Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TWD: Devilish Shortcakes




I'm going to apologize, in advance, for the rest of this post. My life, it turns out, affects how I write, how I dream, how I bake and how I think about food. So some days, it's ridiculousness and others? Well, some days aren't quite as shiny-happy-bright. Actually, I'll occasionally hunt through my archives and laugh as I remember trying to introduce the idea of fruit + chocolate to stubborn Wisconsinites. I'll be amazed at how crazy happy I sounded, how funny, how much my words just bopped across the screen. There are not other descriptors for some of those posts - unless you think spazzy is a word, in which case - yeah, spazzy counts too. And other times, I'll just read - I can tell, from the words, when the good times were and when the bad times were.

Not a shortcake, just our bowl o' fruit. I liked it though.

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. Supposed to be a good time, right? Full of family, friends, food, fun... Well, it was. Just not enough to pull me out of the funk I've been in for the past few weeks. Hell, the last few months. I've been noticing that tears will fall at the drop of a hat. I left a movie just a couple months ago sobbing - I couldn't stop. We had planned a frozen yogurt run afterwards, but I just got in the car. Ugly crying, all tears and snot and mucus and hiccuping. A few weeks later, it happened again, but not because of a movie. I don't even remember why, but I nearly passed out from hyperventilating while trying to stop my tears. It had been years since I'd cried like that. Words aren't coming when I try to write in this space, let alone engaging, entertaining, funny ones. Everything has been coming out stilted, dull, dry. Remember when I used to comment all over the blogosphere? I can't muster up the enthusiasm. Haven't been able to in months, and the last thing anyone needs is another comment saying "Wow, looks great!" or "OMG, yum!" I'm sorry, but gag me with a spoon. Even running and baking, my two fail-safes, have been, well, failing. For quite a while, I just figured it was stress. I mean, in the last year, I applied to graduate schools, got in, quit my job, moved from WI to NC, spent two months in Podunk, CA doing research, and started classes in graduate school. No surprise that I'd be a little depressed, a little down, right? Anyone with the love of order and schedules I possess would be. Right?


And there were things to cover it up - the challenge of new coursework, the fun of a new city, the craziness of wedding planning. But a few weeks ago, J and I sat down. Things needed to change. So they are - I'm adjusting medication, I'm recommitting to running longer distances again, and I'm looking into volunteer work ASAP. So these shortcakes? They've kind of slipped through the cracks. Do as I say, not as I did - top them with something that has some zing, some pop and a tartness that will contrast with these lightly sweet, slightly chocolatey biscuits. Have some leftover cranberry sauce? Use it. Dollop on some whipped cream, and you're good to go. In the meantime, I'll continue baking and try to keep things happy over here. Sometimes though, you just have to let it all out.


Last Week: Orange Berry Muffins
Next Week: Translucent Maple Tuiles

17 comments:

shaz said...

*hugs*

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Sorry to hear, Caitlin. :( I hope your new changes help - I've been there before and I know it hurts. Your shortcakes do look lovely, though - like big, fat, double chocolate chip cookies!

Mary said...

Hugs. I have no brilliant comments or suggestions or words of wisdom. Just hugs.

jacqui | happyjackeats said...

Feel better, Caitlin. Glad you were able to let it all out in this space. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Sending hugs!

Mary said...

Caitlin,
Your blog is my absolute favorite. I think of you as a kindred spirit. I'm an older engineer who also bakes; however, I’d never be able express my joys & frustrations as eloquently as you. In the past months you have turned your life upside down. Life changes are stressors, even wonderful events. I remember our office had a mandatory health & wellness speaker with handouts. Three pages of life events with corresponding numbers to assess your stress level. I was recently married, buying a house with work pressures and a crazy family. According to my total score I was a “basket case”. What you are experiencing is difficult, but I know you will get better. It sounds like you are taking the right steps to take care of yourself. You’ll be in my prayers. Mary R

Bridget said...

Caitlin, I like your blog (and you) for your honesty, not your happiness. You're not required to be happy for your readers. You are, of course, required to try to be happy for yourself, and I hope you can get there again very soon.

PheMom said...

AMEN. And AMEN again. Right there with you. I'm glad you are looking in to how you can help yourself adjust amidst the craziness. I'm working on figuring it out too. I never feel like I have anything remotely constructive or helpful or useful to say to anyone any more. I just feel like it would be so fake since it isn't how I feel and I love you all too much to be fake about it - instead, there is silence. So again - AMEN. The only other thing I can say is to tell you that I truly understand and am sending good thoughts your way! Thanks for speaking up - it helps!

Lisa magicsprinkles said...

The universe sent me to your page today. You are not alone. I was where you are when I discovered that my problems were caused by gluten. I really admire you for your honesty and for realizing that there's something amiss that needs to be fixed. I do hope that you take extra special care of yourself and some peace about it.

The Food Librarian said...

Hugs to you! Thanks for being honest and open. Please take care! - mary

Kayte said...

It passes...I cried the entire first month of my marriage for no apparent reason whatsoever and figured we were doomed before Anniversary No. 1 came along...no reason for it whatsoever as I loved Mark dearly. Who knew that 32 years could pass so quickly!! Think of it as a sigh or a release and let it all go. About blog commenting...I look at it this way (if it helps you to know this), that it is the equivalent of saying "Hi, how are you...you look lovely today" when you meet people on the streets or at the mailbox or at the market or wherever you run into your friends. It's sort of a drive by (read by) way of saying Hello, I thought of you today, and I was here to let you know I was touching base...a sort of virtual hug. I know we all say the same things over and over, but that is exactly how life is...I say the same things over and over each and every day. And people are pleased to be remembered, to be noticed, to be thought worthy of someone stopping to say hello (or stopping by to comment) on a busy day. I try to pick my favorite blogs to visit and then I pick an extra or two just because it is good to get into the habit of reaching out now and again for no reason whatsoever. Does that help?

TeaLady said...

Just remember you have friends you have never met who will do what they can. Ditto on Kayte. She said it so very well. This too shall pass, really!!! The 2nd month I was married I was thinking what a big stupid mistake I had made. Had moved to a small town. Didn't know anyone. But together we got thru it and 37 years later here we are. This too will pass, honestly!!!

Wow!! Your cookies look fantastic!! LOL

Di said...

Hang in there, Caitlin! *hugs* I think it's totally understandable that you would be having a rough time--that's a lot of change in a short period of time. I still struggle with "letting it all out" myself--I have a tendency to bottle things up, and it definitely doesn't make things better. So good for you for saying what you feel. Have fun baking, and don't worry about making it happy for the blog. =)

Tracey said...

So sorry to hear you've been struggling Caitlin. You've definitely had a year of major changes, and hopefully the best is ahead. Take care of yourself :)

Boodle said...

Hi!

I'm a young engineer too, and love to bake. I hope you're doing better with these new adjustments!

Where can I find the recipe? These look like the perfect thing to break MY funk...

Thanks,
Betsy

shez said...

What a beautiful, honest post. It's so easy to blame the funk on circumstances and stress without recognising that something has changed and something needs to change.

Well done you for stepping back and taking hold (and running and volunteering and being with people you love). Hopefully your life holds some metaphorical cranberry sauce to add the zing you've been craving.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Oh Caitlin. A million hugs for you. As someone who's passed out by hyperventilating quite a few times, I can imagine what you're going through. Hope all of this passes soon, and I love that you're honest on your posts.

I sometimes can't do it, because I know that the concerned people would also be reading the post!

diva in training said...

This should make you feel better! And classes are almost over!

http://thedivaintraining.blogspot.com/2010/12/for-all-people-with-holiday-blues-this.html