“But, don’t you love yourself enough to sit down to eat?”
A question my sister-in-law posed to my brother as we were comparing habits of daily living. The discussion sprouted from my choice to sleep on the floor in the guest room and my brother and I both agreeing a little austerity is good for the soul.
The haunting thing about staying several weeks with a sibling you haven’t lived with for 20 years is seeing how much your daily lives have evolved in parallel, despite all those efforts in our early years to each be our “own person.”
One of the lifestyle habits my brother and I now share is carrying around a bowl in one hand, eating with the other, and leaning on a counter or wandering about the house. For myself, as a single person whose table dressing includes old mail, sunglasses, used transit tickets and the unidentifiable remains of pocket contents, and any free chair is heaped with backpacks, windpants and books, I’ve practically made eating on the couch with chopsticks an art form. Really. You try eating fried eggs with chopsticks.
My sister-in–law, with her self-proclaimed princess tendencies, does admittedly have a point. Sometimes simplicity and pragmatism don’t win out over treating yourself right: slowing down, savouring the food you took the time to prepare, enjoying and living in the moment. Do I love myself enough to make a meal an event for myself and not just for the gathering of my friends?
After my Grandmother had a stroke and lost the ability to move, speak, or swallow, her long uneventful routine in the hospital was highlighted by meals. The sound of a can of Ensure being cracked open would light up her eyes with a wordless Wahoo! Something that went straight into a feeding tube and she would never taste, was a “Wahoo!” all the same in her books. When was the last time any of us got that excited about lunch – at least one that didn’t cost $22.95?
So from now on, in honour of my own inner princess, I’m going to make a point of having a party for one. Date night with myself. Sitting down, a little dinner music, maybe even light a candle or two, use the good dishes. Make my meal an event – even if it’s just fried eggs. I may have to relearn that whole knife and fork thing, but I’m worth it! I can love myself enough to sit down to eat, that backpack can get tossed to the floor.