Monday, January 20, 2014

“Keep this kitchen clean - eat out”

I did this cross stitch many years ago.  The frame has changed to a black one from the original powder blue. But it's been my motto ever since…more and more so as of late it seems. 

These days, my excuse for eating out is the fact that I’m an extrovert working from home. I need to get out of the house and to be among people to maintain my sanity. That’s a good enough excuse, right? 

Fortunately for me I have a neighbour whose mother taught her to never say no to an invitation which means I always have a lunch or dinner partner if I want one. Other times I meet up with friends. I’m limited in what I eat for optimum health so I’ve learned exactly which meal I can have at each place I go to! 

Many times I just take a good book and go on my own. Perhaps it will be my book club book of the month or a spiritual growth book that I’m meditating on. I also take a notebook in which to scribble the things that strike me as ‘aha’ moments or quotes I want to refer back to. 

Each restaurant or coffee place, I’m realizing, has its regulars. 

I know where to go when I want to read uninterrupted and I know where to go when I don’t mind people sitting down to talk. One particular coffee place I used to go for reading became more of a place to chat with the regulars. But in some places the regulars may just nod a hello in recognition then leave you to your devices. So before I leave the house I need to decide whether it is a day in which I want serious reading or if it’s a day where I’d love to have people interrupt me to chat. 

An older man whom I’ve only known when chatting at the coffee shop has helped me to plan trips in Ontario, Canada because he was from the area that I would be travelling in. He’s also directed me to where I can get a good cell provider. I in turn helped him learn how to use his new cell. 

Other relationships have been built because my reading material has opened up interesting and deep conversations with both staff and patrons. 

The two books I slowly digested in 2013 were “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby and “OneThousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. Especially the former book had people talking to me about God and spirituality upon seeing the title. Some shared their stories. This gave me permission to share my life and to share some of the insights that I gained from the reading.

There are some who stay on my heart when I return home and who become part of my prayers as I think about things they’ve revealed to me. Others cheer me up with the banter that happens between us. 

So, yup, I eat out. I ‘coffee’ out. Some may think otherwise, but I think it’s time well spent even though it ends up being a big chunk of my monthly budget. 

 I just wish it really would keep my kitchen clean!!

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