I’m Giving Myself a Lunch Break
I put my pen down from my task before looking at my work in admiration. I finished it! A project that I procrastinated on and wanted to accomplish for quite some time was complete. I smiled at myself, beaming in my accomplishment. I’m giving myself a lunch break, I thought to myself. That will be my reward.
With legs sore from sitting criss-cross in my office chair, I stood up and stretched. I opened the sliding door to let a fresh breeze run through my home. Seagulls cawed noisily in the background. My music added to the ambiance as I began to pull the pans from the cupboard. I filled the pot with hot water and added salt immediately to quicken the boil. Giddy with excitement, I dialed my mom as I opened the tomato sauce. I hung up when I heard her voicemail.
I added avocado oil and garlic to the pan before trying to call my best friend. I wanted to share my experience with someone. Be proud of me! I am making progress.
I hung up when I heard her voicemail, and then realized my garlic was burning. Shrugging, I poured the whole tomatoes into the pan before smashing them.
When I worked at a corporate office, I could receive immediate feedback on projects. Now, as a small business owner working from home, the satisfaction of conversation isn’t as accessible. I typically have to wait for affirmation, just like I have to wait for my pasta to boil. I thought of the conversation with my husband from the night before, when he asked me to repeat a Chinese phrase. “Mayo Nao Shur” my husband said to me. I tried to mimic his tones. “What does it mean?” I asked him. “It means ‘I have no patience,’” he said, laughing. I playfully hit his arm. “Yes, I do.” I pouted.
No I don’t. I have no patience, which is why I’m thinking that stirring the pasta will make it cook quicker and why I’m disappointed checking the timer. Sighing, I resort to looking at Instagram to pass the time.
My lunch was ready. Steam was coming off of the fresh noodles and chopped basil topped the sauce. I sprinkled pecorino and parmesan cheese into my bowl before excitedly taking a bite. On my lunch break, I added to my mental narrative. Alone, I savored the bite. Then I realized it was sour.
I pulled the cheese from the fridge to check the expiration date: 5/31/2019. I blinked and looked at it again. What month was it now? August? I spit out my food from my mouth and started laughing.
This is the process of a creative:
Want to do something
Something else goes wrong
I simply recognize that although I can create custom art pieces, I am not the strongest cook. I burn garlic, I scramble eggs in the pan (it works!), and I clearly don’t clean out my fridge often enough. I am not an expert in everything, but the things I train myself to practice, I do well.
It takes intentionality and time to succeed.
For me, and for now, that simply means: I’m giving myself a lunch break.