An acquaintance of mine is young, single, and involved in a very demanding career. She has a job that frequently requires her to travel and very often on extremely short notice. When she is in town, she leads a very active social life. She spends little time in her own downtown condo. Due to the small size of her high-rise Yaletown apartment, she does very little entertaining there. She prefers to eat most of her meals in restaurants or from take-away eateries. Because she is seldom home, she finds that there is little point in going grocery shopping, so her fridge is nearly always empty. “Too often,” she confessed to me a while ago, “dinner is a slice of cold pizza, or a can of wild salmon eaten over the kitchen sink, while I’m waiting for a taxi cab to arrive.”
I can certainly understand why she has fallen into this lifestyle pattern. I know how easy it is to cut corners in life with things that you are not convinced are of real importance. However, I think that taking the time to treat ourselves well and maintain our sense of order in our lives is very important, even when no one is looking!
To be sure, taking an extra hour or so to prepare a proper meal for yourself is an extra burden on your time. And, really, who is going to notice? Well, the thing is, you will! Taking the time to prepare a meal for yourself and taking the time to sit down and enjoy it are ways of demonstrating a sense of self-worth. You are, in effect, telling yourself that you matter. You are worth a bit of extra bother. Knowing this, in a subliminal way, can affect and shape self-perception and increase personal dignity.
Taking the time to do this right also adds richness and quality to our lives. An hour spent enjoying a shrimp and blue cheese omelette with fresh cracked pepper washed down with a half glass of drinkable wine can be an oasis on contentment in a turbulent day. The oasis is even better still if you accompany that meal with a freshly laundered tablecloth, some uplifting music or a few pages of a book that you have been meaning to read.
It may even be the unnoticed difference between feeling overwhelmed by life and having a sense of inner calm when you need it most.