I love to cook. For friends, for family. I love being in the kitchen, creating dishes that will nourish and bring us together. How the room begins to take on energy and life…the laughter, the smiles, the conversation. I have found when I am in the kitchen cooking, folks come there…to be in the room, some to snack, some to “help,” some to just visit. The kitchen is truly the heartbeat of our home.
It’s been a rough, hard patch for me and I think because of that, I haven’t had a creative urge. I have been so ruled by my emotions and my anger and irritation, that nothing has been enjoyable to me. Not even cooking.
It hit home yesterday, at the Boy’s football game. They didn’t do well. In fact, they lost. Terribly. And the wife and I inadvertently sat in the wrong section and were a few rows back from the opposing team families. This is relevant only because they were cheering….loudly. And beating my son’s team.
How DARE they?!?!? Didn’t they know that these young men were going to be devastated when they got in the car, didn’t they realize that these young men were going to blame themselves, individually for their team loss. How dare they sit in the stands being noisy, cheery and happy that their own young men were winning!!!!
I don’t mean I was unhappy. I mean I was completely irritated and spoiling for a fight. Every time one of them clapped or said “Good job!” I got upset. Loudly upset, daring one of them to turn around, say something or even shoot me a dirty look. I am telling you, it hit a low yesterday.
The wife had to point out to me that if it had been our team, our son, I would have been loudly cheering, loudly proclaiming “Good job!” and clapping until my hands were numb. She told me that I was way too irritated and it had been a becoming a more frequent occurrence. That my moods had changed and I was less happy, more quick to anger.
It was sobering. She has no idea how this hit me. I have quietly sat and thought about this since yesterday.
I have gotten so cranky lately. I don’t know why. I have let so many other people rule my emotions and my thoughts. For no good reason.
This week, we did something I never thought I would be able to do. We bought a car for the Daughter. It was more the wife than me, which means so much more, because she did out of love. Not because she HAS to love the Daughter, but because she WANTS to love her.
I told the wife and the Daughter, we just realized that she needed that one small break…that one step that showed her that she could have faith. That she could lean on family and that our love for her, our faith in her, would be enough to help carry her. She was completely shocked and I loved every tear she cried. If ever a kid deserved the happy, the moment of good shock, it was the Daughter. And the wife made this happen.
I can never have the ability to tell her how much this meant to me. How much it meant to me that she worked for this deal. I was, am, will always be in awe of the level of her compassion for others. I can never tell her how grateful I am for her, how her love transforms me daily.
That is a lesson I need to always remember…I am transformed every day.
My New Year’s Commitment, not Resolution, was to allow my family, my home to center me. To bring me back to my core and remind me that even in the smallest way, I matter, that I am part of something special. I just have to remember to ALLOW my home to recharge my batteries. To ALLOW my family to bring me back, to help me find my center. I tend to forget this lesson. I tend to push it aside, to bring the work, the outsiders, the negative into my core.
It took some obscene cheering and a wife making an innocent statement to snap me out of it.
I realized that I have an amazing family. I got to spend some really great quality time with the Daughter on Thursday night, just learning about her as a young woman. We’ve had many of these times since she’s moved out and I feel better about our relationship now, moreso that I ever have before. We are closer than ever and I treasure the fact that this person, this beautiful woman is of me….that her values, her morals, her life experiences are of me. It’s mind-blowing.
So on Thursday, it was decided that we would do “Taco Night” on Sunday. Taco Night is the Daughter’s favorite meal…and the glee was un-containable. I would almost think that she fasted for three days to prepare.
I have spent the day recharging….as I committed to at New Year’s. I have changed from one set of jammies to another. And did nothing. I sat, watched TV, read, checked Facebook and just chillllllllled out. I need this, so much. This CTRL-ALT-DEL on my life. It’s become imperative in my life.
I love my job. I find that there are times, I tend to bring my work home. I have to be careful, because I am the type of person that can let my job take over my life. I try to leave it at work, or at the very least, let it go on the 40 minute drive home. And lately, I haven’t done that. I have seen my conversations revolve around my day, not around my family.
I needed today to remind me that my family is my everything. My whole reason to get up, to breathe, to do what I do day in and day out. I needed to honor the commitment to me.
So after sitting around all day, I began doing my do….I began creating a meal for my family. In the heart of this home, the food, the smells, the energy….it surrounded me and reminded me that I have a family I have to nourish. Not only with food, but with faith, with love and with peace. It’s my job to feed them, to love them and I am good at this job.
So as the family gathered around a table overflowing with good food, we laughed, we shared, we spent cherished time together. Who knew that guacamole and tortillas could pull me out of my funk.
As I watched the Daughter and the Boyfriend leave, with enough leftovers for a family of four, I knew that tomorrow will hold new promise.
Tomorrow, I will wake up to another day in my blessed life and I won’t take it for granted.
WIth the kitchen cleaned, the Boy tucked in and the house quiet again, I find my end of day…and it will end with me, next to my wife, centered and peaceful.