The Tasmanian Devil, Unleashed | RiverheadLOCAL
Sometimes life is no fun. Sometimes even when you try, even when you think you are on the right track, life turns around and kicks your ass. As I slid across my face this week, I thought about the casual way life gives and then takes.
I wondered about all the inspiring little phrases that are thrown at people who struggle: “God does not give you more than what you can bear” … “What does not kill you makes you stronger” … “That too, it will pass ”…“ When life gives you lemons, make lemonade ”… and so on.
There have been times in my life when each of them struck a chord and helped me move forward. But for the most part, I just wanna throw those damn lemons in life’s silly, mocking face.
Finally, I got up and brushed my hair. I’m no rascal, so I put on my big girl panties and looked for something to fuck.
There are so many ways to face adversity. Some feel it as sadness and mourn their difficulties. Others ignore it and go on their way with grim resolve. Me, I get angry, really, really crazy.
Except I learned a long time ago that my anger isn’t anyone else’s problem. It doesn’t help anyone, let alone the ones I love most, to impose this anger on them and expect them to know what to do with it, or, to expect them to forgive me. for having mislaid it, and all its ugliness, on their knees.
My anger is raw and bitter. It’s mean and selfish. He doesn’t apologize and forgive. It is a heavy beast that frightens the unfortunate people who have witnessed its anger.
So it’s good that I have developed outlets that preserve my sanity, as well as the relationships that surround me. I’m like my own anger management class.
I am not a crying woman. In fact, my own tears make me even more angry, not exactly the therapeutic balm I’m looking for. However, screaming does wonders. Unfortunately, I have found this method to be quite alarming for everyone. And since I don’t want my neighbors to think I’m murdered (or murdered), I had to modify this therapy.
The music definitely calms the wild beast. Although I am a horrible singer, instead of screaming blood curdlingly, I sing. Fortunately for everyone, I put the music very loud, to muffle my singing. However, this method does not work when someone is at home. It seems that my children still have their full hearing capacity. Guess they haven’t had years of gigs and bar noise to break some of those auditory pathways. But as soon as the floor starts to vibrate, they both get, “Mom, my ears are bleeding!” I swear, I raise whiners.
They don’t complain when I kick box, so it’s usually a good alternative. There’s something so delicious and cathartic about imagining an opponent standing in front of me as I throw a left hook with all I’ve got. The only thing missing is the satisfying “thwap” felt upon first contact, but I didn’t find that enough to justify hanging a heavy bag in the middle of my family room. Fortunately, I have a vivid imagination.
The other way I deal with uncontrolled anger is to dive into a project and drown in it. Sometimes the result is a frenzy of cleaning. Usually everyone is happy with this project. I don’t ask them for help (in fact, I forbid it) and when I’m done the results are remarkable. As long as they don’t ask about the many trash bags on the side of the street, they’re fine.
However, everyone’s favorite project that I strive for is almost every dish in the house, the silent buzz of the oven, and most of the eggs. When I feel out of control and helpless, I let myself go in the kitchen.
I turn into a muffin maker. I’m not sure why these are muffins instead of any other baked goods, but there are almost always several dozen muffins on the cooling rack when I’m done.
Then I start with comfort food. This time around I used several pounds of cheese, two different types of potatoes, some bacon, and various egg applications.
I blew up the music, cleaned the counters and made my anger beat, whip and crush. When it was all done, the dishwasher had gone through two cycles, the cooling racks were stacked high and full, the house smelled awfully good, and the refrigerator was packed. I felt more in control. I had done something, I made myself useful. And the balance has been, at least temporarily, restored to my little universe.
One of the easiest and most satisfying comfort foods is banana bread (or in my house, muffins). The baked banana overwhelms my olfactory system and instantly makes me feel better. I don’t even have to eat one (and usually I don’t) to experience the calming benefits of this wonder food. And the best part is how easy they are to make.
A few years ago I came across this awesome 1971 cookbook. Natural food cooking by Eleanor Levitt is a modern hippie’s dream come true. It even has a golden 70s blanket, to complete the experience. She has the easiest and most delicious recipe that she calls “Bride’s Banana Bread”. I strongly suggest you give it a try.
1 cup of raw sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 ripe bananas, well mashed
1 teaspoon of soda
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour (I used gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup cracked nuts or sunflower seeds (optional)
Sugar and creamed butter. Add the eggs and other ingredients. Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or until cooked through. Cool before slicing. Bake a loaf of bread. For muffins, shorten the time to about 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.
What is your cure for uncontrolled rabies? I would like to add it to my arsenal. Send it to [email protected]
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