Whew. Such a week.
I’ve been in a constant state of correspondence. As a would-be restaurateur, most of my days are filled with emails, phone calls, and meetings. In between correspondence, I’m talking to my 2-month old. When I’m not talking to him, I’m talking to my dog. And when I’m not chatting with somebody or something real, I’ve got a non-stop inner dialogue running in my head. For fun, I sit at the piano and come up with lyrics that rhyme, and then I sing them to the air.
Prattle prattle prattle. Chatter chatter chatter. Blah blah blah. This wordsmith HAD IT with words.
By Saturday morning, I thought I was going to lose mind. I either needed to find speechlessness, or I was going to bust.
And so. With one million things that needed to get done, with one million words I could go on speaking, with one million reasons to be productive, I shut down. I completely set aside everything and everybody. I strapped my baby to my chest, and in an act of desperation, I did the only thing I knew would restore calm and quiet the noise.
I made dough.
The dough eventually gave way to soft pretzels. But that didn’t matter. The act of stirring flour and yeasty water together, kneading it, watching it become a ball, letting it rise, punching it down, and rolling it out…pure sensory experience. No commentary. It completely reset my brain. By the time I was done pulling the last batch from the oven, I felt like myself again.
I’m reminded of this all the time, but I feel like I can’t reflect on it enough: we absolutely must break from the racket in our heads. We can’t be our best selves if we don’t. Whatever gives you this break, Reader, I hope you too are taking time for it. You deserve it. See you back here next Sunday. -Em