I'm finding a tremendous amount of satisfaction in my domestic life lately.
After dutifully cooking and baking for twenty plus years mostly because it was my job to do so, I've reluctantly reached a new level of mastery in my kitchen.
And when you combine that mastery with my new quiet resolution to be content with my domestic lot, I find myself joyful and free.
Cooking and baking for my small family in my somewhat dated kitchen turns out to be downright delightful.
I used the same mushroom marinara sauce three different ways last week.
First, I served it fresh over spaghetti with grated parmesan and from-scratch, fresh, baked Italian bread sticks for a meatless meal.
Several days later, I still had leftover sauce, so I added some spicy Italian sausage to the same mushroom marinara and served it over spaghetti noodles again. (My family loves spaghetti, so they raved.)
It's quite satisfying to receive immediate positive feedback for work you do, and it's extremely satisfying to work for the people you love in the home where you live.
Finally, a few days ago, I had only a fraction of the now sausage and mushroom marinara to use.
I wondered whether I should just throw it out, but instead, I added it to a quiche with just the right cheese and... viola!
My family alternated between looking down at the quiche and up at me with awe.
Cooking meals for my people and sitting and eating and talking and laughing with them is the best thing I get to do with my day.
At this point in mid-life, I've experienced a thing or two, and somehow, I no longer envy shiny, busy, empowered, brilliant, women with their apparently fulfilling careers that take them away from their home and their people.
In fact, I quite happily, continually forgo opportunities that I believe I'd actually enjoy, because I'm no longer longing for fulfillment and meaning and significance outside my home, at least not right now.
I want to protect my time and energy and this mental, emotional, and physical margin to engage in domestic life while my kids are still here.
So I cook and really enjoy cooking and then sit with my grateful people around our lively table.
Wisdom whispers encouragement to my heart to keep this up.
I believe I will look back and see this was not only the most rewarding part of my day right now, but building my family culture with my own hands through making family meals will be altogether the most significant work of my life.