Some Days, It Is

Food is not the solution to problems. Dietitians have been saying that for years, cardiologists, counselors and psychiatrists as well. Eating doesn’t solve life’s big problems. OK, it prevents starvation in most cases, but devouring a bunch of steak, or a pound of mashed potatoes, or half a cheesecake, or something like that doesn’t fix relationships or other problems.

But there are days when you come home tired, cold, perhaps wet, and a cup of good hot chocolate, or spicy tea, or a bowl of soup or chili makes the world so much better. It doesn’t end the main problem of the day, but it eases the body and mind enough to give you space, let you relax, and adds a bit of pleasure to the day. You can return to the battle, or face your family without saying something rash.

Some evenings, a thick, messy burger, or a steak, or pot roast, or a small mountain of pasta eaten in the company of friends, or fellow believers, makes the world wonderful. Talk flows around everything and nothing, perhaps a few beers or other drinks are consumed, but in moderation and with fellowship. The food is not fancy but it fills your insides like the talk and laughter fills your soul, both nourishing and soothing. You still have work waiting to be done, but life is better. Perhaps you listen more than you talk, learning, hearing stories about characters gone before, or stories of recent vacations and adventures. All is well, and you leave refreshed as well as fed. A good burger with bacon, cheese, and a little BBQ sauce is soul food when taken in the right company.

Certain parts of society seem to have forgotten the importance of little joys, of breaking bread with friends. I’ve been musing off and on about why some people, despite having all the possible material benefits and comforts known to mankind, seem so unhappy. And why they appear to want to spread that unhappiness. Far wiser people than me have spilled ink and pixels on the topic for at least a century or so, and I’m not a psychologist or counselor in any sense of the words. But I wonder if those people ever stop, share a burger and fries with laughter and friendship, or savor anything at all.

We can get so tied up in causes or duties or being good parents that we forget to stop, have a cup of chocolate, or a cup of really good coffee, and watch the clouds go by. We don’t take time for a casual meal with people who just want to chat and enjoy each other’s company without worrying about the Problem of the Day.

But sometimes, hot chocolate or a sloppy burger IS the answer to the trials of the day.


9 thoughts on “Some Days, It Is

  1. Great deal of truth in your line of thought. Another piece comes in play, for that quiet cup or a meal with friends: you stop (all right, should stop) other things and thoughts, and focus on “right here.” Time to decompress, quit worrying, relax – let the rest drain off for a while.

    Ahh – being “off the clock” in this sense means ignoring the efficiency expert’s stopwatch and instead listening for the church’s bells.

  2. Certain parts of society seem to have forgotten the importance of little joys, of breaking bread with friends.

    Not just forgotten– rejected, or decided they are evil.

    What was that line in … Witches Abroad, I think? About the “Good” sister having done so much harm, and she didn’t even have any fun at it?

  3. The happiest people I know are the most traditional, marrying young, having homeschool kids raised in a tight knit community, etc.
    The least happy people I know are those living the most modern ways – same sex marriage, live in boyfriend, multiple divorcee, etc.
    The contrast is quite interesting…

  4. I got through a hellish year with the promise of Alpine Cheddar in the morning. Hard, very rich cheese; delicious.

    I also recc’ very spicy stuff for stopping downward spirals, especially if you can eat it in company. If for a minute or so all you can think about is your mouth burning, it helps reset the brain out of the dumps!

  5. Food or drink can be a great comfort, especially the memories associated with that item. Sometimes its the only thing keeping me sane today.

    There are those who want to take away anything that makes us happy. Ignoring them makes me happy 🙂

  6. That is one of the ‘joys’ of our Saturday suppers, as you know. It’s downtime (unless you’re the cook), and a chance to just talk, eat, and not worry about tomorrow…

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