Comfort food, a fine response to a week that held great drama, bad news, good news, and a need to remind myself of my Litany of Optimism. Don’t worry. I’m not going to dive into all the messy details. I’d rather write about popcorn.
Here’s a quick skim of the downside: delayed payments, an 80% budget cut, a 20% investment loss (unrealized), unspecified delays in three opportunities, and a understandable neck ache. Oh yeah, and a profane propane bill.
Here’s a quick skim of the upside: a visit with a naturopath that was far better than any recent conventional doctor visit, a series of writing assignments finished and published, and some sweet support from friends who know how to listen.
A storm is washing the region tonight. I can hear the rain on the roof. The landslide hazard is probably up again. It is hypothermic outside, and it is March. Regardless, bulbs are coming up. Deer and rabbits are getting busy. It is time to plant, as soon as the ground dries out enough. It is a good night for a movie, a drink, and a snack.
Ah, the snack. One of my favorite foods is buttered popcorn, made at home, maybe with some parmesan sprinkled on top. Ah, my waistline. I’ve been working so hard that I haven’t been working out. Maybe it is time for a different snack. Nuts are great, but expensive. Peanuts are cheaper, but I hadn’t taken the time to compare. Should I snack on popped grains or roasted fake nuts? I needed a task that had nothing to do with work, so I did some research. Thank you, internet. Finally, something simple and easy and completed. In only a few minutes it was obvious that popcorn would win. The calorie count for a third of a cup of peanuts is about 270 calories (pardon, but I forgot to record the source). A third of a cup of unpopped popcorn kernels is about 170 calories. Excellent. Add a tablespoon of butter, which adds about 100 calories and end up back at 270 calories. Mathematically, they’re equivalent. I can take my pick.
Take a look at taking that pick. A third of a cup of peanuts looks like a diet plan, not comfort food. A third of a cup of popcorn kernels becomes 10 cups. 10 cups! of popped corn. Give something the right opportunity and it can become far more than it was before. That looks like a celebration, not a restriction.
This is about more than peanuts and popcorn. Everyone needs comfort food; well, almost everyone. Monks exist. There’s a benefit to embracing simple comforts. I’ve been rich and I’ve been struggling and spent a lot of time between them. Regardless of my net worth there are times when a bit of edible comfort is appreciated. Throughout, I’ve found that foods I make taste better, are cheaper, create less waste, and are readily available. For someone, their comfort food is going to be caviar. Comfort foods that are cheap, easy, tasty, and relatively good are valuable and available. I’ve enjoyed popcorn all that time.
Comfort food doesn’t make the pain go away. It gives the hand and mouth something to do while watching a mindless movie (haven’t picked tonight’s, yet). But comfort food is a reminder that life can be enjoyed now. Most of my worries are about taxes and an upcoming employment gap. Popcorn is here and now, and very undemanding.
Next week can bring good news for some of my stocks (come on MVIS, NPTN, and AST), probably a new assignment or two, maybe even a payment for an invoice, better weather, a dancing to a live jazz band, and a bit of a breather. With several clients re-assessing their situation and with several assignments completed and submitted, I might just take a day off (I even hesitated as I typed that). With all of this talk of comfort food I’ll be happy to take some time for something else that’s simple and comforting, a nice long walk – after the storm has passed.