Tuesday, May 3, 2016
I find myself getting the biggest sense of achievement from small repetitive tasks, and it seems as if I am only learning how to live now - I mean that on a big, philosophical level as well as in the most mundane sense. I have been an adult for long enough to have certain things figured out, but I keep catching myself thinking, if only I had started this ages ago. This evening I made a batch of granola and a tray of banana muffins, and I feel so prepared.
I am only getting the hang of meal planning and grocery shopping now. Having grown up in a household where nothing was wasted, I am always horrified when I read how much food people throw out in the West. I have always endeavoured to continue to live the way we did at home and generally succeeded at the not wasting part (if not the preparation), but during a recent crazy busy time we ate out a lot and ended up throwing out food, including a very black banana (this had never happened before. The one thing I can make in my sleep is banana bread). So now, with two trays emerging from the oven in one evening and an idea of what we are going to cook for the next few days (and nothing dying at the back of the fridge), I feel I have conquered this part of domesticity.
Buddhism tells us that tasks such as weeding or mowing the lawn teach you the point of pointlessness, and I am really enjoying that. I remember as a child when it dawned on me that the joy of having just washed my hair would not last very long before I would have to do it again, and again, and again, and the panic (some sort of existential angst) that I felt. I cannot quite claim that I have mastered a zen-like immersion in everyday tasks, but I do derive genuine pleasure from them most of the time. It's as though I have finally pushed aside that daunting mountain of 'shoulds' and 'to-dos' and am living in the moment more, for now at least.