Monday, September 21, 2015

Baking My Cares Away

Next stress-relieving project? Baking the perfect coconut cake. Image found here. 

I was grocery shopping with my friend Susan Saturday. I was having a low energy day so was zipping around in the store scooter shopping cart.

"Well look at you!" Susan laughed. "You're pretty good on that thing."

I was making figure eights around her in the produce section. Good thing it had wide aisles. I told her that I had years of practice and after wiping out an entire display of Foster Grant sunglasses awhile back, I had sharpened my scooter skills.

As I zipped over to the frozen foods, my skirt fluttering in the breeze (I may have learned better maneuvering skills, but this didn't mean I had learned the value of slowing down any), it occurred to me that any bit of embarrassment on my part when I used store scooters had vanished. Completely. Nada.

I think this is a huge step in my struggle towards acceptance of the chronic nature of autoimmune disease.

One small step. But I was also thinking about how far I still had to go in this adjustment journey, when Susan made an exceptionally insightful comment while we were examining the different brands of flour. I had been wondering aloud what my next baking adventure should be when she said,"So, I've noticed that you are really baking up a storm lately."

Sure have.

"Well, so...........whenever I feel anxious or stressed about something I do certain things. Like playing Solitaire compulsively on my computer. Or I shop a lot. Is baking that type of thing for you?"

I put the package of chocolate chips down.

Girl. You're so observant. Yep. Baking has always been a stress reliever for me. I've always been that way.

"So are you stressed out now? About anything in particular?"

Sigh. Well.........yeah. It seems that every now and then I need to cycle through a really high anxiety period about the future and me and my dumb stupid disease. Like, when our friend became a grandmother? I was very happy for everyone, really. But I began thinking ahead to the time when hopefully I will hold my own grandchild in my arms. What if I am asked to babysit and I have an energy crash? And John isn't there? And something bad would happen to the baby? Or.....

Susan put her hand on my arm. "Oh, gee. Yeah, I can see why that would worry you."

Thanks, girl. It's just one of those things. We smiled at each other and moved on to find the next item on our shopping lists.

Later at home, I thought about what Susan had said. She was right on target. I DO find real stress relief in my kitchen. I think it's because when I'm baking something, I find such pleasure in exploring recipes and making ingredient lists, and then slapping on my apron and rolling up my sleeves.

And, of course eating whatever I pull out of the oven. Yum.

Most of the time I'm successful in my quest for yumminess. And being successful at SOMETHING is a good thing. A very good thing. An anxiety-reducing thing.

Someday I'll be baking cookies for my grandchildren. Excellent cookies.

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