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David Hockney, 11th April 020, No. 1, iPad painting
Things I’ve made since I’ve decided to start cooking again last weekend: tomato sheet-pan chicken, Turkish eggs, avgolemono soup, and tonight’s avocado salad. I think the next thing is going to be a spicy rigatoni and maybe a chicken sandwich for lunch. I haven’t entered the “comfortable enough with my own cooking to have friends over yet” stage, but I hope to soon cross that threshold.
It’s been around three years since I’ve last cooked regularly (I’ve made things here and there… mostly to prove I’m still able to), but I was recently reminded of the rewards of cooking for yourself. There’s something entirely unwholesome about surviving off takeout sushi and pasta from Rich Table, which is how I operate when I’m left to my worst instincts.
Getting started again was easy. I asked S to send over a breakfast recipe. I bought all the kitchen supplies I was missing on Instacart, and I’ve made about five trips to the grocery store in the past few days. The cooking itself involved following very easy instructions. Presto, bingo. I was left with the obvious question… why did I stop doing something I know how to do, and like doing, for multiple years?
I had the same question when I went for a run in the park this afternoon. I like running, and I am happiest when I run a few times a week. And yet I hadn’t run once in the past three weeks. I’d been traveling, and then I’d come back, and then it was hard to start again. This morning I kept thinking: I need to run. And then I thought: but not now. It took about three hours of mental wrestling for me to change into shorts. But once I started I couldn’t remember why I didn’t want to do it.
So many things in life are like that. It’s really, really easy to fall out of a routine. I stopped cooking because I moved to New York and we were trying lots of new restaurants and S was always the more dedicated chef anyway. And then it was intimidating to start again. Any kind of change is always intimidating.
I care a lot about being conscientious proportional to my level of anxiety. As in, I certainly have friends who are way way more diligent about exercise and deadlines and cleaning their apartment than I ever will be, but they also score high on Big Five neuroticism. I think the challenge is basically how can you keep your life in good order without being anxious? My answer: