Last night I cooked a meal with my girls.
We did the whole recipe.
You know, found a recipe, went to the grocery store, got all the ingredients and then spent hours cooking and baking.
I also got myself a glass of wine while I was cooking.
Had a piece of cheese.
And it hit me.
Of course I knew what I am about to tell you for some time now, but last night it hit me differently.
Grief took the simple pleasures of life away from me.
The things I did just for the fun of it.
For the pleasure of it.
They are hardly ever here.
I do know why.
It is exhausting to live fully and to do it just for fun.
Depression, anxiety, grief, pain of the heart are all so tiring that putting effort in pleasure is too much for us.
After a day of surviving the last thing you want to do is find a recipe and cook a new dish while you are having wine from a brand new bottle of Malbec you found at the store.
But isn’t it amazing to make a life that looks like that?
As I poured the Malbec I had a piece of cheese in my hand with the opened recipe book. The pot ready to cook.
The hustle of the kitchen.
The creative mess of the counters.
I took it all in. I lived that moment.
Knowing how I had starved myself from living for the sake of pleasure.
That wine was the best wine I have ever had, somehow.
I swear, time stopped.
It was a moment of reentry.
A moment of living purely for pleasure and enjoyment.
I went to bed last night tired in a different kind of way.
I felt full, not because I made this amazing chicken dish, and my daughters did this incredible lava cake.
I was full of life.
All in all it took about 5 hours of my day from the beginning to the end.
I am behind on work, ahead in life.
Ahead in my relationships.
Ahead in my connection with my girls.
Ahead in feeling pleasure.
Ahead from grief.
And in the midst of living fully yesterday we booked an indoor rock climbing class session for Saturday. Sure, I don’t want to go.
I have been living so much more lately that my body is tired but I can’t stop now my dear friend.
I can’t stop.
I have to keep living.
Here’s to food making, wine drinking, rock climbing, house moving, daily hiking and above all choosing yourself instead of your to do list.
Choosing pleasure instead of work.
Because work is grief in disguise.
Relentless work is anxiety in heels.
Go barefoot, with some cheese in one hand and a Malbec in another and see how that feels. You may cry at first. I know. Life tasting after loss can be bitter sweet.
But we can’t die while we are still alive.
Cheers to us.
With an exhausted body but a full heart,
PS. I hope you listened to this week’s podcast episode with my dear friend Michelle Steinke-Baumgard: http://www.dearlifepodcast.com/episodes/ep5