things that feed my soul

I had one of those days yesterday. When one piece of bad news spirals into another and soon you wonder just WHAT the hell are you doing anyways!? Really something could have nothing at all to do with me and yet it sends me off this cliff of worry, self-doubt and demotivation. Suddenly I was very, very tired, and for the first time since I started working from home, I wanted to just lay down and take a nap in the middle of the day. I didn’t. There were rolls to shape, dinner to make, and deep in my heart, I knew that taking a nap wouldn’t solve anything (wouldn’t it be great if it could?) Wine later that night helped tremendously, as did going to bed early and calling it quits on that whole day. 

Working past this slump, not just an afternoon slump but what can feel like a career slump, is hard. It may last for days, weeks, or months. I think that’s why I love cooking. It gives my hands something to do that doesn’t involve clicks, taps or swipes. I can use all of my senses. I can see the results of my labor right away, and the benefits are food for my belly and my soul. Feeding others is immediate positive feedback. Offsetting a career in the (mostly) digital as a designer with something physical, like food and cooking really works for me. It feeds different parts of me. It keeps me from sitting in front of my computer talking to the screen saying “THIS is my life NOW?” (not really/kinda)

I can relate to that scene in that movie we all know. When the girl has a terrible day at work, and nothing is right, she makes a pie and can at least take a comfort in things like chocolate and eggs doing what they are supposed to. I think I have foods in my life like this, things that sort of give me an easy win. When I have slumps at work, I don’t usually attempt a fancy or involved recipe I haven’t made before. No, usually I go into my kitchen, pull out my favorite skillet, and start browning some meat or caramelizing some onions. These are the things I could do in my sleep, and usually I don’t bother to blog these things. They are just for me, for home, for recuperation. 

So yesterday I made an italian-style pork blade steak roast, rigatoni pasta with tomatoes and ricotta, spinach salad with homemade dressing, and Tracy’s Killer Garlic Bread. The garlic bread was actually something I have been wanting to make and last night was the first time. Joel said it was possibly the best garlic bread he has ever had in his life (he’s eaten a lot of my garlic bread, too.) It was just what I was craving, and it went perfectly with wine.  It was super easy to make! I did shoot these images for you this morning, so you could see how lovely the garlic bread is! 

garlic bread

After dinner, I started reading this book from Tsh Oxenreider. I fell into a deep sleep, and dreamed of the future. A good nights sleep helps me out of my slumps. In the morning I wake up with energy, ready to make my to-do list, continue to carve my own way, and take on whatever news that day brings with it. 

One of the things I want to get to help me work through some big projects this year is Elise’s Get to Work book! She worked with Portland’s Jolby and Friends  and I’m planning on ordering it soon. One of the best and most effective ways for me to move past self doubt, is just to get to work on something! Working through it usually shakes things loose and keeps me from taking that non-productive (though very enjoyable) nap.

How do you get past bad days? Do you like to work through them, or just say to hell with it?