Today was a nice day. Tomorrow marks three months with my girlfriend. That’s not a whole lot, objectively speaking, but it’s longer than most of my relationships have lasted so it feels nice to reach and mark it. Since we’re both busy tomorrow, we met up for a bit today to just spend some time together and we wound up spending most of it grocery shopping. We both love to cook, so it was preparation for both of us to spend the afternoon cooking. She was cooking meals for a friend who just had a baby. I was cooking because I wanted stew, my bean dip, and cider.
I, of course, had to clean the entire kitchen before I could start. It was too dirty and covered in dishes to cook, so I had to make some space and clean my surfaces. At the same time, it feels very good to get something visibly clean and I find it mentally refreshing. Part of cooking is, for me, imposing order on disorder. Taking several disparate things, my own knowledge and culinary senses, and bringing it all together to make something better than all the parts on their own.
Right now, my dip is made, my stew is simmering (to thicken), and my cider is delicious. It feels good to sit back and lent the scent of all of my creations wash over me as I watch the Overwatch League matches I missed during the day. I’ve got friends coming over to help eat the food I’ve made, and a nice warm house to enjoy during this cold weather. I’ve got no chores that need doing, no errands that need running, and no pressing business to attend to other than my writing and stirring the stew.
I catch myself thinking of the future a lot, of when I’ve finished paying off my student loans and finally settled down to live comfortably as I try to make ends meet as a novelist. I think about how quiet and peaceful my life could be, how idyllic my life would become. On days like today, I feel like I catch a glimpse of this future. Like I’ve gotten to look through a window into the eventual life I’d like to live. The problem with that idea, though, is that it does a disservice to my life right now. Sure, I have student loans and a good job that I don’t hate, but are those really reasons that I can’t build the life I want today?
There’s a reason we use words or phrases like that when we talk about the future. There isn’t one part that just magically makes it all come together, just like there isn’t a “right time” to start. We have to work on the life we want one step at a time, one thing at a time. I think I’m going to try to focus on that idea a little more often and let myself enjoy days like today as a solid step toward the life I want to lead.