New Year’s

Dinner last night was good. It’s very satisfying to provide, to be the person who makes a dinner happen. I’m unfortunately reluctant to invite people over, not sure of my cooking skills, worried in general.

Yesterday I just invited two friends whom I’ve known a long time, and my ex. I did the shopping the day before, so no stress there, beyond needing to get cloves for the ham at the corner store. Having good ingredients helps a lot.

I followed the butcher’s recipe for the ham and it turned out really well, bless him. The meat was expensive but worth it. Braised fennel – not bad, salad good, with garlic in the dressing and avocado, roasted potato with parsnip – got a little dark, so not so good, but it all got eaten.

I was amazed at how much my friends had to say to each other. They only know each other through me, so they don’t meet often. An outgoing side came out in each of them that I don’t usually see. And I was happy to be busy cooking, washing up….I felt I didn’t have to talk, but could pipe up when I wanted to. It felt very comfortable and I think I can create a nice environment where people feel comfortable to relax and be themselves. They’d actually all said on the phone they couldn’t stay until midnight – then they kept sitting, and talking, and before we knew it, a new year was born.

And as for being comfortable with the conversation – I felt I didn’t need to respond or agree if I really didn’t, even for minor things. So for instance, at one point the conversation was about the evils of remotes – why do we need so many, what for, the badness of technology. Technology bashing, living the simple life – fine. I can see the point. I just personally love remotes. The mute button. Turning on my stereo from my bed. Really good things IMO. I don’t feel that strongly about it, so I didn’t say anything for a while, then just made a mild comment about mute buttons being useful. Usually in an effort to fit in I would have bent myself out of shape to agree…last night I didn’t feel I had to. 

I’m pleased with myself. And also, I didn’t have symptoms. I’m afraid of setting up dinners and then being floored by depression or dissociation, making cooking a dinner too difficult. No symptoms yesterday evening though at all. Must be how ‘normal’ people manage – not being stopped by internal storms.

It feels good to be able to give. I’m hoping to host a few more dinners next year. I do know how to cook, I have a decent enough space and large enough table, I can easily afford to buy the food and wine. Just need to find some spaces of free time where I’m not trying to process memories. That’ll be the trick, as I have therapy Fridays.

  1. Maybe you should have therapy monday instead, so you've got all week to get over it and can enjoy your weekends? It sounds like you had a successful night, especially given that your friends stayed longer than they'd planned and you didn't feel the worse for the hosting. I'm sure that was refreshing for you.

  2. Ellen said:

    Yeah, I used to have therapy Mondays for that reason Candy. The thing is, it's really bad for my job, as I really can't function properly for a few days after most sessions. It was a very successful evening, and I felt all the better for hosting! cheers

  3. Ruth said:

    Congratulations on a successful evening. Trying to balance therapy with life is always tricky. Good luck.

  4. Ellen said:

    Thanks Ruth. It is a tricky one isn't it.

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