Okay so let’s just get that big pink elephant in the room out right now. I’ve sucked at the whole blog thing. No need to sugar coat it. There’s no excuse. I’d love to say that I’ve been extremely busy or that there’s just been too much going on but the truth is, I’ve been lazy and maybe a bit “off” for a while. I’ve not been running, I’ve not been cooking and I’ve not been blogging. Considering that these are my three main avenues for stress relief, this should serve as a clue that, for the past 5 or 6 months, I’ve just been out of sorts. I’m hoping that season is over though. I’m hoping I’ve turned a corner. I’m hoping for better things and brighter days ahead.
I’ve always been someone that others have considered to be “good”. Happy, cheerful, optimistic. This is not untrue. I am all of these things. But as I’ve aged, I’ve struggled more with sleepless nights and crippling anxiety. I’ve had periods where I’ve completely withdrawn emotionally, even from myself, if that’s possible. Times where I’ve lived with a thick filter between my heart and the life I’m experiencing. I think we all go through similar things. I don’t think I’m special or unique. I also don’t think that everyone needs to deal with these feelings in the same way. I once told a friend that when I was really stressed, I would run and I would cook. I never thought that there would come a time that general anxiety would cause me to feel so stressed that I wasn’t able to do either. And yet, I was there. Withdrawn, protected, emotionally isolated. Everyone around me noticed. Those who love me were, no doubt, concerned. I just wasn’t “me”
And then, for no real reason whatsoever, it was as if I woke up. I noticed the beautiful life that I have. The amazing people around me. I saw the faces of those few close friends and family who genuinely had my best interests at heart. The ones who really love me just the way I am. And honestly, I’ll admit right now that I’m not the easiest person to love. It takes a special person to “get me”. I can be cynical and sarcastic and I’m not generally a warm fuzzy kind of gal (I know, you’re shocked). I’ve always known this and it’s made me appreciate those friends even more.
The truth is that my husband is an amazing man. If you don’t know him, you’re honestly missing out. He’s funny and smart and witty and I’ve very literally been married to a man who, for nearly 15 years, has made me laugh out loud almost every single day. If you know him, this won’t surprise you. I’ve also been married to someone who still looks at me every day like I’m the most amazing woman he’s ever known. I think he’s horribly misguided in this thought but I don’t argue. Through 15 years, two children, countless wrinkles and a yo-yoing scale, he’s loved me and desired me every single day. That’s pretty fantastic and something that not every woman in this world is lucky enough to have. I’m now very aware of this and so very appreciative. Because of him, I know what love looks like.
I have two fantastic kids who are very rapidly growing into two fantastic young men. Funny, kind, creative, athletic, witty. They really are just about every good thing I can think of. I don’t take too much credit for this. I think I’m lucky. Or blessed. Or both. I get to experience music lessons, football games, baseball tournaments, homework and the hours in my life are so filled that I can’t imagine what life would be without them. My oldest has started at a new school this year. Every morning and every afternoon, we’re together for a 20-minute drive to the new school. This has become my favorite part of the day.
Sometimes I think we get so bogged down in what we don’t have. Nice cars, nice clothes, big houses, etc. There are a lot of things that I would someday “like” to have. But the truth is, that in what’s really important, I’m incredibly rich. I don’t deserve to be loved the way I’m loved. I don’t earn it. God knows that there are even times that I fight it. But real love is stubborn and for that, I’m so very grateful.
And then there are my friends. Just a few. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have many truly close friends. I’m generally distrusting of people. I’m not sure why. I’ve not been incredibly hurt or burned by friends too often. It’s just the way I am. I don’t “connect” with others too often but when I do, it’s powerful and real and it generally sticks. I’m so grateful for those few friends who genuinely care. Those who have my best interests at heart, those who would (and this is a quote) throw me up against the wall and shake me if I needed it. And sometimes, sadly, I need it.
So all of this to say that the first half of 40 has been tough but I feel like I’m truly coming back to life. I spent this weekend in Austin. Many of you know that Austin for me, is more than a city. It’s a refuge. It’s a place of respite. When I’m here, I’m engulfed in love and honesty and openness and care. I do love the city but I love these dear people who live here even more. They remind me of who I want to be. They make me want to be better, care more, live passionately. They help me see beyond myself to the things in life that really matter. I’m very different from them and always will be but they, like so many others in my life, love me in spite of it. That’s a good feeling. Sometimes you just need to surround yourself with people who are better than you but don’t seem to know it. It’s nurturing and we all need to be nurtured occasionally.
So I’m hoping that as I return so will the cooking and the blog. There are some interesting developments on the horizon for The Gourmet Girls and there are some interesting things ahead for Crystal as well. But anything good ahead requires me to know exactly how good I have things now. I’m thankful and at times, completely blown away.
Thank you. All of you. You know who you are. I truly do love you.