You know how people talk about how they didn’t realize just how sick they were until they got better? That’s kind of how I’m feeling right now except it was stress rather than being sick, though they are related. Since being on vacation for less than a week I’m feeling more like myself and realizing just how far from feeling like myself I had felt.
I noticed it the most today when I was cooking lunch for myself. I was making some pasta salad using fresh vegetables, mostly from the Farmer’s Market and some herbs from my garden. I was enjoying the sun streaming in through the kitchen window as I cut up the vegetables. It took me a moment to realize that I used to cook like this for myself all the time and that I hadn’t been doing that much this year. I hadn’t been taking pleasure in the simple task of cooking and eating good food. There were moments when I did during the school year, but everything felt so rushed and there was always a stream of thoughts about school running through my head.
This was a stressful year; my most stressful year even. I feel I can say that without exaggeration. In both my personal life and work life nothing has come close to this. Even living on my own in Scotland, even the time when I didn’t have a job and was worried about how I would be able to have enough money to survive, was not as stressful. I think it’s mostly that those moments of stress were short-lived, however huge at the time.
Now that I’m on vacation I’m back to gardening more, back to cooking and eating more mindfully, back to spending more time with my husband and our cats, back to reading whenever I want for however long I want. I want to get back to writing more this summer as well.
My husband played a show for Canada Day yesterday and near the end I saw a whole herd of my former students, mostly from my pre-intensive classes. I was so happy to see them. I will miss them very much. But for now, I’m happy to be back to me.