Days 30 through 40.

I’m sorry, world.  I got lazy.  A few days passed, then a couple more, and gradually the thought of staying up late to post again started sounding less and less appealing.  I wish I could say that at least I was completely faithful to the commitment bandwagon, but alas, that wavered toward the end as well.  Didn’t stop – not at all – just wavered.

In these missing days: I celebrated (sadly) a friends’ moving away party.  I tried happy hour at a new restaurant with Brandee.  Had another weekend with friends at the condo.  Alex cooked me dinner.  I cooked Alex dinner.  I led a weekend training conference in Chicago for work and ate with 21 college students.  Bible study with the girls.  Towards the end, I kind of drifted away from seeking out new people and those who I rarely see in favor of sticking with the already close relationships who I want to surround myself with more.

And then, at the very end, for Easter weekend – best of all – my sister Becky came to visit!  How appropriate to spend the last few days of the Lent experiment dining with family!  We had such a sweet time together, catching up, sharing life, and having adventures.  On Saturday evening, the night before Easter, we had dinner together with Alex at a local hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian restaurant on Colfax.  East Colfax is known for nondescript legit Ethiopian joints that look completely sketchy on the outside but whose food inside is divine.  On the last night of my official commitment to only have supper with others, I joined two people that I love at a tiny round table and ate with my fingers and hands.  Fish banatu, lentils, peas, and spinach on spongy injera with mounds of slightly spicy red, yellow, and green sauces soaking into everything… the smells of cardamom and onions, honey wine… wholly holy!  (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

So what did I gain from doing this thing?  Other than three pounds?  Well, even on those nights where I longed for time alone, I never once regretted afterward having taken the time to eat with someone instead.  I created space at the table for people besides myself, which ultimately is always a good thing.  I learned that it really takes a lot of effort to maintain relationships as a working adult, and that we grown-ups tend to be much less spontaneous than we’d like to think we are.  I realized that, while developing the relationships that are already in my life is most appealing, I actually do miss meeting and mingling with lots of new people on a regular basis.  I became more painfully aware of my selfishness.  I began contemplating how, as a future parent, I will teach my own children to appreciate meals with others.  And I learned that this is something I shouldn’t stop doing!  So I won’t.  I won’t stop, but I will take time to breathe in between… breathe, sleep and exercise more again, and try some new daring recipes. Because those things are good too.

AND, in honor of the symbolic new life that Easter brings and this glorious spring season, I planted Garden J’Espere.  In case you’re wondering, that’s grammatically incorrect Franglish for “Garden, I hope!”  Here are before and after photos of my spring planting: peas (not visible in the photos), onions, turnips, radishes, beets, kohlrabi, mustard greens, arugula, and lettuce.  Here’s to fresh starts, new beginnings, and saying cheers with others that will (hopefully) include a meal of homegrown veggies in the next 30-65 days.

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