I’m conscious of the fact I haven’t blogged for ages. Last weekend, though, was a whirlwind of birthday celebrations for my now Mr.5! (Photos still to follow.)
However here we are at the end of the week, and I’m left wondering where it actually went. Do you ever get that feeling? I feel it rather too often.
It’s been one of those weeks where life isn’t difficult as such, but is comprised of small first world problems that seem to add up. Like the dishwasher breaking down. Reschuffling kids’ playdates. Leaving my mobile phone at home. Mr.2 picking up conjuctivitis at daycare. Traipsing around Melbourne collecting things bought off eBay (ok, so that one was self-inflicted.)
It’s these sorts of weeks where, despite being fully aware these issues are minor and I should just build a bridge, I can find myself getting a little narky. Hello, Grumpy Mummy.
Cue the rituals that bring me back to a more centered place! Aside from lying on the sofa watching Masterchef with dark chocolate & tea, there are two things that never fail to instil me with calm. They work like magic.
Those two things are exercise, and baking. I know that sounds a little contradictory, but it’s not the eating of the baked goods, mind you – but the baking process itself. (Although any good cook always samples the end result.)
The other day my lovely neighbour lent me “Poh’s Kitchen”, a cookbook. I enjoyed Poh’s show on TV, as did Mr.5 – he loved watching it. I like her book, too – and after reading the introduction, I liked it even more.
Poh explains that she feels the need to bake at least every second day, otherwise she starts feeling a “bit out of sorts”. She draws a comparison with exercise “freaks” who have to get their regular fix from working out.
I am the same with baking. For a long time now, unless I make a batch of cookies or cupcakes, or a nice banana cake (ooh how I miss making those!) a few times a week, I get sort of edgy. But as soon as I start measuring out flour, sugar..whisking egg, milk and vanilla together..switching on the electric mixer, I swear my blood pressure drops below normal. Those niggling first world problems of mine? Gone. The methodical process of baking something sweet, for me, is almost as relaxing as getting a good massage. Is that weird?
The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook came to my rescue this week
My other calming ritual is exercise. Certainly not as freely available at the moment in the middle of winter, but even just a thirty minute walk can do the trick. Exercising outdoors works best for me. The icy wind that smacks you in the face of a morning, although initially off-putting, does a world of good.
So besides massages, hot baths, scented candles, and yoga, do you have any other calming rituals that help you get through a trying week? I’m all ears – the more tricks I have up my sleeve, the better!