I’ve made no secret about it that my life has changed by leaps and bounds in the last few weeks. I left my home in Oklahoma, the state I had lived in for the past 23 years, and sold my home that I nested in for over a decade. My new home sits only 6 miles from the U.S./Mexico border and it almost feels like I live in a different country some times. The culture here is amazing and the love for art is strong and quite visible with murals and statues and art museums all around.
Rob and I recently went to an event for raising awareness in an effort to end domestic violence that some of his students had won awards for in the art competition. Opened with a skit by local actors and closed with medals and trophies being handed out for best paintings and poems I realized that this is a pretty good place for a creative person to call home. Creativity is valued here and that’s something I’m totally digging. As I sit here in my office, in fact, editing photos and dreaming up project ideas to put on my editorial calendar I can hear Rob practicing guitar and it’s a lovely sound for someone who has felt pretty lonely in the past.
Speaking of Rob, I’m also getting used to living with my new partner and I thought we’d experience a lot more in growing pains than we have. Consolidating 2 homes into 1 that is about 600 square feet less than we’re used to living in combined, we’re finding that a lot of our things are having to find new homes through donation boxes. But we’re also finding that getting rid of a few things is absolutely worth the happiness we find with each other.
Things are good, my friends. Very good in fact. I’m finding that I spend a lot of my time smiling and even noticed that my smile lines around my eyes are already getting a bit deeper. I have somebody who will drive me all over the Rio Grande Valley in search of the perfect pink paint, cook me dinner and sit at the dinner table every night for supper and it’s so good.
To keep things simple we’ve filled the pantry with lots of staples so that either one of us can pick and choose ingredients to make supper tasty and easy. The freezer is full of chicken breasts, pork chops and ground beef and sausages. In the pantry we’ve got a good number of Ragu® sauces picked up at Kroger because we both love Italian food, it’s budget conscious and easy to prepare in 20 minutes so we can spend less time cooking and more time chatting.
Dining at the table might not seem like such a big deal but for me it is. I prefer eating at a table as opposed to in front of a television like most people I know. I always have preferred to dine at a table, really. When alone sometimes I’ll sit and read while I dine but most of the time I just pay attention to the food in front of me. It’s a blessing that I have enough food to fill my belly and keep me healthy and strong and I don’t take that for granted.
And on a completely vain effort, I also prefer to eat at the table because I have found I don’t eat mindlessly. In front of the TV I almost always eat more than I mean to and walk away from meals feeling heavy and uncomfortable. And that’s a super easy way to eat more than I need and gain weight which I don’t want to do.
In the almost a month that I’ve been a resident of “The Valley”, as the locals call it, I’ve not eaten a single supper alone and I’ve not eaten anywhere but at a dinner table. The efforts of dinner have not fallen strictly on my own shoulders either and that is fab. I don’t have to go grocery shopping alone unless I want to and all of the efforts and costs are split down the middle because we’re equals. And being the equal of such a wonderful man is a really wonderful thing.
So I’ll gladly cook supper or eat the meal that has been prepared to me every night and celebrate the magic in mealtime. Because right now, friends, life is a bit confusing and it’s taking some adjusting to, but it’s amazingly good. And my new tradition of eating supper at the dinner table with somebody so good to me is just about the greatest gift I think I’ve gotten in a long time.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragu® . The opinions and text are all mine.