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A Simple Little Thing Like Sharing A Meal Can Make Life Just A Little Bit Lovelier

Posted Jan 25 2011 9:42pm

Last weekend I packed up my life to spend the rest of the year drifting to wherever my heart takes me. In the weeks leading up to the move I started selling or giving away my stuff. I ended up with not a lot left over which was great so it only took a couple of trips to move everything into storage or to the friends and family that are going to babysit and use my things while I’m away.

For this first two weeks of my adventure I’m staying with my parents which unfortunately is not much of an adventure at all! But so far it has been a great learning experience. Finally there’s acknowledgement now that I’m a grown up woman so I’m not slipping into the child role and they’re not over nurturing or parenting me. They’ve given me the freedom to come and go as I please, prepare my own food like a house mate situation and pretty much enough space to stay out of each others way if that’s what we wish to do. Honestly I was really worried about coming and staying here for a bit but it’s been a blessing to experience and feel this new transition into “adulthood”. I’m 31 now so I guess it’s about time!!

This experience has also been a great reminder of what I do and don’t love about my parents way of life. One thing that I absolutely love and I kind of feel is a little adorable now, is how my parents will always eat together. For my entire life my parents have always made sure that they shared a meal with the family in the evening with the television turned off.

Something magical happens when families and communities share a meal together. When I was a kid my family would have dinners together every single night. My dad worked his butt off running two of his own companies but he would always make sure that he was home to eat with us every single night, even if it meant he went back to the office after we were in bed (which he often did). And it absolutely paid off. Some of the best memories I have of my childhood are of these dinners and conversations I shared with my family.

Sharing a meal together in the last house I lived in (that I just moved out of) was also a regular pleasure. In the beginning there was just four of us, all women, living in the house. We used to make a point of always being home on Sunday evenings for a family dinner. These dinners had turned into something I’d look forward to. We’d always cook together, eat together, drink tea and laugh about stuff well into the night. It was such a loving experience. It was a time to share what we’d done during the week, support each other and really just chill out and have fun. I realized at the time that I craved family and these three beautiful women that I lived with were my special little family that I had chosen.

Sometimes I feel that we’ve forgotten what living is all about. We’re so busy with our lives that we rarely have a single moment to ourselves or even to just breathe. So when it comes to the tiny little important things like eating together as a family or community, sometimes we forget that this tiny little important thing actually has some less than tiny benefits.

For me those family dinners when I was a kid where a space of love, it was a way of the entire family unit connecting together and sharing each others energy. And it was the same as an adult in my share house, our regular family dinner evenings were a beautiful way to nourish, support and help top up each others energy. It is such a simple thing to do but it makes so much difference.

So next time you get the chance, next time you’re at home with your friends or family, make a point of sharing a meal together. Try cooking together to make the process of preparing the meal fun and to fill the food with love! Then turn the TV and radio off, and sit around and enjoy your food together. I’m sure it’ll be an absolutely magical evening.

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