It’s been an unfortunate week and I am very glad that it’s almost over.
Every week has the chance to be great, but this one missed the boat. Time and success slipped away from me, so I focused on reducing the collateral damage. Damage control is hard work. It left me feeling breathless and anxious, running hard with no destination in site. Today was bad enough that I wrote the following haiku in an e-mail to Matt. (I love haiku.)
I want some good news
To announce itself loudly
If not, tears may flow.
I wasn’t reduced to tears, but there was a moment when I thought I might be. I powered through the rest of the day, eyes dry and head held high, and when I arrived home, I ran off my frustration in a springy new pair of running shoes with a storm brewing overhead. The sky’s angry energy mirrored my own, but I made it back to my front door dampened by just a drop or two of rain.
Buoyed by my apparent good luck (and so grateful I didn’t have to spend a single minute in a gym tonight!), I decided that dinner ought to be a calming affair tonight, a chance to reclaim my sense of civility and decency. Admittedly, the dinner menu was a little odd, but it comforted and nourished me as a good dinner should. I started with a flour tortilla, slicked on one side with olive oil. The other side was piled with a spicy tofu scramble and juicy roasted tomato halves. I grilled the tortilla over high heat in the new skillet that Matt gave me. While the heat was on, I tossed together a big salad of baby lettuce and ever-so-thinly sliced fennel, dressing them with olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
I dolled up the dinner table with a burning candle and one of my fancy water glasses. The salad bowl was placed off to my right, a tub of sour cream to my left. I brought my tostada to the table, poured cold water into my glass, and sat down. I even took a moment to say a little blessing in my head, knowing that gratitude is the best seasoning of all.
Then I ate. I dabbed a spoonful of sour cream on the tostada. Every mouthful was surprisingly delicious—the crispy flour tortilla, the spicy, slightly chewy tofu, the toothsome richness of the tomatoes. Though it was a “make do with what’s in the kitchen” supper, it certainly made for a pleasant meal. The salad was refreshing, even though I thought that I’d added too much oil to the salad bowl. It tasted just right to me, and the fennel was a delight with its faintly exotic licorice notes. Fennel is such a wonderful palate cleanser that it’s becoming a regular in my vegetable crisper.
For dessert, I turned to what is for me the ultimate comfort food: cold cereal. I’d already had two desserts today (a square of shortbread and a slice of Daine’s yogurt cake, both of which were excellent), and though I wanted something sweet, I wasn’t in the mood for a proper dessert. Instead, I dug into the pantry and pulled out a box of Nature’s Path Optimum Blueberry Cinnamon cereal and a half-empty bag of Arrowhead Mills Puffed Corn cereal. Into a too-small mug I poured equal parts blueberry cinnamon and puffed corn cereal and gave the whole thing a good pour of milk. Then, because I was so greedy, I proceeded to get cereal all over my table and myself trying to dig my spoon into the bottom of the mug. The whole thing, including the mess I made, pushed all the right buttons and I ended dinner feeling like something had at last been made right in my world.