For the past few years I’ve had a problem; I have suffered from a severe lack of focus. When it comes to work, it’s not as bad. I mean I still have my job and I do it well and no one has complained so I think we’re good there. But when I’m home and relaxing, I’ve had issues with my two other favorite activities: beading and reading. It hasn’t stopped me from buying beads or books but it takes me longer to get through a book or a beading project (unless I’m being paid. Money is an excellent motivator.)

But for some reason, the one thing I can concentrate is cooking. Or reading and following a recipe.  It’s like when I was laid off and took yoga. I had to concentrate hard because yoga didn’t come easily for me.  And it was an hour, whenever I took it, that I was able to concentrate on nothing else except getting into Cobra.  With cooking, I need to concentrate. If I don’t, the food will burn or explode or be bad and if there is anything I loathe, it’s when something doesn’t turn out simply because I wasn’t paying attention. I pay for the groceries so when food doesn’t turn out, I consider it a waste of money.

And I get a real burst of satisfaction when something turns out well. Ok, I admit…I preen. There, I’ve said it. I’m a Leo so I dig the adulation and appreciation for my efforts.  And I like things that taste good.  As do most people. But lately work has been crazy and chaotic and kind of sucktastic. Coming home and cooking feels like it’s work and there are nights that I know it will be and I don’t. But, I’ve noticed it helps. I’ve noticed that doing something that for the most part I can control helps. And it’s far more immediate in results than my job. In about an hour, I have a finished product.

It also helps me compartmentalize. I can think about what happened during the day, what I need to do that night (yes, I have been working from home lately) and what I have to do the next day. How I want to handle things, or not handle them.  It calms me and helps me unwind from the day. It makes me feel like I’m home.  Tonight, it’s chicken parm, roasted potatoes and onions and steamed green beans. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles. But I’ve noticed it’s the homey, down to earth food that seems to really hit the mark a la hacienda.

Wine recommendation (not necessarily for my dinner tonight but I am going to have some): Albarino Rias Baixas  Fillaboa, 2008.  A nice white wine. Nice and dry but awfully tasty. It’s a little pricier at about $18 (well pricey for me) but it’s been worth it. Yum