savoring the breaks

Mealtime when you have a baby in the house is often thought of as work for mama. I consider it a break, a reason to just sit, admire my baby’s chubby little toes and cheeks, knowing that she is nourished fully and completely in the best way she can be. But I also consider it time to savor simplicity, to not multitask, to remind myself that every moment with my children, with myself, with my husband, with my fears, with my creativity, with cooking, with my laundry is absolutely perfect and absolutely the way it is. It is a time to just be. To savor.

I just finished reading Karen Maezen Miller’s new book Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for An Ordinary Life. I had to read it during breaktimes, little gathered moments when the flurry settled and I found myself in a room full of quiet. I had to do it when everyone else was quiet and in the room with me because they wanted to hear the book too. It was that good. To say I love Hand Wash Cold is an understatement. Because I love what I live and I am living Hand Wash Cold. It really is the best memoir I have read in a long, long time. It’s Eat, Pray, Love without all the whining. It’s The Glass Castle without all the stones being thrown. It’s pure laundry that has been hung out on the line, and the sun shines through it and it is crisp.
But it’s not just a memoir either. Karen’s voice is true and honest, simple and forward, witty and thoughtful... something that is a breath of freshness that offers insight and instruction to the savoring we all seem to be striving for.

In the next week I plan to talk about a few of the words Karen speaks that touched me in that particularly common way, that perfect simpleness that just makes you smile. Please stop in this week for a bit of extra care with the commonplace. And read Karen’s new book, or her blog, or both. You really will be glad you did.