Give yourself permission to live

My Mate Shaz is the bomb. She is funny and sweet and normal and kind and real and warm. We all have that friend who we text when we’re stuck on a train and busting for the loo (not necessarily based on real events….). She’s the person I text when I’ve done something dumb. She’s the person I text when something weird happens. She’s also the person I text when I feel like a total flop as a parent. And I count myself one of the most blessed people alive that Shaz in not my only Mate like this.

These friends are the most important thing in the world. They are your community, your family, they are your “people”.

So when Shaz asked me to meet up for lunch, I only had to think for about….er….a nano-second. In the picture, you’ll see I opted for something vaguely salady but which also came with hash browns, haloumi (always a massive fan of squeaky cheese), and hollandaise sauce.

Well, that’s not very healthy and simple and hippy-eating righteousness. No it was not. But I never intended to eat like a Tibetan monk when I went out for lunch with My Mate Shaz. That’s because sometimes you need to give yourself permission to live, to indulge, to enjoy, to delight.

I have a love-hate relationship with food. But one thing I have long known is that food is social. It brings people together. We engage over food, we talk, we laugh. My food choices today were not about having an excuse to blow out. I wasn’t trying to trick my brain into moving my boundaries. At the same time, I wasn’t trying to emotionally blackmail myself into making healthy choices.

My choices today were about Having Lunch With My Mate Shaz. The choices were yum, no doubt. But they were purely a mechanism by which me and Shaz came together to talk and be slightly inappropriate and giggle. It was just a framework in which to delight in friendship and act way younger than we actually are.

Life is about having healthy attitudes and discernment. It’s also about living and having a generous spirit and an open smile to the world. The two are not incompatible.

I loved every choice I made today. I reckon it’s taken 10 years off me (that’s what I think anyway. My kids do not think so, but what do they know?).

Live life. Love life and laugh always. Have joy and be silly. Find your People and treasure them, because we all help each other on this journey.

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