A Return to the (New) Normal


This summer required a hiatus. Beyond regular 7-day workweeks and surviving the sweltering swamp that is Baltimore in the summer, we did a very adult thing — we bought a house! It’s cute, it’s Baltimore, it needs some work (and a lot paint), but it’s ours! It’s also meant a lot of planning, packing, unpacking, and prioritizing. One thing that had to take a pass was regular updates; along with regular meals, self-care, and not nearly enough yoga.

September was pure survival mode, but now that we’re settled at home, I’m ready to reset and recalibrate. Last month was a test, starting with the move and ending with a weekend road trip to North Carolina that featured more BBQ and donuts than I’m proud to admit (kidding - still a little proud of it), plus lots of last minute classes and a bout of insomnia like I’ve never experienced before thrown in for fun. All on their own, very manageable; but after a month of wearing down and not taking the time to recharge, it was nearly enough to wipe me out entirely.

The drive home from North Carolina gave me some quality time to think (about 7 hours of thinking to be more precise), and it made me realize I’d been skipping out on things I actually want to be doing. Of course, I was eager to get home to see the cats and sleep in my own bed, but I was also looking forward to grocery shopping, homemade meals, and retooling our budget. I was looking forward to taking the time to take care of me. In the moment it may feel like adding even just one more thing isn’t an option, but an hour of yoga or a quick run around the living room with the vacuum also affords me to opportunity to recharge, or better enjoy my (new!) space.

For me taking care is not about grand gestures; maybe one day it’ll mean a day at the spa or a weekend nature retreat, but for now the smaller tokens are so much more valuable. Five minutes of silence at the end of my commute or allowing my out of office message to hold my emails for a weekend can mean the difference between a day well spent and feeling spent all day.

I’m also in need of accountability. The best of intentions are only as valuable as the paper your to do list is written on, so this return to writing (and recipe making) is my first actionable step towards getting back to myself. For me that means more rest, more movement, and more mindful eating; and October is the perfect time to start.

Despite what the local forecast says October means fall to me; changing colors, cooling days, and hearty harvest foods. So even if the weather won’t cooperate (94-degrees in Baltimore forecasted today!) I’ll find ways to fake it until it’s really fall. I’m taking my favorite fall flavors and rolling them into an easy breakfast that’s still warm weather appropriate. Dig in to an Almost Autumn Breakfast Bowl.

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