In the course of the last 12 months of therapy I have learned how to be a better friend to myself and my Self. Believe me when I tell you that it is one of the hardest lessons to learn, after so many years to suppressing this relationship, putting others first, and shelving personal projects, some of which I eventually forgot about.
Sundays are my nostalgia days, when I treat myself to remaining at home in my pyjamas, enjoying the company of my cats, and pottering around the apartment. This particular weekend I need to detox emotionally and physically, having indulged a bit too much in copious amounts of food – Christmas-related events of course. Now that all the decorations are up, this oasis that I call home is a safe haven, the much needed anchor where I can safely fall apart and pick up the pieces, discarding those that are no longer suitable to carry around with me.
Although the end of the year tends to bring around a lot of sentimental thoughts, it is also a time to face up to some accountability and evaluate the past 12 months. Dividing my life into three main categories: Body, Mind, and Soul.
The decision to resume playing tennis is by far the best decision I made this year. Not only did it force me to take up a sport again, but it also re-introduced me to a much needed structure and strategy in approaching people and issues in my life. Consistency is the name of the game, along with timing and strength, but most importantly, control.
I have also learned to cook for one person and treat myself to good, healthy meals, putting in a lot of effort to breakfast or dinner. Starting over after the divorce and learning to cook only one person is difficult, and the loneliness of eating along at the table is crushing to the soul. But the body craves for basic nourishment and I have always enjoyed cooking.
Lesson: Cooking for one is easier to accomplish than baking for one.
It took me much longer to summon up the courage to bake for myself and give in to a craving or two. It would be so much easier to run to the bakery and buy some slices of cake or a pastry, but that would be cowardly, and the easy way out. So I started out with a chocolate cake, loaded it with chocolate chips for good measure, and drowned it with rum afterwards.
That was for the first Sunday of Advent.
This week I took things a step further and decided to give in to another craving: cinnamon rolls. I dislike the commercial cinnamon rolls with a passion. They are loaded with icing and so sweet that you can’t enjoy the bread or indulge in the cinnamon. It has been so long since I last baked these goodies that I completely forgot how much I dislike the yeast rolls, as they turn out heavy. So it was back to the drawing board for a recipe with baking powder instead.
As I lit the two Advent candles this morning, turned on the Christmas lights and the heady aroma of the cinnamon rolls in the oven wafted through the rooms, a sense of peace came over me. It suddenly didn’t matter that it was raining non-stop outside and the gusty wind howled eerily – the cats and I were safe and warm, and we have all made it through the turbulence of 2018.
To be continued…