Ok, so I've been a deeply negligent blogger as of late. Adjusting to a new schedule (I'm switching from hamster-like nocturnal to, well...no sleep at all) has me all katywhompus, and my brain is so awash in new job information that by the end of the day I consider it a win if I don't put facial cleanser on my toothbrush. I've also had little to no cooking time, which sucks, and leaves me with hardly any fodder, recipe-wise, for a fresh post. Unless you'd like to know how to microwave popcorn and eat it in bed? Because I have that down PAT.
While I haven't had the chance to stand over my stove much, I've had the time to think really, really hard about priorities. Of course, when I got the new job offer, I was (and still am) euphoric about what it meant for me, personally. Mostly financially. Not that it's going to enable me to finally buy diamond-encrusted underwear or anything, but I should eventually be able to be comfortable and secure. And then, of course, came the onset of greed. The "oooh...what I'll be able to buy" thinking. I'm not the biggest commercial whore in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a tiny fetish for bath products, pajamas and other distinctly non-essential items. Like excellent food and wine.
And then came my daily wake up call, courtesy of my new job. I am now confronted daily with people who have, literally, nothing. No home. No transportation. No food. Certainly no health care or iPod or selection of fancy cheeses. So I started to ask myself how the hell could I even THINK about luxury items or posh dinners when I know for a fact that every day, in my town, this is reality for a lot of people. (Far more than most people are comfortable with knowing about, quite frankly.) And I don't know what the answer is. I love fabulous restaurants. But how do you rationalize dropping $100 or more on one meal, when you've just given someone a $30 voucher and told them that the local government expects them to feed themselves on that for 5 days?
These aren't questions I have to answer now, necessarily (I'm not suddenly staring at wads of cash, for crying out loud), but they strike me as important ones. And since I desperately want to do this job well, and provide people with not just aid, but some dignity, too, it makes me want to think long and hard about the kind of person I am. And not just on work hours. I NEED to remain profoundly grateful for this turn of events. Because I was about 2 weeks away from being on the other side of that desk, asking for help, and I do not ever, ever, want to forget that, and that it could easily be that way again. I had luck, fortuitous timing, and support. Those all saved my ass. Plenty of people have none of those things. And while I don't want to become preachy or overly sanctimonious, I also don't want to become cynical or isolated, just me and my caviar.
So...no whole poached foie gras recipes forthcoming from me. And if I don't figure out how to manage my time better, you may end up with my secret recipe for cereal with over ripe bananas. Yum.