On New Habits

Tonight I made pita bread for dinner. It’s a process that I have down, more or less, by rote, or at least well enough that it’s the sort of thing that I have, most of the time, done with something else playing in the background: the radio, an audiobook piped in through my earbuds, even the odd TV show streamed in on my iPad. We’ve been cooking at home a lot lately and the specter of boredom seems to haunt the corners. Media is my talisman against it.

But tonight I put my earbuds aside. I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks, some great, some less so, but enough so that they are starting to mesh together into one mass. I guess I was looking for a break from those anyway.

After I use my rolling pin to cajole the dough into something resembling a circle, I sometimes pick up the disc-like dough and use my hands and gravity to stretch the thicker parts out a bit. As my fingers slide the slightly floury dough from one hand to the other, it makes a satisfying sh-sh sound against my hands. It’s subtle and, of course, had I been listening to anything else, I wouldn’t have heard it but tonight for a brief moment that dough-against-hand sound struck me as something that many women and moms and caregivers and providers and humans have been familiar with throughout much of human history and throughout much of the present day world. Flatbread, after all, is beloved and a staple in many diets.

Had I missed this sound because of my earbuds, I would have not had this feeling of connectedness and of having a place in history. As I’ve tried to cut back on consuming media, I have been encouraged to find that what rises up (which is to say, mostly my own thoughts) has been at the very least, not boring,

I’ve been trying to write more in a more meaningful and focused way and as I’ve spent less time consuming social media (please note I said less and not nil), it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be to find the time to write and to find content that interests me.

When I woke up this morning, I had been planning to run or at least some sort of exercise. But when I let the dogs out, a wall of humidity greeted me. And then as I crept around the house feeding the dogs, I realized that my left foot, which has been sore for a few days, didn’t feel much better. I’ll hop on the elliptical, I thought, or do something else later in the day. I needed to lie down for a while longer. I hadn’t gotten enough hours of sleep the night before and it felt that I was receiving a reminder that rest, and specifically sleep, should be a priority. There was absolutely no sense in powering through a sore foot and wall of humidity. Yes, I have certain health and exercise goals and not running one morning was not going to help those goals … well, except for the obvious fact that I needed rest and sleep and that my body was telling me that that would be better for my help than running on a sore foot.

Later on, I didn’t end up having time (see: making pita bread) to exercise on the elliptical or anywhere else for that matter and yet, and yet, I managed to meet all of my daily exercise goals including steps and moderate activity minutes. Turns out, without rest and sleep, I can’t meet any of my other goals like daily writing and exercise. Speaking of which … I’ve got to sleep now. I was planning on creating an image or images to go with this and to do much more, but it’s nearly midnight and I need rest.

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