Until about a year ago I was wildly devoted to my career. I traveled a lot, had a crazy commute, and loved every challenge…until I didn’t. It’s funny how life does that, isn’t it? It keeps you speeding along like a bullet with no chance of stopping yourself and then suddenly you hit a wall and can’t figure out what you were speeding toward to begin with.
I realized that I was not home enough, that my husband and dog had taken the backseat, and that I had given up one of my absolute favorite rituals: cooking dinner. Sure, there were plenty of nights when I was home at a reasonable time to begin cooking, but I was never prepared and I was always exhausted. Thus, the avid home cook became the “where should we go for dinner” person, and we ended up in that holding pattern for quite some time.
Fast forward to a small career downshift that gave me a bit more room to breathe, followed by the decision to change fields all together. This March I was given a start date with an organization where I would genuinely be helping people in my community and then…you probably guessed it…Covid-19 came a knockin’ and everything ground to a halt. I went from longing for work/life balance to an absolute void of routine.
Sure, I began doing yoga again, and the house is quite clean and the pets were being spoiled but there was not a lot of purpose for me, for my days. It wasn’t until I was power-cleaning the kitchen, the tiny kitchen that I had spent minimal time in for two years, that I realized I finally had time to cook. I began calling around to friends with small businesses, ordering bits of kitchen equipment and digging through my cookbooks looking for challenges. We went from going out five or six nights a week to sitting at our small table enjoying fresh pasta, handmade tortillas, poke bowls, and countless other creations. I began developing my own recipes and versions of dishes, challenging myself to batch after batch until I got it right. We sat at the table again, instead of in a dark restaurant or on our couch, and we shared meals and stories. This site, my instagram, my ability to take a culinary course from my kitchen and my reconnection with my partner were all silver linings in an otherwise very dark time in the world, and I am entirely grateful to have been able to grow something in a time of such uncertainty.