People are asking me how I'm doing after my first week of being unemployed. I'd like to say I miss my work, but honestly, I'm reveling in the new found freedom. Really, it's quite glorious. It certainly helps that I was busy all week with lots of fun stuff and the time flew by in a flash. No sitting around all day eating bon bons and feeling sorry for myself - not gonna happen. The timing is perfect, what with the upcoming busy holidays, a major fund-raising event for school that I'm co-chairing, a friend undergoing a huge remodel that calls for a willing shopping companion to help with tough decisions (spending other people's money is so much fun!), and all those closets and projects screaming for reorganization. I still need to figure out regular gym days and hiking outings and guitar lessons, etc., etc., etc. So, ya, I'm adjusting to unemployment quite well, thank you very much.
On top of it all, the fine folks over at Safeway sent me a $25 gift card so I can experience shopping at their store. Lucky me! It's kind of like someone giving me a box of fine chocolates to taste or a shoulder massage - basically a no-brainer. The only hard part is deciding how to spend it. I can buy snacks for my kid's classroom, food for a local food bank, chocolate!!, or some basic practical items. However, today is Friday. FRIDAY! Whoo hooo! Not only is it our customary Pancake Friday but it's also Wine and Whine day with my lovely lady friends from school. It's all about sharing food, wine, stories, tears, laughs, opinions, and letting it all out from the week. And, with all the changes in my life, it's one of the things that I can count on for feeding my soul. Ah ha, I think I found my perfect reason for filling up my shopping cart at my local Vons.
I peruse their website for a recipe and easily decide on a shrimp and pasta dish. It fits all the criteria - everyone loves shrimp, everyone loves pasta, it's decadent, and I think it will definitely fit within my $25 limit. Calculator in hand, I add up each item as I put it in the cart, and I notice that everything is on sale except for the garlic and parsley. I even throw in a fresh baked French loaf of bread (a must have with pasta, of course) and I can still afford to buy a bottle of white wine for the recipe. And, since I'm there, I go a bit naughty and buy and extra bottle of nice Shiraz (on sale for 1/2 price). Hey, it's WINE and Whine after all!
The pasta turns out excellent, if I do say so myself. I feel proud to share it with my wonderful friends and our hungry bunch of playful happy-it's-Friday children. While it's noble to give back to our outside community, here I'm a part of my own special community. As women, we juggle responsibilities, emotions, raising children, relationships, and on and on to no end. We owe it to our hardworking selves to eat, drink, and be merry. And, when we are good to ourselves, we are better at giving back to others. As much as life seems uncertain right now, it's one thing I know to be tried and true. Cheers!