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Calm down dear: 5 things I have or have not been stressed by this week

  • Having to wear brown tights with a black sweater today, owing to a Laundry Situation. Twitter poll reassures me that this is totally fine (OBVIOUSLY I asked Twitter, obviously) but I still find it extremely Rong and am stressed at having to leave the house like this. Even knowing that literally nobody cares what I’m wearing anyway. Even having a very very low bar, sartorially speaking. Stressful!
  • Max’s birthday cake situation on Saturday. I always bake a Queen of Sheba flourless chocolate cake for the family birthday fest, because of gluten intolerance, and it’s completely easy and delicious and fine. But Max particularly wanted a layer cake. And I’ve done this as a layer cake twice before and it was completely easy and delicious and fine. But THIS time, I had Issues. Every attempt to smooth the sides with the icing crumb coat resulted in more of the sides falling out. I retained enough sanity to hand over to Armin before having an absolute meltdown, and he did a fine job of smooshing it back into place; he didn’t even try to add more icing, so the whole thing looked a lot messier than I would have considered acceptable, but it was still probably completely fine to an outside perspective, and obviously better than a cake that had literally collapsed, so it’s all good, right? But STRESSFUL.
  • Fighting with a knitting chart yesterday. I was trying to design a really very simple stitch pattern but the geometry of it is never as clear to me as it should be, and my copy of the software seems to be buggy, and I thought I might try doing a quick rough-up of the design in a different program but THAT turned out to be harder than expected also (drawing programs make me cry, they just do, it is known), and did I mention all of this was happening while the kids were playing with Max’s extremely loud new toy in the extremely non-noise-absorbing lounge, with no closable doors between them and me? Yeah. (Noisy toy has since been moved to his bedroom, much better.) It’s the kind of thing I have no business being stressed by, because this is only my hobby, but (a) I am so close to being ready to submit this potentially quite cool design idea on deadline, so it would be a real shame to not make it, and (b) knowing that what I was trying to do was actually really simple and yet (given the noise etc) my brain just absolutely could not focus and DO IT made me feel, again, like I was falling apart and not coping with anything and motherhood had ruined my life and all that ridiculousness. Anyway, I got it done, it’s fine, I didn’t cry, but STRESSFUL.
  • However, as I continue driving A around when necessary, stress on that front is lessening. (Have we covered this? He is one-handed, I drive, he hates my driving, I hate his bossiness, ughhhh.) He’s getting used to my driving style, and to ceding control, which I think he finds extra hard given how much he has to submit to being helped with everything in his temporary disability. I’m getting used to the routes and to being bossed, and even quite enjoying the morning light. So, not being stressed by something that I do normally find stressful is pretty great and soothing in itself.
  • Also enjoying a sense of calm on the whole “what’s this shitty year going to bring” front. Pleased to report I’ve been keeping my two resolutions easily (get outside, tidy desk before bed) and yes, they make things better. And beyond that I really don’t want anything from 2020. Literally nothing. I just want to practise being kind to myself and enjoying the fact that where I am is completely ok. Also it would be great if people would stop saying encouraging things about how I’ll surely get a job soon, because really I don’t care any more and can they please also not care, but their intentions are good, so.

#52recipes 1-3: off to a great start with (1) this fish/potato thing baked in mayonnaise, from Diana Henry’s book Simple; an obvious kid pleaser and very delicious (sorry for the Torygraph link). (2) “Ideal” chocolate muffins from James Morton’s How Baking Works; love the book’s teaching style, but these were underwhelming. Almost certainly my fault, I’ll try them again with the full quantity of sugar and replacing only half the milk with yoghurt; I’ve got recipes I adore for fruity muffins but not yet for chocolate… And (3) this pasta al limone. I’ve made that dish before but not from this recipe, which I reckon really is the best. I made this last night for A and I while the kids had even plainer pasta: just with butter and Aromat! Special birthday request. Go figure. 

2 thoughts on “Calm down dear: 5 things I have or have not been stressed by this week

  1. Black + brown: On my first day of a new job three years ago, I had thought about what to wear for my first day as if it were grade school. Blue dress, brown leather boots. Had to drive an hour to another city to get to the HQ for orientation and was more used to a bike commute so my whole morning routine was off. Rushed, excited, all of that.

    I got to the other city, parked and started walking. My stride felt funny so I looked down and realized I was wearing one brown boot, one black boot. The heel heights were close but not identical.

    Almost all of my new coworkers were polite enough not to say anything. Almost.

    1. Oh man. Ohhhhhh. Did you try to pass it off as an assertion of individualism? A cunning test of perceptiveness? Or just “shit, I got dressed in the dark”?

      One time a colleague spent the WHOLE DAY apologising for his tie with that “I got dressed in the dark” line. It was a silly tie (picture of a horse race or something), but honestly, I wouldn’t have paid it any attention if he hadn’t made so much fuss!

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