When I was feeling overwhelmed by life a few years ago, a dear friend suggested to me that even spending ten minutes on a task which seemed unsurmountable could be helpful.
I was feeling very teary and lacking motivation the other day because of a virus, thankfully not Covid. I had had a low Moodscope score for a few days too.
I decided to put my friend’s advice into action this week, thinking even ten minutes off the couch would be good. I selected a little task that had been staring me in the face for a couple of years, a messy box full of my late mother’s recipes. It seemed overwhelming. Over time I had crammed into the box, in no particular order, numerous printouts of favourite recipes from internet sites I had used, when particular foods in the fridge or larder needed using up.
I spread the mess out on the kitchen table. I wrote up several of my recipe printouts on recipe cards and filed them, alongside my mother’s existing recipes she had written out years ago – starting in the nineteen fifties - on cards she had dated and filed alphabetically.
A variety of emotions welled up in me. Yes, I felt grief at her passing years ago, but also pride in her achievements as a homemaker and her loving, caring nature. I felt close to her when I touched her handwriting: the cards were still floury from being handled while she was baking. I had a wonderful taste memory of her coffee cake and remembered how good it was to come home to cake and tea after school. Writing up my own recipes brought back happy memories of meals shared with friends.
Ten minutes stretched out into an hour or two, over a few days, and I finally finished the last bit of writing and filing this morning. I also tore up recipes I had downloaded which hadn’t been a success. They didn’t spark joy, so they were put in the recycling bin! (Thanks, Marie Kondo.)
I feel so good about having got a little bit of something done. I also feel that this little box is more than a recipe collection, it’s a treasure house of memories. I am sure you may have a similar little task that would help you find your way out of a dark mood, even if it is something as simple as pruning a much loved rose bush, or reading one chapter of a book on your bedside table. One thing leads to another, and soon you have a rejuvenated garden, or a smaller book pile by the bed. What works for you?
A Moodscope member.