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I’ve been in a funk.

It was a cold, snowy week (though, beautiful!), and my mood matched it.

How many weeks can a person write about feeling off center, unsettled and in a funk?  But, there you have it, y’all.  Sometimes those are days in a life.

But then, in the middle of all that, magic arrives.

You know how when you are in a funk, people seem more rude and insensitive and impolite?  Well, I’ve been just on this side of cranky (okay, who am I kidding? I have been fully entrenched in the cranky zone), and every interaction has seemed heightened, so the obnoxious things (and people) have been irritating at a whole other level.

This is when you need to take care of yourself, treat yourself well and plug up the emotional holes so your beautiful and brilliant life force does not escape.

So, I took myself on a date.

My Saturday evening was spent at Shuko, a relatively new restaurant near Union Square in New York City.  I got to know the team when they were at Neta, which I’ve written about on this blog.  Whenever I see them, it’s always a bit like coming home.  Only with better food.

When I sat down, Chef Nick said, “How can we get you to come in more often?” It’s like when my parents say they don’t see me as much as they would like.  Home.

As I glanced over the drink menu, Jerrad, the general manager, walked over and poured a glass of what he knew I liked to drink without me ordering it. Sometimes you don’t know what you need until you get it.  Home.

I sat in front of Chef Jimmy, who was meticulously preparing beautiful and artful bites of sushi, reading on my iPad.  He looked over at me and said, “Where are your magazines?”  I usually bring a magazine to read as I eat, to catch up on things I don’t get to read during my crazy weeks.  He is never offended and sometimes amused by it, making fun of me for reading so much.  Home.

Over the years I’ve learned eating out isn’t simply about having a plate of food you didn’t cook.  It can be an experience—and when hospitality at its highest level, you feel cared for and fed beyond your belly.

The food, hardly incidental, became a vehicle for care.  I lost count of how many courses there were, absorbed in each bite.  I started off taking photos of each dish, but I decided the experience was better left to memory.  See this crab salad with chrysanthemum?  Attention must be paid.

IMG_2632

And with that, a glimmer of joy began to find me.

Wherever you find yourself this week, I hope you feel fed in all ways that are possible.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

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“Home is the nicest word there is.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today was one of those days.

It was a day that began with a person hitting the “door close” button before I was actually in the elevator.  Guess he really needed those 10 seconds it took me to walk on the elevator.

It culminated with visits to five different drugstores in search of toilet paper.  I am worthy of Charmin Ultra Soft, but apparently I’m living in a Charmin Ultra Strong city.

And there was a whole lot of annoying in between.  It was exhausting.

But then, I came home.

Home enveloped me with calm and comfort.  It offered a comfy couch to rest, a TV to distract me from the noise in my head and air conditioning to keep me far away from the humidity outside.

For that I am very grateful.

And for this spoonful of coffee ice cream.

Coffee Ice Cream

And to be a person who can be satisfied by one spoonful of ice cream.

See, the day has already turned around.  What are you grateful for today?

Home

After a long day at work and a long night after work, it’s good to just come home.

Home is welcoming, full of warmth, love and comfort.  Home is my Zen Den.  Home is where I can be me, fully, completely, wholly.

There is no place like home.

There is an excitement to traveling, to visting a place that you cannot claim as your own. The anticipation of not knowing what to expect is sometimes better than the trip itself.

My first far away trip was to Hawaii, when I was 8 years old. My family and I left on Christmas Day. I’d been on an airplane before, but never that far or for that long. This was a time when flying was still cool, when girls wanted to be like the glamorous and kind stewardesses (or at least I did) and the plane ride was part of the adventure, not just a means to an end.

On this trip, the dashing pilot came out of his cabin and gave my brother and I American Airlines wings. That was cool.

Hawaii was magical. We were surrounded by lush island greenery, which was only heightened by the occasional rainstorm.  Our hotel was steps from the beach; I didn’t know you could live so close to the sand and the calming sound of the waves. There I discovered the joy of room service. You just dialed a number, told the person what you wanted and they brought it to your door!  Hamburgers and french fries had never tasted so good. It made me feel like a rock star.

Magical places transport us from our every day lives. They make us see clearly that there are things outside of our world – the classroom, the carpool, the cubicle – that are worth appreciating.

They also underscore the value of the small things in life. Hawaii was a long, fun trip, but I was just as happy when I got home.

There is magic in mom cooking your meals, even if she made what she wanted – not whatever you ordered up – and you had to go to the dinner table to get it instead of it being brought to your room on a silver tray and a cloth-covered table.

Magic lives in your own well-worn bed with its cool sheets and familiar lumps that comfort a tired back at the end of a long day.

And there is magic in making your friends envious as you tell tales of the New Year’s Eve fireworks that stained the Hawaiian sand red, something enchanting that you would never, ever have expected.

There is magic in home.

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