The Quickest Way to the Heart is Through the Stomach

The little lady featured in this post is actually a Jim Shore Heartwood Creek collection ornament, but she is as large as some of my Jim Shore pieces anyway, so she’s currently sitting on my living room table, mixing up a bowl of love next to a Jim Shore Heartwood Creek beagle statue. I dug her out of the Christmas ornament box today; I haven’t gone through that box since Christmas 2007.  When I moved, I threw it in the closet and made myself forget about it.

I love Jim Shore.  It’s a sign that I’m getting older, I guess.  At any rate, I love looking at his pieces in Hallmark stores and am lucky enough to have a couple.  I got this ornament in 2007. My parents and I exchange ornaments before Christmas every year. We try to find ornaments that encompass something the person loves, or a hobby they enjoy. If there is an appropriate ornament that celebrates something that happened during the year, that’s fair game too.  Last year I got a cool “Welcome to Vegas” sign that plays slot machine sounds from Mom and Dad got me a digital ornament that I can load up to 100 pictures on, and it changes. Pretty sweet. I digress.

Anyway, in 2007 I got this ornament. It’s two things I loved that year:  Jim Shore and cooking.  I had moved in with The Boyfriend that year and I had finally started doing what I am certain I was meant to do my whole life:  keep house.  I was a cooking, cleaning, housewife with a day job machine.  My real passion was cooking though.  I was learning to make the classics, as well as putting my own spin on things.

That’s also the year I got a set of All-Clad cookware from The Boyfriend, I got some expensive cake pans for myself.  I haven’t used either in quite some time. I even forgot I had the All-Clad.  That’s some nice stuff.  I have a lot of nice stuff, actually.  Patterned casserole dishes, matching trivets. Spoon rests I’ve collected.

But it’s all collecting dust.  For some reason, when I moved out from The Boyfriend, that new passion I had found was dead on arrival at the new place.  I have my excuses.  It’s hard to clean up after myself, it’s hard to prepare meals for one. I mean, really.. who wants to cook after work just for one person, and then have to clean up after yourself on top of that, and then finally you have to eat that same thing at least 5 other times in the same week.  It’s unpleasant.   

I eat a lot of Subway now.  There’s not much joy in it.  It’s simple and healthy.  But I think in 2011 I don’t want to do that.

Today when I found my Jim Shore ornament it reminded me that it was something The Blonde loved.  Not The Boyfriend.  I loved cooking.  Dad didn’t buy that because The Boyfriend loved eating. He bought it because I loved cooking! I loved bringing things to work to share with colleagues.  I got a kick out of baking for the holidays.  That didn’t have to die.  I am sick of things I was interested in going by the wayside because other things in my life changed .

My pledge for 2011 is that I will find the things I loved and try them again.  And when I find that One Boy To Rule Them All, I’m not going to forget about the things I loved before, nor will I give up things I love in the aftermath.  Because it’s who I am.  There is an identity here. And that’s okay!

I think instead of treating Mrs. Butterworth up there as an ornament, I’m going to keep her in my kitchen year-round.  That way, she can watch me get back to experimenting with the things I loved.  And it can remind me that even if something was part of the “we” that I had with The Boyfriend, it can still be part of the “me” that is The Blonde.  And I can still enjoy it!


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