How am I feeling today? The emotion of the day is happy. Yes, you read that right. I had a happy day today. Now that doesn't mean I smiled all day. Nor does it mean that I didn't have my moments of wistfulness or wishing for things to be different.
Finally, after 10 1/2 months, I think my bull-headed approach to grabbing hold of life and living it, regardless of the consequences, and choosing to be happy is beginning to pay off. Am I happy all the time? Nope. But I'm not sad all the time, either.
My happiness today was tied directly to two occurrances: 1) the success of installing a new mailbox post and mailbox yesterday, with the help of a female friend, and 2) getting a chance to cook for said friend and her family today.
Outdoor projects have never been my area. Until now, when I don't have anyone else to push them off on. I'm quickly becoming good at many things, including mowing, weedeating, gardening, and keeping up with vehicle maintenance. Mixing and pouring concrete was way out of my comfort zone. Good thing I have a friend that can do most anything she sets her mind to. She quickly volunteered to come to "help" me and the boys, but once here, she took charge as we happily did what she told us to do. I've always been good at following directions. And the next occasion I have to mix concrete, I've seen it done, and will be able to do it all by myself...unless I call her over again, just because she's so darn much fun :)
The second occurrance, cooking, may sound a bit silly. But I love to cook. I used to buy a cookbook everywhere we travelled, and I loved to find new recipes to cook for Mark. Now he's gone, and I'm left with two boys who'd just as soon have a peanut butter sandwich as a gourmet meal. We've had more than our share of fast food since he's been gone. I'm not proud of that fact, but with our busy schedules and trying to get accustomed to being "just" the three of us, grab and go seems to work on most days.
I had not bought a cookbook since Mark died. I have dozens sitting, gathering dust. But I bought one a couple of weeks ago, from the Pioneer Woman, I'd heard rave reviews.
I picked out her white chicken enchiladas and mexican rice. I roasted red, yellow, and green bell peppers, along with a couple of poblano and jalapenos. I diced them all up. I doused the chicken with paprika and half & half, I made homemade bechamel/sour cream sauce for the enchiladas.
The smells coming from my kitchen were amazing. As I pulled the can opener away from the back of the countertop, and began to open my Rotel tomatoes, it hit me I couldn't for the life of me remember the last time I USED MY CAN OPENER! Such a strange feeling came over me, as I was stirring the rice and tomatoes together on the stove....I was humming. I haven't hummed in my kitchen in a year. That in itself is pretty amazing.
I'm beginning to heal. Life, even without the love of my life, my best friend, is still worth living. I have so much to be thankful for. I have two great kids, wonderful friends, family, and neighbors. New windows are opening up for me, I'm doing things I'd never dreamed.
The dinner was pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. The company was even better. I miss adult conversation! It was heartily enjoyed by all the adults in attendance. However, my boys and the 4 year were not impressed.
But that's okay. For the first time, in a long time, my kitchen was a total mess from my cooking. And I didn't care.
My kids are just going to have to learn to appreciate my gourmet skills. Or they'll be eating alot more peanut butter sandwiches.