Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Glad to start a new year mealtime blues
I successfully cooked three large dinners on the holidays: Thanksgiving, Mom's b-day and Christmas. I always think I won't be able to carry off a dinner, but I did. Then I proceeded to completely ruin two meals last week. To restore my faith in my cooking self, I baked cookies y'day and roasted a chicken, something I have confidence that I can do.
I would like to eat the main meal at noon but can't convince Mom to do that. It's the auyervedic way-- to give you energy during the day when you need it and also to give your stomach time to digest the food during the day rather than at night when you sleep. I have eaten that way for several years until I came here to stay 3 months ago. It works very well for my bodily system.
Meanwhile Mom goes to bed as soon as dinner is over. That would be about 5pm. Dinner is at 5pm by mutual agreement though for years she made Dad eat at 4pm(her preference). She eats a dabble of yogurt for lunch and then is starving by 4pm and pacing back and forth while I cook. "My diabetes requires that I eat now," she says. If the meal is one I know will only take me a short time, and I work on the computer after 4pm she wheels her squeaky walker past me, and I swear shakes it so the thing thumps, like it's saying get a move on, I'm hungry.
Cooking time has become difficult for me. I anticipate her restlessness and my stomach gets all in knots. Those of us who had children may recall something similar when the kids were little and hungry and you just got back from work and are trying to cook and feed the cats etc all at the same time. Mom reminds me of a little kid in this respect. Like is she afraid I'll not feed her and leave her to starve and have a diabetic attack???
Of course, on one level I understand her anxiety around meals. She was the eldest daughter of 13 children, had lots of responsibilities around sibling care at a young age. They were very poor so hungry a lot of the time. Mealtime holds a lot of "stuff" to it for her I think from those early years.
Not sure what the resolution to this is though I know it lies with me. Somehow I just need to continue cooking and not get hooked into anxiety around Mom's anxiety. But sometimes I feel I'm purposely dawdling around the cooking (although the meal has never been later than 5pm, I know mom hopes I will get it done early and sometimes it does cook itself to completion earlier however some of that is in my control and some is in the stove, pan, meat or whatever)because I do not like to be "pressured" by another person to perform in some certain way or in some certain time-frame.
Mom was once a nurse and I've noticed nurses seem to do things by the clock. As opposed to realizing that the flow of life has its own time frame. For our holiday meals, a couple times they did take about 15 minutes longer than the one o'clock time I suggested. There is no "ish" in Mom's mind. No oneish for the meal. It is one or else you are considered to be "late."
I spent a lot of years trying to rework my clock oriented self and allow myself to listen to my and the universes inner time flow and so I guess it grates to be set up against a mind that expects things to happen by a schedule as opposed to-- we try for the schedule as a framework but life and other things sometimes results in the schedule being different from the one we THOUGHT would work.
I know Im rambling and also this may not be an upbeat topic for the new year however this has been on my mind so I have done this "diary" post to get it off my mind.