Recently, the carefree, relaxed grad student life I was leading all summer long disappeared. I’m not entirely sure where it went, but I know that it was replaced with a constant need to do work and get things done. I go to bed at night totally exhausted and wake up the in the morning with a mind that is already plugging away at what needs to be done next. If I don’t make lists I find that I wander from one half done project to the next, always getting distracted by something else before I get a chance to finish what I had intended to do. It’s all good stuff–thesis, freelance writing, email answering in pursuit of more opportunities, but never in my whole life have I felt so constrained by only having 24 hours in the day.
This afternoon I intended to spend some solid time working on my thesis, but instead I came home and started playing with the veggies I had picked up earlier in the in morning at the farmers market. I sauteed chard with onions and garlic. I steamed string beans and tossed them with butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder. And I sliced up a huge heirloom tomato and ate it salted, in big hunks, with a napkin in hand. While it was nice to cook because it sated my hunger, it was also nice to let my brain shift into a different place, one that wasn’t so concerned with words and the turn of a phrase and instead cared about the sizzle of oil when the garlic was added and scent of the toasted sesame oil when added to the hot greens.
I ate while sifting through the Saturday and Sunday papers, wandering back into the kitchen to clean when my plate was empty. When the dishes were done and the counters wiped, I was ready to get back to my computer again.