Archives for posts with tag: learning new skills

Most details of this delightful love I share with my Traveling Partner play out in our kitchen. Discussions about recipes, cooking techniques, taste preferences, costs and sources of various ingredients, and sharing suggestions, tips, and offering practical help, or even just hanging out to watch and share the experience, are all very commonplace happenings here. We both cook. He’s quite good at it. I’m a perpetual novice, tackling every new recipe as if cooking for the first time. I’ve learned quite a lot from my partner, in our kitchen. Even subtler nuances of love play out in our kitchen; how our dynamic works (or doesn’t, now and then), the search for balance, mutual autonomy, mutual respect, and the way our obvious fond regard for one another eases the strain of occasional conflict. How to communicate. How to follow instructions. It’s all in the kitchen.

I personally have a strange mixed up relationship with “the kitchen”. In my childhood, this was the place women gathered – or were directed towards. “Real chefs” were respected in the world… women in the kitchen were not. I have a lingering fuck-ton of baggage about misogyny, the kitchen, feminism, equality, and what it means to be a woman in the kitchen, in American life. All mine. I don’t think my partner shares that garbage (he’s no doubt got his own to deal with), and this too becomes part of the theater of life – and the kitchen.

…I do love cookbooks. This may seem odd considering my strange relationship with the kitchen and with cooking. I long resented the dishes (as in “dirty, in the sink”) as emblematic of servitude, for like… decades. No idea when I got over that… I think it was when I realized that it was my own desire for order that drove my stress about the dishes, that I was finally able to put some of that down and walk on from it. I even like cooking. I like taking ingredients and making them something more than they once were – something worth sharing, and experiencing. The effort has meaning and value, when I allow myself to wholly enjoy the outcome, authentically, honestly, and fearlessly. I mean – let’s be real here – I’m not the most fantastic cook on the block. lol I’ve got a lot to learn, and mistakes have been made. 🙂 I’ll probably enjoy learning more about cooking for a long while to come.

I’ve learned a few things in the kitchen, in this relationship, and not just recipes or gadgets. I’ve learned more about “the dance” of lovers in close quarters working on separate tasks; kitchens are often small confined spaces, and in some cases even two people is one person “too many” for ease and convenience. Coordination becomes relevant. Communication is important. Acceptance, and understanding, and the assumption of positive intent keep things merrily moving along toward a successful, hopefully tasty conclusion. 🙂 There are some really useful lessons to be learned in the kitchen.

Friday I said I wanted to work on my pancakes this weekend. They’re okay. Not “great”. They’re perfectly good pancakes, but not such that anyone is going to ask me to make them. LOL So, okay. I made pancakes yesterday. Re-learned the lesson that is “make sure your surface is hot enough before you start cooking the pancakes”. Important lesson there. 🙂 In the evening, I remembered my plan to make pancakes and spoke up about my intention to do so again today for breakfast. My partner’s reply? “Waffles?”. Yep. I learned to make waffles pretty well last year, around this same time, I think. At that time, my Traveling Partner was kind, and very clear about it “I don’t really like waffles, but…” he was totally open to supporting my efforts by eating waffles now and then. He just didn’t want me to be disappointed if he just wasn’t wowed by waffles. I appreciate expectation-setting, especially when done with such care and love. I made the waffles. They were “okay”. We ate them. I made more waffles, and the next time or two they were beyond “okay” – we ate those, too, obviously. My waffles are pretty good. Good enough to freeze any excess and using them as homemade freezer waffles for later. lol My partner asks me to make waffles – because my waffles are fucking delicious. 😀 There’s a lesson here. There’s a metaphor here. I think it over and sip my coffee.

Soon, it’ll be time to begin again. In the kitchen. Making waffles. Feeling loved.

The family arrived home yesterday much earlier than I expected. It was a happy homecoming of tired travelers, making the pot roast dinner in the slower cooker a welcome touch for later. It was a relaxed afternoon, and a pleasant end to the weekend.

Late in the evening I felt a touch restless, and my pain was aggravating me; I went for an evening walk. It was well-timed…for a duck, or a goose, perhaps, or some other sort of waterfowl; I got as far from the house as I intended to go, and the skies opened and it just poured down rain. I returned home utterly soaked – and laughing. It didn’t do my arthritis a bit of good, but I felt revived and refreshed, and delighted – like a child – with the sensations of it.

I crashed fairly early, slept fairly poorly, and woke in pain this morning. Somehow, I am still merry and content. Love is amazing stuff. My coffee is delicious, and as a treat I bought some almond milk creamer for my morning coffee, making this Monday morning seem just a little unusual. I’m still groggy and waking is coming slowly. I woke quite easily at 11:11 pm, after crashing early. I woke again, quite easily, at 2:52 am. Pain? Some other member of the household moving about in the night? There was no anxiety or distress, no need to fight off some stray attack by my own brain; it was simply night, and something woke me. In both cases, I returned to sleep with relative ease using meditation and breathing. As I opened my eyes in response to the aquarium light coming on with a quiet ‘click’, the alarm started to beep. I shut it off. I’m still trying to wake up completely.

What a lovely weekend. I enjoyed me. I enjoyed life. I enjoyed fellowship. I enjoyed love. I also enjoyed pot roast; my best one so far, I think.

It could be that I’m figuring out some of the changes with sex, love, sensuous connection, and intimacy that have come with menopause… I don’t actually know. I know the weekend felt natural and lovely, and that from a physical perspective it also felt nurturing, satisfying, and complete. This morning, that’s very much ‘enough’, and I don’t find myself making emotional demands on love’s future performance-to-goal; neither love nor Love take kindly to direct supervision, and are unlikely to accede to mortal demands. It’s pretty pointless to make a To Do List for Love and start insisting on things. (Inventing systems of thought and rules for loving hasn’t done much to improve humankind’s ability to love, or success with finding and keeping it, just saying.)

A few words on a pleasant Monday. I’m glad love has returned home. Today is a very good day for love.

Mmmm...Love, love, and loving.

Mmmm…Love, love, and loving.