Great meals made easy!
No cooking in Dugan’s Kitchen today. I’m doing some research into new healthy recipes, so as soon as I have a chance to weed through them, and try a few, I will share. In the meantime, I thought I would share a few thoughts instead.
The holidays are over, and as we entered the new year, it got me thinking about how different my attitude is about that “joyful” season. When I was working, I had the great good fortune to have the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. In the beginning it was a time I really looked forward to — I was able to be home with our daughter and we could spend some time doing special things together. We saw friends and family, and I didn’t have to work for about 9 days. It was all good.
Later, when we became “empty nesters,” I didn’t have as much time with our daughter since she was either busy with school or working, so I spent more time entertaining. That was fun for a while, but each year it became clear that it took a lot of time, energy and money. I guess I got a little lazy!
Now, we are in a new phase…retirement. Families get older, people get sick, key family members pass, children get engaged, nieces and nephews move away, and suddenly your holiday routine changes forever. It’s all a natural evolution, but now I better understand why some people really don’t enjoy the holiday season. I still enjoy it, but I can see that if you can’t just savor the precious memories of the past without mourning their loss, it could be really hard.
This year I decided to try to put all the traditions and memories where they belong — in my virtual “book of fond memories” — and try to appreciate new holiday adventures. This year, if I felt like baking I did, but I didn’t feel obligated to make those cookies. If I wanted guests, I had them over, although more often than not we opted to go out with friends. On Christmas day, since there was just the two of us, instead of making a big dinner, we ate ham sandwiches and watched movies. In a way I think it was pretty liberating.
So, as I think back over the last few weeks, it was a good holiday season…different, yes…but good. And now we have the chance to make every holiday a new and unique experience…as Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing!”
I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful holiday and made lot’s of good memories. And, thanks for indulging me as I shared these reflections! Happy New Year!