20-25 mins or until done. Makes18 muffins