Well, I might have covid.
But I also might not have covid! And I feel fine, thanks for asking.
I had a very important event this week, a dear friend's 40th birthday celebration which we'd put considerable effort into planning. The current regulations in Stockholm are that restaurants can't seat parties bigger than four people at one table, and they have to stop selling alcohol by 8pm.
This meant that all the big, grandiose plans we had in mind were off the table, so we settled on a small, intimate day with just four very close friends. One of our group was quite nervous about going to a restaurant (which is totally fair) so we booked a private dining room where we'd have our own serving staff, our own bathroom, our own everything.
We also booked a private sound healing class earlier in the day, and I bought a case of Champagne for an interlude at the Lady Cave (my apartment) between activities. And cheese. So much cheese.
But, you know. 2021 isn't exactly off to a flying start. So naturally, sometime around Wednesday I started to feel just the tiniest tickle in my throat, and developed a nagging headache that wouldn't go away.
I worked from home on Wednesday and Thursday, pounded Vitamin D and this anti-viral nose spray that a friend swears by, and while the headache never went away, the little tickle in my throat never developed into anything. I figured I'd be fine by the weekend in any case.
On Friday I went into the office, and as we have a box of rapid tests on hand, decided to take one before I was in contact with anyone, just to be on the safe side. Well wouldn't you know, it was positive.
I immediately left the building and informed our HR manager, who began with tracking down anyone I had been in a room with on Monday or Tuesday, and evacuating them from the office. Then I pedalled my bike home in a downpour, and thought about how I was going to break the news to my friends.
They were shocked and devastated, and we tried to figure out whether we could cancel any of our bookings (it was too late) or recruit another person to take my place (that didn't work out either). So we made the decision that they should proceed without me.
But my friend who was having the birthday insisted I take another test. I had grabbed a couple of extras from the office, so took another one. And then another. And wouldn't you know, both of those tests were negative.
So, I dunno. Does two negatives cancel out a positive? Apparently the rate of false positives is high in rapid tests, but they also give out false negatives. Apparently these rapid tests are entirely unreliable.
I didn't feel that in good conscious I could attend the event, so I've been isolating ever since, all the while waiting for my official test from the government to show up.
In Stockholm there are two options for testing. Either drive-in tests, or, since most people don't own a car, home delivery. I've ordered the home delivery option (this is my third time doing it) and it normally takes 2-3 days to show up. I ordered the test on Friday, and suspect it'll be delivered sometime on Monday.
Then, you have to wait another couple of days for the results. Probably, I'll have them by Wednesday or Thursday, which means I'll also be spending my own birthday, which is on Tuesday, in isolation. It's all very on brand for 2021, so far.
Yesterday, given that I was no longer attending the event I had planned, I found myself with a whole day off with nothing to do. So I wrote myself a lofty to-do list, which included photographing two recipes for the blog and writing two posts.
In the end, I did none of that. I had, what I referred to in my journalling exercise, a spectacularly unproductive day. So frustrating. Why can't I be more productive?
And then I listed out the things that I did do. I did a load of laundry. I emptied the dishwasher and washed the dishes from the day before. I tidied and vacuumed the apartment.
I started organizing my storage closet, which has been piles of things just stuffed together since I moved in back in July. I went for a walk (well away from any people). I took the recycling out, and dropped a bag of clothing in the donate bin.
I did two yoga classes. I FaceTimed with my mom. I watched three episodes of The Crown. And then, I went to bed.
As I was listing this out in my journal, I started to laugh. True, I had not produced anything. But I still had had an incredibly productive day.
One of the things I struggle with is time management, but I'm starting to realize that it's less of an issue of managing my time effectively, and more an issue of realistic goal setting.
Often I'll write myself a to-do list on Monday, and by Friday I'll have all of the items checked off. Why did I think I could do those all in one day?
Writing a blog is relentless, never ending work. The second you hit publish on one post, it's time to start working on the next. And that's if you've managed to also schedule the posts for Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Also the newsletter, creating graphics, staying up-to-date on the latest with SEO, and Google's ever-changing algorithms.
I fall behind on these tasks week after week, and it can be demoralizing at times. Why can't I do better at keeping up?!
Because, friends. Because I also have a demanding full-time job, and two small kids who are also kinda demanding. And I'm on a personal growth journey and trying to figure things out with my self and my life that are kind of major.
I wonder if it will ever feel like I'm doing enough. If ever there will come a point in my life where I feel like, yep, this is good, I'm going to rest now. I'm going to spend my weekends reading books and eating brunch instead of sweating over a photoshoot or stressing that my Sunday post isn't going out on time.
I guess learning to chill is a work in progress. Some people seem to be born naturally chill, and I don't think I'm one of them.
What do you do, dear reader? Do you feel like you're doing enough? Have you learned how to check out and unwind?
Tell me howwwwwww please.
Heyyy we're headed into the final week of the Batchuary challenge! How does it feel for those who have been following along?
This week's challenge is to give old food a new life. Here's a secret that the best cooks in the world have up their sleeves: the best meals rely on the ends of the meals that came before them.
This means that yesterday's roasted vegetables form the base of today's soup. And today's soup perhaps gets a new life as a sauce drizzled over tomorrow's meal bowl. The leftover rice from the meal bowl becomes fried rice the day after that. And so on.
So your challenge this week is to find ways to stretch what you cook beyond a meal or two. Time to get creative!
Here's what I'm making this week:
Grain: A batch of farro.
Green: A big kale salad (yes, again), a tray of Mediterranean Roast Vegetables, and pre-washed other greens to mix into salads and bowls.
Protein: Leaning on some Chickpeas from the freezer from the last big batch I cooked.
ON HEY NUTRITION LADY THIS WEEK
First up this week is one of my favourite quick and easy dinners for one, Pan-Fried Broccoli with Sesame Egg Ribbons. This beauty takes about 10 minutes to throw together, and is perfect if you're looking for a satisfying dinner that's on the lighter side.
Next up, Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps. These are super easy to make, easily vegan and gluten-free, and taste like a samosa and a burrito had a delicious, delicious baby.
WHAT’S TRENDING ON HNL
1. Turmeric Latte Mix. I've been pounding these this past week.
2. 10-Minute Vegetable Ramen Noodles. I've had these for dinner a few times lately. So easy and so good!
3. Chia Fresca. Love this funky chia drink.
4. Red Lentil Dal. Cozy comfort food at its best.
5. Black Bean and Quinoa Freezer Burritos. Always a good idea.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Nicole left the following comment and 5-star review on my Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili recipe:
I’ve had some butternut squash hanging out in my pantry for a while and made this tonight in the Instant Pot. I admittedly modified it a bit based on the ingredients that I had, but it is delicious. I put in bell peppers instead of carrots and celery and omitted the chipotle in the hopes that my toddler would eat it.
I actually tested this one out in the IP recently myself (it's on my list to re-shoot and re-publish) and also left out the chipotle so my kids might eat it. They did not, but it's fine because there's more for meeeee!
THIS WEEK’S MENU
This week's menu is of course based partially on the batch cooking I've done over the weekend, with some freezer meals and easy dinners rolled into the mix.
HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Sunday: Pizza (again!) with Spelt Pizza Dough from the freezer.
Monday: Pasta from the freezer.
Wednesday: Big salad.
Thursday: Falafel + pita
Friday: Snack dinner!
Saturday: Paul and the boys are making me a belated birthday dinner.
WHAT’S GOOD AROUND THE WEB