“I don’t remember being particularly contented in those years, but now I look back at those nights standing around the mixer as some of the happiest of my life.”
I keep thinking about this quote in my head, returning to it again and again until I had to get out the book and look it up to get the words exactly right. Jennifer Reese’s husband was working the night shift, she had two small kids; rather than go crazy every night, she baked with them. Years later, she started a cooking blog and wrote a cookbook, and now her life is “officially” busy and successful.
I feel like there’s some grand lesson rolled up in the mundane moments of life that I’m supposed to be learning from this duration of time, and I’m trying to wrap my head around it. The minutes of my day fly by, strung together by moments in the kitchen: cooking breakfast, washing dishes, drying dishes, putting up the dishes; heating lunch, washing dishes, drying dishes, putting up the dishes; making dinner, washing dishes, drying dishes, putting up the dishes.
And in between dishes, I waste time online and read a little and clean a little and maybe sew a little, and inevitably go to the grocery store again to buy more food to dirty more dishes. Sometimes it feels like all I do all day is stand at the sink and immerse my hands in water and soap.
And I’m not particularly content, and I don’t feel particularly happy, but I just might look back on these days and remember the quiet of each day and the slow pace of each day, the peace of being alone with myself and the cats. Sometimes it’s not about being exuberantly happy, it’s just enough to keep on keepin’ on. It is enough to enjoy the solitude and appreciate the circle of the day. This life I’m living is enough. My days are slow, but this era won’t last forever.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself.