I've recently been experiencing an extended period of low-anxiety; dare I say "normal" levels of anxiety? Well, that is until a few days ago when a series of First World problems swirled around me. I really want to highlight the intentional use of First World problems in this context. The situation I'm about to describe is minor on the grand scale of life, however, trivial does not exclude consequences. So what's this situation which in the moment turned my world upside down?
Our beloved CSA is now closed...forever!
For anyone new to Finding Normal, let me catch you up. David and I have been members of a local CSA (community supported agriculture) for over 3 years. Every week we picked up an impressive collection of fresh produce from a brick and mortar store that easily fulfilled our fruit and vegetable needs for the week. Unlike most CSAs, ours operated year-round, which meant crispy kale and broccoli in the dead of winter, plus items like eggs, cheese, and honey.
I've thrived off of the routine. I constructed my entire meal planning method around the Thursday emails listing the items we could expect at pick up (check out one of my Weekly Menu Series posts for more details). For anyone who has ever experienced anxiety, you know routines can be key in reducing potential flash points. So you can image an email on Thursday evening with news of the store's closing on Saturday induced a certain level of shock and panic.
What now? What happens when someone or something messes up your routine? If you are someone who can easily go with the flow and take life as it comes, I want to be you right now. In many aspects of my life I am able to easily, and happily, turn on a dime. Change in afternoon activity plans? No problem. Crisis at work? Bring it on! Forced to alter how I grocery shop? Not so much.
It's no surprise food is producing the anxiety here. It's the part of my psyche I continue to overcome. Even with great success over the last few years (with the help of a wonderful therapist, and throwing away my scale), this past week's CSA news threw an unexpected twist into the comfort of familiarity. I also happen to do most of the meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking in our house, so answering What's Next will be something I take on.
I'm not going to try and answer the question here. Instead, I will be taking my mom's advice to wait a few weeks rather than pressure myself to reach a conclusion in one weekend. Once again, this is a First World problem, but I also think it's okay to acknowledge that for many of us, sudden or unexpected changes to routine can cause feelings of unsettledness.
The learning moment for me this week will be dealing with feeling unsettled; not knowing how I'm going to find a new meal planning routine that fits into everything else I have going on. Do I search for another CSA, even knowing it won't be year-round? Is there another food delivery service that won't break the bank? Should I just go to the neighborhood farmers market? Maybe I just buy everything at Trader Joe's each week? Whatever the answer, my goal is to take it in easy strides. And who knows, maybe meal planning 2.0 will be even better.
Walking enthusiast, and kitchen experimenter currently living out my dream in Mexico City, Mexico.
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