Twenty five or less: Morning pages and school lunches

Trying something new this afternoon.

Remember Julia Cameron’s “morning pages”? Does anyone still do those? (I’m pretty sure my mom does.) The idea is this: To help yourself along the artist’s way, write three pages every morning. Make it the first thing you do, and just write. No self-correcting. No self-judgement. Just words. And words and words.

I dabbled in morning pages when I was in a screenwriting course my last semester of college. My professor, who was diagnosed with breast cancer that fall, had assigned us to keep a journal and the only thing she checked for was the number of pages. It was a free space to let your mind pour out onto the page.

Stream of consciousness writing is partially what makes blogging so special, but most of us agonize so much over our stream-of-consciousness posts that it stops being the kind of theraputic exercise Cameron envisioned.

When life gets busy, as it has in recent weeks — the four-and-a-half year old starts pre-kindergarten this week, the littlest just started walking and my job duties are expanding and morphing — the Feminist Kitchen takes a back burner, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But what if I could find time for just 25 minutes to write something on women and food. Whatever has been on my mind and whatever comes to me. What it lacks in links, photos and in-depth research, it makes up for in brevity and unfiltered prose.

Thanks to Pomodoro, I have a 25 minute timer on my desktop to help me stay on task.

Back-to-school is what’s on my mind right now. I’m drunk on nostalgia of my own school years. My mom has been teaching for more than 25 years, so I spent more time than most kids roaming the hallways, cleaning blackboards, helping with whatever classroom tasks my mom or her teacher friends needed.

Julian’s first day of school is this week. The First. Day. Of. School. Ever. He has no idea what awaits.


Because we’re in full-fledged school mode, I’ve been thinking a lot about lunches in the past few days. My editor at work has been obsessed with school lunches all summer because her daughter is also starting pre-K, and now I understand why. What to buy, what to pack, when to pack, how to pack it, how to clean it, how to make its contents appealing. Julian has previously been eating everything from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (even though he won’t eat them at home) to barbecue chicken (his favorite) at his daycare. The wonderful woman who runs the place has a special touch for getting kids to eat food that I just don’t have. She’s been watching kids for longer than I’ve been alive, which is why I’m not offended when Julian asks me if I could take a cooking class from her.

But now lunch is on me. And Ian. I’m guessing we’ll split the duties of lunch-making just like we do dinner: Whoever has the most energy and best ideas. It’s nice to have an editor and a blog audience to share my discoveries with, but that adds to the pressure — from the teachers, from within — of wanting to get it right.

Sure, I want him to eat healthfully, but ultimately, I want to set a precedent of what kind of lunches he’ll be expected to make when it’s time to pass the lunch torch. Just before I started second grade, my mom told me I had a choice: Eat the school lunch or make my own. My pickiness and stubbornness meant I made my lunch every day from that day forward. All the was through high school.

It was how I learned how to make food for myself. I wasn’t cooking, per se, but assembling meals is a very important step toward cooking them.

We have a brand new Transformer lunch box that’s ready to carry whatever we pack in it.

4 responses to “Twenty five or less: Morning pages and school lunches

  1. You could type random letters into your iPhone app while brushing your teeth and pouring milk in the lad’s cereal, and I’d still follow you. As for nostalgia for school… is there anything more promising than a fresh notebook?

  2. Your busy-ness makes me exhausted — like Ed Sullivan’s “man with plates on sticks”, but yours are far more useful accomplishments! I’m more glad than you know that you somehow find time to share with us… you rock!

  3. it was so lovely to meet you today! i am very hapy to have found your blog too..I am particularly disturbed by the title of the new childrens book “maggie goes ona diet” will def be checking it out. I will be back here and to relish and sharing u with others

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