Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest
There is nothing quite as decadent as finishing a berry cobbler still warm from the oven and topped with rich vanilla ice cream . . . for breakfast. Or dinner. Or maybe even both some days! Shocked? I might have been shocked myself some years ago. Back then it was all about eating nutritious, healthful food whether I wanted to or not. Eating those fruits and vegetables and having breakfast foods for breakfast. You get the picture. Now it’s more about following my heart and eating what feeds my soul — not all the time, but sometimes – and going for it if there’s something I really want. So when there’s a piece of pie left over, I might just allow myself the pleasure of indulging in it no matter what time of day!
My dear friend Belinda taught me the virtue of living this way. When she’d hear me say I’d like to do something but shouldn’t, inevitably she’d ask “Why not?” She was the kind of person to encourage you to take that vacation, buy that blouse you loved, or fit in that yoga class that you weren’t sure you had time for. In short, she found the joys in life and thought we all should.
Her key to living this way — putting the fun first and eating dessert instead of the main course? Belinda was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she had always had a free spirit, once she was diagnosed, she was more aware than most of us that we have a fixed time here. She did not let that define her. Sure she had chemo and radiation some days, but she’d balance that with a trip to a beloved thrift store to scout out a unique find, or if she were in the hospital, she’d invite friends to visit, which inevitably turned into a party! She knew how to take a not so fun situation and make it a blast!
I learned so much from watching as she eked out as much pure joy and satisfaction from life as she could. Did she curl up in a corner and stay there? No! Maybe she wanted to sometimes, but she kept that positive attitude, that infectious outlook so many of us remember.
Sadly Belinda passed away last summer, but her passion and enthusiasm for going for the joy in life lives inside me now. Whenever I’m wondering if I have time to plant some flowers or go to the beach instead of doing the same old laundry-and-cleaning-house routine, I can almost hear her urging me to do what feeds my soul. More often than not now, I decide the chores can wait and choose the flowers and the beach instead. So go ahead, eat that piece of pie for breakfast! And may this spring offer many more opportunities to feed your soul.