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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Queen of Consumption

Family. Food. Friends. Food. Easter. Even more food.

Am I complaining? Not a chance. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Everywhere I turn in the kitchen and pantry I can see my favourite foods. Two meals out of three are sure to be either a wonderful comfort food from my youth or a tantalizing culinary experience.

Don’t even get me started on the baking.

I am home. And by home I mean enjoying the pampering and fuss that a mother seems only to be able to do when she hasn’t seen her daughter in over three months. My primary responsibility is to devour and enjoy what is put in front of me. I’m worthy of the task.

So busy was I enjoying my role as the Queen of Consumption that I failed to notice anything else around me. One could say I was rather focused.

All this came to a screeching halt one fateful afternoon. “Let’s go to the gym,” says my son with 1% body fat. So off I went.

While at the gym I caught my profile in one of those ginormous mirrors that fitness clubs seem to line every available wall with and had what can only be called a Buddha moment.

Surely my shirt was all bunched I thought and smoothed it out over my stomach. Nope. Maybe it is the angle I am standing in I decide and reposition myself. Nope, not that either. I smooth my shirt again and ponder how many hours of hard core cardio it will take to right this most undesirable turn of events. A lot I decide.

I’ve never really experienced “going home” to my parents before. It’s certainly a time filled with love, comfort and quality time. Although I miss my parents dearly, it is also pretty cool to be able to enjoy this new experience. Sure it is calorie laden, but that’s okay, next time will pack some stretchy pants…

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rethinking a Goodbye

I don’t like goodbyes. Not one little bit. They are an unnecessary dramatic conclusion. To me a goodbye signifies an end. And most often an end is a negative thing – so why goodbye?

When my son was around two years old he refused to say goodbye. He would hug people, say “love you” and then quickly leave the rest of us to our dramatic send off. I think he was on to something.

My long time email/pen pal used to sign every email to me with some sort of “goodbye.” Each time I would read through the email and enjoy the inevitable chuckle it provoked, but then it would lead to a formal “have a nice life” sort of ending. It made me crazy.

As I head off for a three week leave from my Austrian home, I found myself once again dealing with “goodbyes.” I appreciate the effort certainly, but being the sensitive soul that I am, I am horribly uncomfortable with the finality of a goodbye. I accept that things change and that sometimes it can be painful to part. But it does not have to be a goodbye. Does it?

I would like to think that a goodbye is more like the end of a chapter. And as you turn the pages to another chapter and perhaps another you will soon find that there was no need for a goodbye. Whether it is three weeks, 10 years or a lifetime – why say goodbye? How about see you soon? Then we can just keep turning the pages and see what the next chapter holds.