On being alone & slowing down.

I like to be alone. I would go so far to say that I prefer to be alone.  Alone, I never have to apologize for diverted attention. Alone, I don’t have to entertain you.Alone is a luxury of uninterrupted thought and creative outpouring. Alone is where my best artwork comes from, and where my recipes find their balance. Alone is something that I miss quite a lot. Somedays it is so very hard for me to be present with the people around me. When an idea for a project or a recipe comes into focus its all I can do to restrain myself from bolting to start creating said idea. I have this insatiable need to create things in my every waking moment. While that might sound charming, it causes me so much anguish.

There are days when life steps out in front of the bus, so to speak, and demands my attention.

(and when I say bus, I mean bossy baby)

And then that pie has to wait, and that embroidery gets put off until tomorrow because its summer and the only clean laundry is long johns and  mismatched wool socks. The sewing I meant to do yesterday is waiting in a pile on my desk because the cat ate some flowers and is retching in various corners under the furniture. All the while the projects begin to build a mountain in my head until I feel like I’ll choke if I don’t get the ideas out and into their intended medium. This feeling, coupled with my already OCD tendencies, baffles a lot of people that’ve been close to me over the years. So many can’t understand why I get all crazy eyed and frantic when an idea comes into my head. I cannot say no. No matter how tired I am. I’ve been known to start a croquembouche at midnight because the idea popped into my head and I can’t get a moments rest until I work it out of my system.  Before my husband, not a single boyfriend I ever had could wrap their heads around this. Not only did they fail to understand, several tried to divert my attentions to them, which inevitably always marked the beginning of the end. This understanding makes me love him ferociously. He is the master of together but separate.Why is silence so hard with some people? He usually sits and reads while I work on (fill in the blank), the silence between us comfortable and soothing. We speak when we want to, but are quite happy to be together pursuing our interests separately. There are a great many things I love about him, but this is one of the most special to me.

Having a baby has thrown me for a loop. I won’t lie, somedays its so so so hard to put down the sketchpad or the whisk because she demands my full attention (and some entertainment should you mention it) and nothing else will do.Unless you’d like a demonstration of her full lung capacity, in which case, keep whisking. There are days when it is so hard for me to give up my to-do list in favor of doing a bunch of nothing with Willow. I’m trying to slow down, to soak in these days while I can, without work or the outside world demanding anything of me. As a chef, my life has been on my feet and fast fast fast for a really long time. Sometimes I forget that I don’t have deadlines, and hey I have the rest of the week off …get it? cause I’m a stay at home mom now, har har!! Someday when she’s all grown up, I’ll long for the days when I never got to be alone and she always wanted to play. For now, I’m putting off tweaking that pie*, and finishing eight sewing projects in favor of making some weird noises and reading fairy tales.  I’m reminding myself to slow down, to savor the moment because its only passing through. Instead of alone with my thoughts, I spend a lot of time alone with my daughter. And for the first time in my life, I am falling madly in love with togetherness and the company of my little family.

my favorite place to be alone* I am so close to finding the perfect pecan pie recipe. I’m so close to the perfect mixture of butter, sugar, bourbon and pecans. Many thanks to my friends, with have selflessly decided to help me on my quest by sampling many varieties.  Since I am a chef after all, you can expect to be seeing some cooking how-to’s soon along with some recipes very very soon. Beginning  with creating the perfect flaky pie crust (every time! impossible to over mix!!!)

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About Alexandra

Mother. Chef. Artist. I live in beautiful Portland, Oregon with my husband, Ben and our daughter, Willow. This is an account of our rambling adventures and a place for what's inspiring me right now.
This entry was posted in cooking, embroidery, family, motherhood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to On being alone & slowing down.

  1. Wow. This spoke to me. Especially the part about the pie. … just kidding … but seriously.

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