Starting writing this piece, I felt a bit humorous for me to talk about cooking, for the reason that… my Mom and my sister had given up on my laziness about cooking when alone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate cooking, I just don’t have passion for it 😀 . I do cook for myself mostly on a daily basis, I have an acceptable fine taste, I just can’t stand fast and processed food.
Many of my Vietnamese friends who are studying and living away from home, especially the single ones, whenever stressed or bored, would just jump into the kitchen and cook something as a stress therapy. I don’t do that. Instead, I would do other things like walking, meditating, doing sports, music or so for stress relief.
Anyway, I actually don’t attempt to teach fish to swim in this piece. The interesting thing about cooking for me is that, sometimes ideas for writing come up when I am cooking or eating something at home. From time to time, if some ideas come to mind, I would stop cooking or eating, and jot down the ideas before they run away. I have had some good pieces of writing and some ruined meals that way.
One time, I stopped cooking and wrote down something, and left a boiling pot burn almost completely on the stove. Thanks God nothing serious happened. The pot was only damaged enough to function not very well afterwards :D. The other time, like writing this piece now, I left my half-eaten bowl of noodle to become very soggy. When I came back to it, the noodle looked like pig-feed (in Vietnamese – cám lợn). But no worries, I wouldn’t waste food. It was still edible, just not so delicious-looking by any culinary standard. 😀
I know it’s not very mindful when not focusing on doing one thing at a time as in mindfulness practice. Nonetheless, I do follow the advice: Do whatever you feel strongly about whenever you feel strongly about, especially for creative activities like writing. Catch the mood and the creative flash right away. Don’t waste time by postponement, because the mood may just swiftly slip off. .
So for creativity and relaxation, my little trick is: Don’t stick to your computer all day long. Go to the kitchen, and cook something nicely, some food for the stomach and maybe some thought for the soul.
Đào Thu Hằng