When it feels like your day-to-day life is cluttered with all the things you need to be doing faster, meeting deadlines .not. your own and driven by events outside of you, you need a place to go to. Go there, in your head, even if you cannot put your feet on a favourite path, or plodge a favourite bit of coastline.
Bring back the little comforts that you can appreciate when you are blindered by the noise of your so-called real life.

Now all this sounds like I have my act together. Hah! It takes removing myself physically from my home surrounds to recognize the pattern of distraction. When I am away I try to learn how to distill that clarity and bring it home. Lately, I will settle for a new recipe that teaches me something.

In France, I have observed the markets and shoppers, and finally understand the secret to the family meal on a weekend probably does not mean Madame has been tied to the kitchen, but rather has combined some homemade dishes with a well chosen patisserie treat or perhaps a roasted chicken from the rotisserie-roaster just off the market square. Maybe a Sunday tea in England includes some lovely (but labor-intensive) meat pie from Brindon Addy or Marks & Spencer.

Travel someplace where it is simply unbearably hot, and you will learn about summer kitchens and remember that there is a reason recipes are seasonal! Spend July in Greece and you might appreciate another tip from my cousin PJ – it is absolutely acceptable to decant a tin of dolmathes, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and slices, and chill for mezze. After-all, you only needed a half dozen to serve with some ouzo and tzatziki, not a whole dutch oven full of your mother’s finest. Save that effort and pride for a cooler day in the fall or winter when you aren’t seeking iced air!

And if I discover a way to install the blinder option at home rather than needing several hours of transition mediation in a flying bird…well, I’ll be sure to share.