I made chicken noodle soup today. I use two commercially prepared ingredients (broth and frozen chicken breast) (well, and the noodles, but who makes home-made noodles these days?), so it is a pretty simple recipe, but home-made chicken noodle soup is a significant step forward in my ability to be active. It has been months since I’ve been able to really cook, and I have missed it. That I got through an entire recipe makes me very pleased, for many reasons.
One of the things I find difficult about my disability is the loss of independence. If I’m going to have a home-cooked meal, a lot of times, I need someone to cook it for me. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to prepare my own healthy food, even if it is only occasionally.
Another aspect of disability that I struggle with is that I used to contribute so much more to the work of my household than I can now. It feels wonderful to cook a meal for my sweetie that will feed us with leftovers for a couple days. It makes me feel like I have an important role to fill in the household. My disability is teaching me that I contribute to my household in ways that are not based in physical labor, and I am learning how to find my importance in those other contributions. But the lesson is made less harsh when I have the ability to at least occasionally pitch in in ways that are the “instant gratification” contributions like cooking and cleaning.
Finally, being able to cook for myself gives me more control over my diet, which contributes to my health. This day of cooking gives me hope that I’ll be able to eat a little more healthy as I continue to recover from my medication changes, instead of needing to eat so many quick-and-easy prepared foods.
So, even though I’m rather exhausted now, I am extremely pleased with my victory of progress today. My disability has given me a new appreciation for something I used to enjoy at times, but at other times find tedious. Hello, chores! I am happy to be able to do these little tasks now. What a lovely gift of perspective, hard-won though it may be, to have appreciation, mindfulness, and joy in these daily tasks.