Dinner for One

The kids are gone for a week. This has been the case every other such week this summer. It has been an interesting adjustment to have so much free time on my hands. Well, you know, free time other than the time I sit in front of a computer screen between the hours of 7:30am and 4pm.

The temptation is mostly to spend my time cleaning and organizing and catching up a lot. Laundry, closets, kitchen floors, vacuuming out the car, you know...that stuff. The other temptation is to mope around a little. Sunday night I came home from dropping them off and ate a 1/2 of a bag of bbq sunflower seeds. I sat on my balcony and alternately spit the seeds into a coffee mug and sipped a whisky on the rocks. Maybe two.

Last night I decided to try a little harder.

I came straight home and washed my face. I piled my hair on top of my head and went to work on poached eggs. I'm horrible at poached eggs. I tried no less than 8 of them. Wanna know what the trick is? You have to swirrrrrrrrl the simmering water when you put the egg in!

It's hard to cook for one person. I'm used to cooking for 6. Why bother you know? Just have a sandwich or a bowl of cereal- get over yourself. But I've decided to try hard at least one night while the kids are gone. It can be anything. It can be delicious. I deserve delicious food.

So, my version of "trying hard" last night was the two remaining pieces of cinnamon French bread from Sunday's breakfast- toasted, black forest ham topped with two (finally) perfectly poached eggs, and everything all drowned in hollandaise. Hollandaise is surprisingly easy to make. I've made it a handful of times now. It only has 4 ingredients. Egg yolks, lemon juice, water, and butter. Lots of butter.

Pour a glass of wine. Put your feet up. Enjoy your own company. Hey! I'm kinda fun to hang out with. 

It's not so hard to try hard.

 

*It was my birthday last Saturday. A big one. I'm trying to find the words to write about that very soon.

Passing it on

My uncle and I shared a brief moment together at a family wedding on Saturday evening. It was the first such event since my divorce. Surrounded by other people and their busy conversations about kids, families, current events, and the weather-- without preface he said to me, "I really believe all people- everyone- is worthy to be loved. We are. I am. You are. We all are. Sometimes words aren't even necessary. I just want to nod my head to you, even strangers, to let you know that I have reverence for your existence."

 

My eyes welled up with tears and I just smiled and let those words settle deep inside of me. People (even the people that you love the most!) often have such negative things to say. Sometimes it's directed towards you, sometimes it's expressed behind your back. Either way, the thoughts and opinions of others can chip away at you if you let them...  and too often I let them. It was so refreshing to be built up in that unlikely moment and in that unlikely conversation.

Thank you Uncle Den for such a timely gift, I'm passing it on today.

a beating heart

I went to the Doctor this morning (nothing serious). As the nurse was taking my vitals she was called to help another patient and she left me alone in the exam room wearing a pulse oximeter on my finger.

I sat in silence and listened to my heart beating aloud.

I sat in silence and smiled. I like an audible reminder of the delicate and intricate systems that keep me in existence. I forget. What if I could hear the network of messages relaying in and out of my brain? What if I could hear the oxygen being converted to C02 in my lungs with every inhale/exhale? What if I could hear my white blood cells mobilizing, or my muscle fibers rebuilding in greater strength? Would it change the way I lived?

Hearing my heartbeat out loud today made me thankful.

Hearing it encouraged me that I am more vigorous and vital than I sometimes feel.

Hearing it made me determine again to live in such a way so as to not waste one day. Ever.

I had an amazing little coastal escape last weekend, and this morning as I heard my heart beating, it left me feeling so glad that I had seized the opportunity to go. I felt affirmed that I am indeed using every heart beat for loving, and learning, and appreciating, and maybe even a little adventuring too. 

Listen to your heart.