This is my mantra of the moment. In the last two years I have experienced three of what psychologists deem to be the most stressful life changes.
2012, new relationship (after 15 years)
2013, new home (after 9 years)
2014, new job (soon, after 6 years) plus new home again
Interspersed among those were some pretty hairy events were easily a close fourth, fifth, and sixth. At some point along the way, I realized that I had been in survival mode for so long it had become my new normal. I was simply reacting to things that were happening to me, and became a pro at just dealing with them. What? What just happened? OK, yeah, here’s what we’re going to do about it.
At times like these, I especially value my day to day rituals. For me it can be as simple making a pot of morning coffee or walking my dog. It’s a daily time out that allows us to embrace the unpredictable. Perhaps it’s why in this hectic life, so many of us are drawn to cooking. It requires us to get out of our heads, stay in the moment, and not obsess over what was or what might be.
But change also fosters growth, and over the past two years I’ve learned the value of making deliberate choices instead of letting unexpected events force my hand. I have chosen to be in a healthy relationship, I have chosen to move to an apartment in a neighborhood I like, and I am choosing to seek not just a job but one that would be a good next step in my career.
So I spent all of last week moving yet again, this time to Manhattan. This is it kids, I’ve slowly worked my way west from Queens, to Brooklyn, to the borough that is arguably the internationally recognized metropolitan center of New York City. I discarded a lot more stuff in this move, but I still have my dog, my cookbooks, my favorite knives, tools, pots and pans to make it feel like home. And I still make a pot of coffee every morning, and walk my dog three times a day. As with most Manhattan apartments, the small kitchen is going to be challenging, but hey, I can deal.
Do you have any rituals and routines that help you stay grounded? Maybe instead it’s an object, like a favorite book, or a favorite place you always return to? I would love to hear about them.