Enough cannot be said about the power of good friends and simple pleasures (usually of the food or music variety) to lift a girl out of the doldrums. It has been a rough couple of months – The German and I parted ways, the sheer volume of work I need to have done yesterday is beyond overwhelming and, to a large extent, I feel that I have lost my voice. To say I am in need of inspiration is a bit of an understatement.
Turns out that my life is not like a movie. Despite having picked out the song (“These Are the Days” 10,000 Maniacs, how I age myself with that reference), epiphanies have not dawned, one after the other, during a slow motion musical montage as I walk through The City of Light wondering what it all means. Rather, I lean on my friends, old and new, and am always incredibly grateful for their patience and grace as they lift me up.
Kicking last week off by pulling an all-nighter Sunday to watch the Super Bowl pretty much guaranteed that it was a lost cause from the start. I just could not seem to get started, personally or professionally. Wednesday I picked up my panier without much enthusiasm – even more leeks and potatoes to add to the growing piles in my kitchen.
Thursday, however, turned the tide. I took up Camille’s call to meet for lunch at her new favorite noodle place in the 19th. It was hearty, warm and delicious; perfect for the drizzly, grey winter day. This was quickly followed by a trip to Des Gâteaux et du Pain, a delicious (if highly priced) bakery close to work featuring an amazing pain levain (the closest thing this California girl has come to San Francisco sourdough in a long, long time) and coffee with Catherine. Nothing of particular gravity was said – most of the conversation involved rehashing travel, cooking and work plans for the coming days and weeks. However, in this iteration, the quiet, calm company was inspiring. Making plans for dinner parties and girls’ nights reminded me of how lucky I am to be living the life I have and how easy it can be to be content when that is what I want to be, especially when surrounded by good friends.
I came home early and spent the evening putting some pieces of my life back in order. Most importantly, for the first time in months, I cooked something special just for me. Nothing fancy, but the caramelized leek and goat cheese quiche came off without a hitch, making a delicious dinner with a small mâche salad (really, what does not get better over low heat with butter and wine for an hour?). With a glass of Riesling and a blog award to boot (thank you, Camille!!), it was a very good day. Maybe not lightening striking twice, or a light bulb flashing to life above my head, but a few more small steps towards finding contentment is not so bad. I will certainly take that, and another slice of quiche, please.