My husband and I got into a fight last night. It was a pretty good sized one, but that isn't very common for us. An argument of that caliber usually happens once or twice a year I'd say. We have since made up, but I still felt angry and on edge. I needed something to help me wind down, relax, and let go. Today I decided to call upon my kitchen to help calm myself and find my center again.
When I get upset, whether I'm sad, frustrated, angry, hurt...I find myself gravitating towards my kitchen for comfort. Not to eat, but to cook! It's kinda like when I enter this peaceful room...everything negative I was holding onto just melts away. My kitchen in a way, is like my therapist. It doesn't give me the answers on how to solve my problems. Instead, it gives me the tools I need to figure things out. The bigger the emotion I'm trying to work through, the bigger the meal tends to be. Today...it's pot roast! (I haven't quite figured out what's for desert though) Yeah, our fight was a doosey. LOL!
Cooking/ baking is a release for me. Maybe it's all the chopping (out aggression). Or perhaps the measuring. You have to have a clear head and steady hand. I don't have too much time to dwell on negativity because I need to complete the task at hand. If I did dwell, I could lose count of measurements, or worse... chop off a finger! It forces me to let go. :o)
Perhaps, it's the satisfaction I get from putting all of this effort into such a feast. The beauty of the ingredients sitting together in their respective pots. The colors and aromas are a wonderful thing to behold. Maybe it's the calming sounds of the simmering liquids and the whistling steam. It's the look of the finish product. The taste of my efforts that don't go unnoticed. The feel of the delicious food in my mouth sends a pleasing signal to my brain. The look of satisfaction on my family's face when what I've made hits the spot. It's a treat for all of the senses.
Even if what I'm making doesn't seem to turn out quite the way I wanted it to, I am able to clearly and without harsh judgment reflect on what could make this even better the next time around. The kitchen doesn't argue with me. It doesn't give me it's thoughts. It is just simply there, listening quietly to what I have to tell it. It's there with everything I need to cook my way through my thoughts and feelings. It's there when I have successes and failures. It lets me know when I need to calm down and take a step back. Take my time. Otherwise, there will only be charred remains of the once promising meal. Don't get me wrong, I cook when I'm happy too. I get the same sense of calm when I do. However, when I'm mad or on edge it's just such a nice release. It keeps my hands, and my mind busy. It gives me the time I need to just be able to let go!
When I come out of the kitchen, I feel like a new woman. All of the stress and negativity is washed away. My face becomes soft. My mood becomes light. Happy with being able to let go and move on. :o) Maybe my romanticized view of my kitchen is strange to some... or some can relate. I just know it helps me find my center. It's my "happy place" :o)
What are some things that help you wind down or let go?