Sometimes, it all comes down to a few basic ingredients. It's not always about the most exotic spices, or the gourmet sauce, or the exotic type of fish from remote island waters. Don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than discovering new and exciting taste sensations. But pork roast and potatoes can be just as satisfying.
I grew up on routine, fairly bland dishes. After salt and pepper, there were not many other spices to be found in my mother's kitchen. I learned about seasoning, sauces, and meats other than beef and pork as I grew up and interacted with different families and with different cultures.
So too, in my life, I expanded beyond safe, secure routines of going to work, coming home, and the occasional night at the movies. I tried my hand at owning a business, singing with a band, writing music, riding a motorcycle. These may not be the most exotic things a person can do, but they took me outside of the experiences I had known all my life and each one expanded my horizons.
And now, due to the physical condition I have mentioned in this blog, I am back to the basics while I wait for a surgery date. The most I can do is go to work, come home, watch a little TV and sleep. And I find I am content. Without the buzz and chatter in my head that goes along with keeping social activities, work deadlines, and volunteer commitments all going at once, I find I am enjoying my days at work so much more. I am fully present to the work I do and to the people I supervise in ways I never have been before. Although I have always loved this work I do, there is depth of satisfaction in it that I had not experienced prior to this time of limited activity.
Also, I find my time at home that much more restful. I really thought I would do more writing since I eliminated most of my outside commitments. But instead, I am taking more time to simply be. I linger over a book and a cup of coffee. I watch TV as a way of allowing myself to drift away from stress and anxiety. I sleep more.
It makes no difference that my life is simplified out of necessity. I am back to a few basic ingredients and I have come to appreciate the sustaining nourishment they provide. This too, is the main meal, in every way as satisfying as a serving from a five star restaurant.