Tag Archives: chicken soup for the soul

Adulthood Quiz: What Can You Live Without?

Awhile back, I posted on five household items you can do without, as well as five household items you *can’t* do without. Both posts were inspired by the myriad tchotchkes that pepper our house, courtesy of my gadget-loving husband.

I got to thinking about this very issue once again this weekend on a somewhat grander scale when two things that had gone missing from my life unexpectedly reappeared.

The first was a dishwasher. As I noted when talking about why we all need a wife, my dishwasher died about six weeks ago. Ever since, I’ve been washing dishes for our four-person household by hand. On Friday, the new dishwasher finally arrived and I’ll say it here first:  God, do I love my new dishwasher. Yes, I could have managed just fine without one. But I literally feel *blessed* everytime I place a dish in its new home, rather than piling them up in the sink.

The second thing from a former life which reappeared over the weekend was – oddly enough – a health club. When I first moved to London, I wrote an essay for the Guardian Weekly about how the cost of living was so high in this city that my husband and were forced to become Green by default. It wasn’t so much that we embraced Green living as that we had no choice; overnight, certain things had just become prohibitively expensive. So we gave up those staples of middle-class American life: two cars…a tumble dryer… and our health club memberships. And both of us started exercising outdoors; he cycling and I running.

But this past weekend my son was invited to a birthday party at a health club. While the kids played, the adults got a free workout. I went nuts. I climbed a StairMaster, I used an elliptical trainer, I lifted some weights…heck, I even took a sauna. And I topped it all off with a lovely cappuccino in the adjoining cafe where – posh mama that I am…(not) – I purchased some long overdue yoga gear. In a word: spectacular.

But unlike my new dishwasher, I came away from the whole health club experience thinking that – much as I enjoyed being in a fancy gym for two hours – I’m not sure that it’s something I actually need in my life. I’m actually quite happy just going running. I like the feeling of freedom it affords. I like the odd assortment of people and animals that I encounter along the way (which in my hood’ runs the gamut from Helena Bonham Carter to wild foxes). I like the cold air waking me up as it hits my face. And most of all, I like that it doesn’t cost a penny (pence).

In short, I learned that I could live without a health club.

As we grow older, it’s worth reflecting now and again on what we need in our lives to make us happy and what we can do without.

How about you? What creature comforts could you let go of?

*****

I was absolutely thrilled to get this shout out from the blog This Bird’s Day about my essay “Married to a Metrosexual” in the forthcoming Chicken Soup For The Soul: True Love. It made my day!


Image: day1DSC_0055.jpg by journojen via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you to some worthwhile reading around the blogosphere:

1. I absolutely adored this article by Virginia Heffernan about how the internet liberated women.

2. I was really moved by this interview on BBC’s Radio Four with a woman who learned that her father was a Commandant at Auschwitz. (Have I told you how much I love the BBC?)

3. On the humorous end of things, here’s a great post on Stuff White People Like about why White People prefer Conan over Jay.

4. This essay in The Huffington Post by Sarah Tomlinson about the new economy also made me laugh.

5. I was quite taken with some of the reactions to my post about recurrent dreams. Here’s a dictionary of dreams over at Smartgirl that I stumbled across while writing that post.

6. Finally, in the Department of Shameless Promotion, I wanted to share that an essay of mine entitled “Married to a Metrosexual” was published in the new edition of the Chicken Soup franchise, Chicken Soup For The Soul: True Love. (Sorry – you’ll need to buy that one!)
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Enjoy your weekend!

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