It’s second only to the spider-filled basement, and that one I don’t even consider a room, really. It’s just a hole at the bottom of the house with my washing machines in it.
Why do I hate the kitchen?
The most obvious is that it’s in dire need of a renovation (as is the rest of the 160+ year old house — not surprisingly). The stove doesn’t even have a digital clock on it, and there’s no hood/vent over it. There’s a hole in the floor, from under the sink which leaks. It has leaked enough to create the hole in the floor, drip by drip, and now the freezing cold basement air comes up through that hole.
I also hate doing the dishes. Loathe it. I’d rather scrub the bathroom than wash dishes. When we first moved in, I spent three months washing dishes by hand. For two hours on my one day off a week. It took that long after we moved in to save up enough for a portable dishwasher. It’s not a perfect system, my kitchen hasn’t been as clean as it was in those three months, but I’m not constantly angry every time I go in there anymore.
This is when we were touring the house before we bought it. That table didn’t move in with us. Imagine the far counter covered in a microwave, bottles, bags and tin foil wrapped packages of food. The near counter and sink, imagine those covered in dirty dishes. It’s ugly. The whole house is, to be honest. I love the location, and the layout is fine, but the design is … really not my style.
I was afraid to use this stove for the first week we lived here. I touched it and a knob fell off. Luckily our awesome neighbors gave us a zucchini bread as a welcome to the neighborhood present. It lasted a week, then I had to brave the stove. The fridge is the newest appliance in the whole house, dating back to 2001, until we bought the dishwasher. That door leads to a back porch which is slowly falling off the house.The paneling and the fake-painted brick are also not my favorite design choices.
The less obvious reason that I don’t like the kitchen is more than just that it’s cramped, dark, cluttered, and mostly dirty all the time, it’s also the source of frustration from food. I don’t like cooking either. I eat because I have to, not because I particularly enjoy food. There are foods I like, but those are generally the ‘bad for you’ kinds. Junk food, sweets, and snacks. So, I feel guilty because what I want to eat will kill me eventually through being fat, getting diabetes, or being deficient in some major nutrients. I think I rein myself in just enough to balance it out from being a diet comprised of entirely carbs and sugar, but it’s mostly justifying just eating fruit. Fruit is healthy, but there is sugar in fruit too, and not all the nutrients I need to survive on.
So, like anything else in my life, I turned to books.
I started with reading Joyous Health, and it made a lot of sense. There are a lot of unhealthy things that I don’t do already; I don’t drink coffee, or soda, smoke or drink alcohol.
A friend recommended that I read the Paleo Approach. It’s intense, and a lot more of the medical type than Joyous Health. I’m still working my way through it, but it’s due back at the library soon. I’m not sure that what I have is an actual disorder, or problem. I think I just eat crap and my digestive system is freaking out.
For Christmas, my Mom bought me a juicer. I bought a step counter not long ago, and average about 8000–14000 daily steps, and ~10–35 flights of stairs. I want to work in a little yoga/stretching and a little weight lifting. I have no idea when I’d ever be able to work any of this into my daily routine. The answer from Joyous Health seems to be in baby steps. I only have one day a week off, maybe I should do something for 10 or 15 minutes on that one day. Once I see that/if it’s manageable to do and have it not take up a whole day, maybe I’ll try making it be 10 minutes on two days.
I don’t want to plan any sooner than that, because it gets overwhelming. Too much going on, which is the subject of another book I’m working my way through, Overwhelmed.
My kitchen is both physically and emotionally overwhelming. It’s cramped, cluttered, and dark, as well as the source of guilt, frustration, and remorse. But, I’m trying to come to terms with it. Come up with a way to maybe be on speaking terms with the kitchen, or dial it back to indifference at least.