Ramen noodles 🍜 & bare-knuckle coping

Mar 06, 2022
Watercolor and ink sunflower with a fern in the foreground.

Well with the news around the world, I wasn’t feeling super snarky today. In fact, I was feeling downright melancholy. Or mad. I get those two feelings confused sometimes.

My initial plan was to Instagram-filter social-media-grin-and-bear-it.

But there’s a global pandemic approaching its third birthday, there’s a devastating war, rampant systemic racism, and let’s face it, you are reading a newsletter about divorce, so you’re probably balancing all that with your own personal sh*itshow. So this is not a note about self care. This is a note about bare-knuckle coping.

Not all days are going to be those aspirational “make a goals list” kinda day (my alter ego must have written that one). On the non-aspirational days like today? I try to find whatever coping strategy takes the edge off. 

For me, it’s deciding not to spend the next hour roasting the organic locally-sourced acorn squash that’s been glaring at me on the counter for two weeks. I actually enjoy cooking, but on days like today, it feels like a chore. Instead, I decide on Ramen.

Yep, I have a degree and a career in food systems, and yet tonight I boil water, extract the dried noodles from their hermetically sealed plastic wrap, submerge them for three minutes, and garnish with the contents of the accompanying aluminum foil sodium packet.

Sipping the “broth” and slurping noodles off my chin, I instantly feel a bit better. Its warmth in my belly is soothing, and the carbs are quickly releasing my hangry. Plus, I threw in a few frozen veggies and I’m aware that telling you about them is performative but whatever. Also, did you know that MSG is not demonstrably bad for you?

I’m rambling. Point is, on these bare-knuckle days, I give myself permission to skip roasting the dang squash and choose the easy route.

What do you do to cut yourself some slack? So you can regroup and watch the news and show up for justice and raise your kids and do your work and support your friends?

Write me back if you want. In the meantime, I’m going to finish my Ramen before it gets cold and then maybe go paint a sunflower.


Sarah πŸ––πŸŒ»

PS: I wanted to share with you what one student of Fresh Start wrote to me recently - I thought it so poignant, moving - and appropriate for today:

“The course is cathartic. It allows a safe space to grieve but also to be confident to move forward. Being able to pause to think and process conflicting emotions is important.”

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