This evening while standing in the kitchen and cooking my meal I felt sadness after I was confronted with a sink full of pots and pans while cooking my meal.
For a while now we cook different meals during the weekend in our family as we follow the blood type diet. My partner and kids have the same blood type, I have a different one and therefore follow a partially different diet. Cooking two dinners is quite challenging in one kitchen that is the size of an average European house kitchen. We often decide to wait for one other and sometimes we manage to eat dinner at the same time.
Tonight that was not the case. The sadness I experiences was preceded by frustration on small things. The first trigger for frustration was when I found that my partner hadn’t been able to read my handwriting on the grocery list and bought one piece where she was supposed to buy two. After deciding it was not a big deal I asked my partner to let me know when I could start cutting my vegetables and sat down to go through some YouTube videos.
A while later my partner said that she almost forgot to warn me being focussed on preparing her meal, but that I could start cutting my stuff. The “Mmmm” reaction I felt for a second was quickly suppressed and I started my cooking.
While cutting I realized that even if I would have wanted to put a pan on the stove there was no space available in that moment. I decided to go on cutting carrots, peeling and cutting onions and garlic.
A short while later I was able to put a pan on the stove and went for the fridge to get my sausages. On the grocery list I wrote 8 sausages, did I? I hoped so. The hope did not last long… Only two sausages to be found. I asked my partner who was sure to have read 2 and not 8. As I was not fully sure myself I retrieved the list from the trash bin and checked. I could read 8 but my daughter agreed with my partner that it was a weird 8 and that it could be read as 2. Difficult to argue on points as readability, will need to find a way to have ourselves check the list before one of us goes shopping. As I was making a dinner for 4 and only needed a portion for tonight the problem can be solved by adding the sausages later to the other portions.
The event however added to my trigger points for frustration and consequent sadness. The next step in my cooking was to rinse the beans in the sink. And there was the culminating trigger point. A sink full of pots and pans that I had to set aside before being able to continue. I now pointed out the situation to my partner explaining that is it not cool to have to clean up or move away stuff produced by another when cooking a meal. I also explained that I, when being the first to cook, always clean up as much as possible so my partner can do her things normally.
Interestingly this collection of experiences triggered a general sadness mood as I realized it were mostly experiences that could be grouped into a category of giving what you would like to receive and finding that, when I do so I silently hope to get back that exact same thing, up to a kind of longing for it in some cases. To be more specific, I would like to get some collaboration in the kitchen when it comes to cleaning up things during or immediately after cooking to make space for the next.
Looking back at these experiences after a while I can see clearly I am in a blame mode and I need to take this back to (my) self. Although my points are more than valid, there is no reason to go into a feeling of sadness as that is a self-pity situation that is aiming at making me the victim of these situations. Energy wise it might even feel kind of good to feel sorry for yourself, go into a sad mood and blame others for the fact you are pushed into such a mood.
The reality however is that I was allowing myself to get into that sad mood as I was allowing myself to become victim of the situation. So, if facing such situations in the future, I will discuss the situation in that specific moment or at any given moment the other party is able to give me some attention.
What I did was taking care of understanding how I got into this situation of blame and sadness and I also took a moment to discuss the situation with my partner, AFTER I made sure all energy and emotions were taken care of from my side. As a result my partner and I are coordinating our kitchen space needs even better and we also make sure to check the grocery list on readability. Just very practical and commonsensical.
What I learned from this is that if things are not going smoothly and as expected and as a reaction we feel sad and victimized, these feelings tell me something about myself that I need to take care of. Separate from that I can take care of the practical point by exposing the situation on a practical level to any involved and agree on solutions both parties benefit from.