Recently a friend told me she was splitting up with her husband. I wasn’t sure what to say initially and an awkward silence ensued. I didn’t want to reply with something silly or insensitive. But when she referred to the elongated silence, I blurted out the only thought in my head, “mating for life is unnatural.”
These musings are for anyone who is married, divorced, or single.
Marriage is not easy. I’ve been with my husband for 25 years so saying this comes from a decent amount of experience. Being single is not easy. I remember that too, even though we met when I was 24 years old. I’m writing this for all of you looking at a screen, wondering why your life, or relationship isn’t as good as what you see looking back. And I can tell you one thing. It’s not real, it’s a picture.
I don’t want anyone to think that my life is perfect. Sure, I enjoy putting my best foot forward here. But that’s so I can provide you, my readers with a calm, kind, and comforting refuge in the sea of food allergies and health issues that so many of us confront each day.
The fact is though, that my life is messy. I have health issues that I deal with. I have teenagers that I argue with routinely, and a husband that I’ve fought with far more than my fair share. Things aren’t always smooth. Sometimes they aren’t ever smooth. Still, it’s my life. I’m taking ownership of it, which in my worldview is the most important thing.
This summer I turn 50. This impending milestone has made me a bit more pensive than usual. It’s also helped me to focus on simplicity and be grateful for all that I have. So thank you for being here and reading this. I’m so glad we are connected and healing together, working day-in-and-day-out to make the world a better place.
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Like Pink sings in her song, “sometimes I hate every single word you say, sometimes I want to slap you in your whole face, there’s no one quite like you, at the same time I want to hug you, I want to wrap my arms around your neck, your an asshole but I love you” and so on. I’ve been married for 34 years and I’m here to tell you, it’s no picnic but yet it’s wonderful. We do the best we can and that’s all we can do. Blessings everyone.
Hi Elana, I can’t think of a better response for your friend. Marriage is an interesting social construction. Economically, marriage may be convenient, but the idea that in order to live a full and meaningful life a person must get and remain married is just flawed logic. Divorce can be equated to a new beginning. It is the turning of a page, the beginning of a new chapter. Change can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to deleterious.
Congratulations on turning 50! Your journey is truly inspiring and your recipes are absolutely delicious.
All the best,
Elana, I like your name! Thanks for your incredibly wise words and observations. So glad we are on this healing journey together :-)
Happy 50th! Thank you for sharing so honestly about your life. So many women struggle in private and don’t realise it’s normal for life and marriage to be very hard at times. Although I would have preferred to avoid the really hard times (honestly) I think the valleys are what make the peaks so great and the experiences have made me very thankful for the really good days. Thanks for being real. I make a point of being the same when people look at me and think my life is perfect and easy – no way!
Julie, thanks for your heartfelt comment. It’s wonderful to connect with you here and I’m so glad we can be real together :-)
Dear Elana, having lost some friends and colleagues much too young, I decided some time ago that every single birthday needs to be celebrated with gratitude. I can’t understand people who refuse to reveal their age or to let anyone know when their birthday is. Celebrate it, own it and be grateful for it! I know that life can be difficult and some years are definitely better than others, but there’s always someone who’s in a worse place. You have been a blessing to many people and your warmth and humanity shine through with your sharing about your own struggles. It’s the very best we can do – reach out to others and share – we may have different struggles but it’s good to share our strengths and experience! I wish you many more happy years with improving health.
Dianna, thanks for your incredible words and wishes! I’m so grateful we are on this healing path together :-)
Eve Supica says
Happy birthday Elana, the best is yet to come :) I often think of you, your wonderful recipes, and how amazing you are to take your life’s challenges and make of them a healing for thousands of people. I wonder if you know how deeply you have helped me and your other fans. You’ve demonstrated that health problems can be met with good cheer and creativity. Sending you good wishes. Your friend Eve
Eve, thanks for your incredibly heartfelt comment. You made my day! I’m so lucky to be on this healing path with you :-)