To stave off the looming sense of misplaced but still powerful depression I have been attempting to equal parts hide from and ignore, today I did two things. I built a cardboard playhouse for Ella and I baked banana bread.
First, the cardboard.
It was a diaper box from Amazon. It became a little enclosure complete with windows that open and close… and the best part, the thing I am the most proud of, are the door and window handles. I made them out of white yarn and they can be used to open and close the windows and doors from either the inside or the outside.
Ella is a bit too little to do much more than hang out in there… but we did have a lot of fun playing peek-a-boo through all the various windows.
I have a feeling that little J (the 18 month old I watch) will enjoy it on a whole other level.
And I’m anticipating that Olive is going to get a bit of use out of it as well.
Ok, on to baking.
I made banana bread from a recipe that I augmented. First I had to find a recipe that didn't call for eggs as we are out… and then I had to do something to make it my own. (I’m not the only one who does that right? Takes a totally fine recipe and decides to tinker with it during my maiden attempt.)
Anyway, I tinkered and baked and viola! Banana Bread Kay-Style!
|I'll type up my recipe later and post it on my cooking blog.|
I was trying to figure out what drew me to both of these activities, why they both seemed like good weapons against melancholy and apathy.
Here’s what I came up with:
1. They both involved problem solving, the need to exercise my brain in a way I haven’t been doing lately. Whether it was figuring out how to put handles on the doors and windows or what the appropriate thing to use instead of shortening (part applesauce and part margarine), this sort of problem solving was fun and challenging without being insurmountable.
2. They were both creative. Here! I can point, Here is what I made. No endless words and paragraphs with only the word counter to give me validation of not wasting my time… here there is tangible proof that I started with one thing and made another. I MADE this… and It was good!
3. Along with that, both projects provided a tangible goal, something to work toward and accomplish within a relatively short amount of time. I think that the monotony of my days is really getting to me. They all seem to blend together and I feel disconnected. Having a goal, a plan, and then knowing that I could o it (and do it pretty much by myself) was liberating in a way.
4. They were both fun! I shouldn't have to explain this one… but yeah. Fun. It can’t be overstated… especially when one is feeling generally blue and frustrated.
5. Maybe most importantly, they were both for other people. I have found, in the past, that shifting my focus away from myself and my problems onto someone else can help me feel better. Knowing that Olive, J, and even Ella, will get a bit of fun from the playhouse was a big motivator. And I had been trying to think of something sweet to do for my long suffering fiancé for a while… therefore dessert!
Anyway, I’m not a guru or anything. Hell, I’m not even close to the tree line in these here woods, but I do feel better and I hope that I can remember these things tomorrow or the next day or the next and utilize them in new and interesting ways.
I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with me… but today I feel a little bit more able to fight it.