Weekend Reading
April 7, 2024

I got out of town very briefly this past week for a friend’s wedding.

The ceremony happened on a crystal clear, sunny and warm afternoon in Phoenix.

There was laughter and merrymaking until the sun set, and after it set the party continued under a canopy of illuminated tree branches.

It was a beautiful event in celebration of a devoted young couple.

On my flight home, I got to thinking about how difficult weddings were for me in my thirties, when I was going to a lot of them.

I wanted to approach the events with good spirits. But the honest, unflattering truth is that I usually didn’t have a good time, and sometimes I dreaded going.

This had little to do with the weddings themselves. I was just unhappy—hurt and unhappy—and from the unhappiness came bitterness and envy.

When I touched down in Arizona this week, it had been a long time since I’d attended a wedding. Many of the people in my life have been married for a while now, while others had private ceremonies during Covid.

As a result, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had a very different experience of being a wedding guest this time around. There were familiar pangs of loneliness, but mostly, I had fun.

As a solo guest, I was chatty and quick to introduce myself to others. I spoke to and exchanged info with a lot of nice people.

Maybe I’ll cross paths with some of them again. Who knows? I’ve gotten much braver and more open in the past few years, especially when it comes to making new friends and acquaintances.

They say that anger can be a mask for grief. How true that is, and how well it explains the alienation and resentment that I used to feel after these big celebrations.

A little of that grief may still be with me, but I carry it differently now. Increasingly I respond to it with the earnest desire to be kind and make the best of each day.

My late thirties were only several years ago, but in those years I’ve come feel the truth of “life is short.”

Life is short, so let’s celebrate what’s beautiful and good: connection, laughter, a beautiful day outside, a lovable song, a glass of bubbles, a big hug, a good meal, feet that are a little sore from dancing or just standing and talking until it’s long past the hour when you said you’d go home.

Cheers to all of that, and to a softened heart.

Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

1. These teriyaki mushroom rice bowls look easy and tasty.

2. I’ve never made homemade ravioli before, but this colorful recipe is making me think that maybe I can?

3. A lovely snap pea grain salad for spring.

4. Speaking of spring, you can never go wrong with a simple pasta and asparagus supper.

5. Soft cookies are pretty much the only cookies for me. These soft peanut butter cookies with chocolate drizzle look great.

Reads

1. A funny ode to the “worst mug in your cabinet.”

2. Do you have plans to watch the total eclipse tomorrow? I don’t, honestly, but I like this New York Times article on eclipse-watching and awe.

3. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned (and keep learning) is when and why to give something up. I appreciate a psychoanalyst’s perspective on giving up with grace.

4. An interesting examination of the pathways and barriers to a flourishing life.

5. Who knew that grief could make us less sure-footed? This is a touching reflection on losing and finding balance again after the loss of a loved one.

Wishing you a cozy, restful evening before the new week kicks off.

xo

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