Rice to Meet You!

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What this seemingly serene photograph belies upon sight is just how much is hidden underneath. I had been sitting in the kitchen with the day’s first cup of joe to prep all of dinner’s ancillary (but critical!) ingredients. I finished and had on one cutting board all of the minced garlic, onion, celery and jalapeno last night’s jambalaya required. It was all just about to go in a pan together as the meal’s first defense of flavor, running a delicious reconnaissance to ensure the proper endgame for any meal.

CRIME SCENE PHOTO

CRIME SCENE PHOTO

Why did I decide to get the rice down from the cupboard instead of first, like any system of logic would ascribe, moving the items on the cutting board? I’ll never know the answer to that question.*

I’d been having kind of a rough morning, and after moving from counter-to-counter in the kitchen I needed to stop, sit, and face one direction for a few minutes instead of getting a 10lb container of rice from the top of the cupboard.

This is how we learn.

I am grateful that when my hands failed it was over the table and not over the actual floor. Because, y’know, sweeping.

I am grateful that I had finished prepping things because using knives for anything would be counterintuitive at this point.

I mean, don’t think me an angel. The moment this happened, I said aloud “Oh… no” and walked back to the bedroom for five minutes to lay down and reconsider through a profound dizziness what needed to happen for dinner to succeed, and how much I could physically do to both make that happen and to clean up that GD rice.

The world will not end if I don't wash these dishes today. LouLou is certain the world will end if I don't open the window and let him in so I can let him out the front door in five minutes.

The world will not end if I don’t wash these dishes today. LouLou is certain the world will end if I don’t open the window and let him in so I can let him out the front door in five minutes.

I had gone into the kitchen intending to get dinner started, wash some dishes and maybe throw a quick loaf of banana bread into the oven. Instead I found myself mourning a pound of brown Basmati rice, the number of dishes left dirty within the mess, and my good intentions. Therapy from long ago (PTSD is a bear, amirite?) has made friends with imagination and I know to envision an actual stop sign. Any stop sign. Maybe the one at the end of the block, maybe just a fine, towering sans serif of the word STOP… however it works.**

I went back down the hall and immediately snapped some photos to text my wife. I sat and did that. I took a few deep breaths and began moving slowly.

IMG_20141012_164513178I am grateful that dinner still ended up being just as tasty as I’d originally hoped.

I am grateful that I didn’t realize how much rice was in my coffee until I finished the cup.

I am grateful to have gotten 90% of the dishes washed.

And I am grateful that when Cat got home, she made me sit down while she swept the kitchen floor.

*This question pales in comparison to most others on my daily plate, so in truth I will probably never think about this much other than to find a new place to store our heavy-ass rice container.

**Don’t worry, it didn’t work for me right away either — just keep trying. Retrain your anxious neurons!

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