I just haven’t been inspired this week to cook anything interesting, and nothing I have cooked has inspired me to share the results with you. I could chalk up my lack of interest to an off week, but I think it has more to do with my increasing workload and stressload as we gear up for an important presentation and deadline next month.
To be fair, work has not risen to the same stress levels as when I first started this blog while on a stress-induced leave of absence. I credit that to changes I have made for myself rather than to fundamental changes in my work environment, though. I had to learn how to distance myself from work so that I didn’t internalize the unpredictable, frustrating aspects of it. I had to develop a plan that would help me cope better with work stress and remain productive at my job, which involved telecommuting and scaling back my responsibilities. Finally, I introduced methods to help me manage my work better and set firmer boundaries to prevent “work creep” — when your assignments and expectations balloon beyond the reasonable without your quite knowing how it happened.
Lately, though, I’ve been confronted more than usual with how frustratingly nonsensical the bureaucratic world can be, particularly where nonprofits and governments are concerned. I can’t give specific examples, and your eyes would probably glaze over if I did. Let’s just say that it’s like playing a game in the pitch dark and nobody’s told you the rules, and just as you’re making some progress, all the rules change without warning or reason.
With the way my world’s been lately, I need to retreat to my kitchen more than ever. That’s where I feel relaxed, creative and like I’m truly accomplishing something worthwhile. But the irony is that I will have less time and opportunity to get into the kitchen and revitalize myself. I have to travel quite a bit over the next few weeks for work, so all I’m probably going to be able to focus on is fitting in one or two nice restaurant meals without putting on any stress pounds. So my postings will become even less frequent, sad to say.
I’m looking forward to:
- May, when this craziness should subside
- paging through my new issue of Cook’s Illustrated, which arrived yesterday
- planting vegetables this summer
- planning our vacation to (I’m hoping) Montreal for some fabulous food