Squish-Squash Pumpkin Sauce

There’s snow on the ground now. A lot. Of. Snow.

I took this picture two days ago, in my backyard. I was going to post it to Instagram with the caption, “A tale of three trees,” but I wasn’t in the mood to use social media. So here it is. Three trees. A tale.

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This whole week I haven’t been journaling or meditating or reading.

I’ve been cooking a bunch, which reveals where my real priorities lie. With the food. Always with the food.

Just please don’t look in my crisper where the kale sits, lonely and yellow. You know how hard it is to use that much kale? It’s hard, okay? HARD.

Today I managed to journal and meditate and read a bit and now I’m writing. I’ve been sitting on my couch for awhile, with a heating pad on my back, like an actual old person. I’ve been using this heating pad everyday lately and I have no regrets. None. If it didn’t have to be plugged in, I would carry it around in public, like Linus with his blanket.

I’ve also started eating squash, something I’m interpreting as a sign that I’ve crossed over into genuine adulthood. Well, the squash and all my bills and the ever-looming student debt.

There’s this podcast I’ve been listening to (she said for the hundredth time this month) and they have these episodes where people call in anonymously and share their secrets. Some of them are lighthearted. A woman who was doing obesity research and majored in nutrition called to say that she had just finished eating an entire carton of peanut-butter chocolate ice cream by herself. A guy called in to say that he still picks his nose and eats his boogers regularly. Some of them were really sad. Secrets about bad relationships and sickness and bad decisions. And then some were the kinds of secrets that you wouldn’t dare tell anyone, confessions of revenge and spitefulness and selfishness.

And it just made me think about how we all have stuff like that. Stuff that, by itself, paints a picture of a completely selfish, awful person. Those things that we play over and over again in our minds. Sometimes we let those secrets color the pictures we paint of ourselves. Our brains automatically hold onto more bad thoughts than good thoughts.

I’m not so sure how to fix that, because I hold onto gobs of bad stuff. I do know it helps to be gracious and gentle with your self image.

I think this is what I’ve been struggling with this week. Looping thoughts of all my selfish actions. It’s a self-perpetuating thing, because when those thoughts loop, I spend a greater amount of time thinking about myself, and less time thinking about others.

Not that thinking about yourself is bad. I’m a strong believer in taking care of your mental health. When I neglect that I’m pretty much useless to everyone around me. I have less to give. And I would always, as a typical american, rather have more than less.

So lets start there, by being gentler with ourselves. The opposite of how I’m about to treat this butternut squash. I’m going to cut it up into itty bitty pieces, with my heating pad wrapped around me. An electrical hazard? Maybe. But it’ll be a GOURD-geous time. Ha. A little bit of squash humor there.

Now if you’ll excuse me.