Sweet Self-Preservation Tips From Me, A Recently Expired Quince Compôte

Unbothered. Unstirred. Happy in my lane. Moist. Flourishing (bacteria). 
That’s me. But what about you? 
Are you convinced all the flavour has been sucked from life? Do you feel as bland and disconsolate as a watery jelly? 
Well – don’t go tipping yourself off the edge. With these top self-preservation tips from me, a recently expired quince compôte, you’ll never feel decrepit or burnt to the pan again.

1. Start your day with something pleasant. Some gentle stretches, perhaps, or positive self-talk about being exponentially more popular than many other spreadable foods. Make your daily rituals specific to you.

2. Stop spreading yourself thin. Either commit to that breakfast, or don’t.

3. Write down five things every day that weren’t a total disaster. That browning avocado sitting on your lid finally got eaten? Peeled off a label someone stuck to you that never quite fit? Learnt how to write despite feeling like you’re made of glass? Celebrate, babe.

4. Carve out some space. The mental health benefits of having one’s own study, or squatting in the loft apartment of your electriQ fridge, are immense. Knock everyone else off your shelf. You deserve it.

5. Run a bubble bath. Time to uncork that champagne in the fridge door.

6. Take a new route to work. Why slide across the kitchen counter when you could roll luxuriously over the edge and onto the floor? Be the main character in your story. Create your own spotlight.

7. Have a family meal. Wholesome. Fulfilling. Lots of spooning. Maybe even turn a blind eye to the antics of jam and peanut butter, your filthy incestuous cousins.

8. Detox from technology and work. Unless it’s a smart fridge, in which case DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT switch off the fridge.

9. Retox with an app. Paying for an app might go against your beliefs, but only $8.99 per month for daily zen? Hum along with your fridge compressor; it’s time for some healing.

10. Take a break from social media. So what if you’re no longer your shiniest self or the tastiest snack? Don’t let social media ruin your jam.

11. Stop comparing. Bonne Maman and Yeo Valley may have new product lines with flavours like ‘Fruits of the Valley’ and ‘Mediterranean Kumquat’, but these will ultimately rot and age like the rest of us. Nobody escapes the ravages of time, or yeast growth. Also, I’ll have you know I was once stocked in Waitrose AND Waldbaum’s.

12. Invest in houseplants. Time to water those scraps of kale at the bottom of the freezer drawer #plantmom

13. Stop trying to force things. Can’t close your lid? Show yourself compassion. And lids are mass-produced, so of course they don’t fit properly. Try natural fabrics and tailoring. I recommend beeswax wraps.

14. Practise mindfulness and meditation. Put the ‘om’ in compôte.

15. Sit up straight. Ah, yes. As long as I remember to tip my brittle body away from the wall against which I collapsed while home-schooling the cottage cheese, all my problems will be solved. So grateful for this sage advice. So blessed.

16. Keep your home environment bright. Crack the fridge door open and let that light shine!

17. Practise kegel exercises. Even quince compôtes need to tone and strengthen their pelvic floors. Focus very hard on these exercises to distract yourself from the fact you don’t have health insurance and your family and home life are literally eating you alive.

18. Make a face mask out of ingredients you can find in your fridge. Slather that bacteria over all your surfaces.

19. Practise deep breathing. Take five minutes to decompress every day so as to avoid flipping your lid.

20. Keep a gratitude journal. Day 523. Another day past expiration and still no-one has noticed. Feeling ripe.

21. Practise saying no. Don’t let anyone force you into mothering the jellied fruit.

22. Take self-care with a pinch of salt. Don’t let yourself be condescended to by self-care tips that blatantly overlook the structural inequalities underpinning why you’re looking for advice on this topic in the first place. Even we breakfast foods are getting saltier by the year.

23. Be opportune. Wait until the time is right before making your move – then announce your demand for change. Shatter spectacularly on the floor. Paint the town, or at least the room, red. Stick to your principles, as well as to the wall. Be dramatic. Be outstanding. After all, you need to look out for yourself. This cold, dark room can’t contain you. Allow yourself to be boiled down or scraped into garbage before regrouping in a newer form and striking out for a better, more fruitful life. Don’t allow your opinions to be beaten into pulp. Be audacious and forthcoming instead. Save yourself, serve yourself, and preserve yourself. If I, a recently expired quince compôte, can do it, then so can you.

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