Sunday, May 22, 2011

Renewing my vows, post-Apocalypse Not

We went to some friends' block party in Mill Valley last night and thoroughly enjoyed the hang-out. I was so reminded of the countless block parties on Liberty Street, where I grew up, and that easy companionship of neighbors. That sitting around in the street under the stars, laughing, playing, running around.  We have great neighbors on each side where we live now, but nothing like what we saw last night, nothing like what I grew up with.  It was sweet, indeed, to be there, to see that normalcy, kids on skateboards, adults at the grill -- just like old times.

I've realized a few things this morning, probably because I am not feeling 100%, feeling fuzzy actually, my hormones a little nutty, a migraine just off the coast of my awareness.

One is that this year has been challenging so far, really.  I feel like I've suffered a number of disappointments and sorrows, the biggest of which was of course losing Jasper.  I woke up this morning from a dream in which I was looking out the window of our home office, into the garden, and Jasper walked past, sniffing stuff.  I woke myself up with the force of my sharp intake of breath at seeing him, knowing even in dream that it wasn't so, then so sad upon waking that I hadn't just let it ride, kept watching him in dream as I can no longer do in life.  So that's sad.  There've been a number of other smaller things -- Joe's accident, some realizations about people that bummed me out -- but anyway, because I'm a little low today physically, stuff is floating to the surface.

Post-Rapture, the vows I'm renewing have nothing to do with my husband.  I feel like our vows get renewed every single day.  He makes me laugh pretty much every morning when I wake up, not long after I open my eyes, something which is so amazing and great. He is just cleverer, funnier, cuter all the time.  Our Us just never gets old.  Just gets better.

No, instead, I'm renewing my vows to myself, to take care of myself the way I know I need to, to manufacture little delights for myself (and others) that make everything tastier and better.  Here is how this is manifesting:

- I can't stay out late anymore.  I was up way too late last night, which is definitely contributing to my feeling-weird this morning.  I need to admit once and for all that I really can't operate that way.  It's generally impossible for me to sleep past 6am, especially in the summer, and the price for being out til midnight or later is just too high.  Can't pay it anymore.  So even though it makes me super-boring and it means taking separate cars so that Joe can stay as long as he likes, I need to start holding that line for myself, cutting out and observing my bedtime.  It's a little disappointing, but really feels like that would be the smarter thing to do, instead of pretending that I am both early bird and night owl.  Nope, one bird only, the early kind.

- I can drink my coffee with whole cream -- yes, whipping cream -- whenever possible.  Something magical happens in the cup, the way the fat in the cream bonds with the oils in the coffee -- the result is absolutely delicious.  I knew this, since it's one of my Christmas time rituals to have toasted panettone for breakfast and a spoonful of whole cream in my coffee, but I think it's time to stretch the coffee part of that habit out to the rest of the year.  Comparing the calories, it's really not such a big deal, since I definitely use more half-and-half than I do cream.  And damn it, the result is excellent.

- I am happier when there are homebaked, homecooked goodies at my house.  I'm writing this right now as  5 1/2 T of unsalted butter are softening on the counter, so I can launch my morning's creation: banana bread with a swirl of Nutella.  [Nutella is a whole vow unto itself.]  Later it'll be something else, after our lunch guests leave and before dinner guests arrive.  But really, this is something so necessary to me right now, this knowing that there are tasty options, a way to savor the beauty of this life, in the kitchen.  And with the garden exploding already -- lettuce, kale, cilantro, always cilantro -- there is so much freshness to enjoy.

So, nothing earthshaking on this first post-Rapture morning, really.  Just my own self in the quiet of this funny morning, baking, moving slowly, enjoying.

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