As any creative person knows, there will always be slumps in the creative process. Or life. The house you promised to keep clean is a mess, the laundry is piling high, there are dishes in your sink, on your counter, and stuffed in the vegetable bin in your fridge just to keep them out of sight. (Not that I would ever hide dishes in my fridge so I won’t feel guilty, but I’m trying to use dramatic storytelling here.) You’ve slumped yourself into your couch, and instead of writing a great American novel, you’re watching Netflix and eating a chocolate pudding cup. The phrase “Hannah, you fat lard” comes to mind, but you brush it away trying to convince yourself you aren’t really lard-like in any sense of the word, and burrow yourself further into your fuzzy cocoon of a blanket.
Usually this state of being continues throughout the night, and the productivity level not only drops, but finds itself lost in the basement of your brain, stuck with the brain cells that have long given up on you. BUT, every once in a while, you get a creativity boost. If I could bottle that boost, I would. I don’t exactly know what triggers it, and the circumstances seem to be different every time. Sometimes I think I just get sick of my own disgraceful self.
I live for these kind of moments. One second, I was wallowing in my own chocolate pudding, and the next second, I suddenly had more motivation I’d had all day. My “genius level” spiked high, my eyes were opened, and dis-wedged myself from the couch. And I rose! I rose like a phoenix being reborn, for I, Hannah Jones, had purpose anew! I could do so many things! I didn’t have to continue living in my own inadequacy as a human, and could do something PRODUCTIVE. I could clean my room, organize my closet, do dishes, paint a masterpiece, or GO OUTSIDE. Aren’t you impressed? I was.
So what would I do? The possibilities were endless! Since I really do enjoy cooking, I decided food was a good option. I scoured my fridge and didn’t find much. It should be no surprise that on the long list of things to do, grocery shopping was also on that list. In the end, it was the mushrooms that caught my eye. I’d purchased them in the wild imaginative hope that I would do something with them. It had a while since that mad, brilliant notion, and they looked as though they were coming to the end of their life span. So what did I do? I made stuffed mushrooms. Fancy, right? I thought it was pretty cool. Here’s a fancy looking recipe for you!
Honestly, when I cook, I don’t really use measurements very much. Usually I’ll take a little bit of this and little of that and a sprinkle of salt and taste while I go. Trying to rethink how much cheese I used had me fiddling around in my measuring spoon drawer and thinking, yeah that’s about right. I whipped up some sun-dried tomato and alfredo pasta to go with the mushrooms, which was pretty good too.
After I made my delicious lunch, I had so much more energy. I plopped down on my bed (my kitchen table hadn’t been cleaned yet), and enjoyed my success. It’s funny how one little lunch could change my day. Motivation comes in strange forms, but mine came in the form of stuffed mushrooms.