So yes, I added a hot toddy into my daily routine, for the time being. Just before bedtime, I boil the kettle, figure out what type of herbal tea I feel like dressing up with a shot of bourbon, lemon and honey, and then settle down with my lovely little nighttime cocktail. My daughter suggested this, what a smart child I raised. I think she suggested it as a temporary measure to battle the head cold, but I am considering adding it permanently. It’s a rather nice way to end the day. Sure beats taking a sleeping pill.
Living on my own I realize that I have become rather lazy in certain aspects. Meals fall in this area. When Kevin was alive every meal was planned out, both while he was healthy and especially after he became ill. Meal planning became even more important when he was diagnosed with cancer. He had to keep his protein intake up and, when he was in chemotherapy, he really didn’t feel like eating. His deal with me was that when he ate, and what he ate, I would have to eat too. The thing was, some of the stuff, especially the asparagus soup episode, I really didn’t like. A deal is a deal though. I suffered through it as did he. It made for a lot of meal preparation, planning, eating and clean-up. Now that he’s gone I find that I just don’t feel like cooking, or planning or preparing for my meals. I still have an appetite; just have gotten a little lazy. Enter the cruise – wow, food galore, all hours of the day, all made by somebody else – perfect!
But now I am back to reality – five pounds heavier, and with a renewed appetite. What a shock when I opened the refrigerator and saw how empty it was. More of a shock when I saw that what was on the shelves was pretty much all bottles and jars long past their expiration dates. Time to get interested in things again. Time to pick up and put some effort into meal planning, prepping and cooking. My intentions are good, but then this is a good day. They come and they go. I’m still riding the roller coaster.
Tonight was dinner out with a couple of close friends. It’s something that I have done a few times now. It should be such a normal, undemanding, satisfying thing to do, but in reality for me, it’s hard. When my husband, Kevin, was alive I seldom went out for dinner without him. It would be like a betrayal to go out for a meal and not have him with me. Eating out really and truly was his thing. He would joke (but he was actually quite serious) that he hadn’t taken a lunch to work with him for 15 years. Truly, every day he and his buddies at the school where he taught would go out for lunch. Every day. If that wasn’t enough, he’d sometimes call me before he left at the end of the school day and arrange to meet me for a coffee at a little café we have in town. Sitting there having our coffee we’d figure out what to do about dinner a couple of hours later.
On the weekend Kevin would usually try to have something planned for Saturday night, at our house or someone else’s. He had a unique skill as a dinner party planner; he’d invite everyone, assign preparation of courses (appetizers, mains, desserts) and then figure out where the dinner would be. Sometimes there would be a bit of notice, but not always. He loved the food and he loved socializing. He loved our circle of friends. Then Sundays were breakfast out, usually at the same restaurant, where invariably we’d meet people we knew.
I had been caught up in Kevin’s current and swirled along with him for so long that his death has meant a tremendous adjustment. That lifestyle is now gone. Not in the sense that I can’t do those things, but in the obvious way that they will never be the same. Tonight, sitting there in the restaurant with my friends was so safe but at the same time it pulled at my heart. Kevin would have had no problem crashing a dinner out with the girls; he had no problem crashing anyone’s party. I could imagine him there with me tonight, trying to wheedle all the gossip out of my friends, laughing and telling stories. I suspect that the conversation tonight at the dinner table wouldn’t have satisfied him, it just wasn’t juicy enough; although for a few minutes I think we did him proud.
It’s the simple honest moments that trip me up the most. I know it, and there is nothing I can do about it.