food · relationships · Running

Chili for the Soul

In Kristin Armstrong’s “Mile Markers” column last week, she wrote about the importance of treating yourself to little luxuries. Nothing huge, just everyday stuff that makes other people shrug and ask “What’s the big deal?” — but makes you blissfully happy.

I loved this and got to thinking about a few little luxuries that I’m enjoying right now:

Homemade cooking. I made my first-ever chili last month (don’t worry, New Mexico readers, I love chile, too). Luckily, it was edible, and I decided I wanted to try more recipes. And by “recipes” I mean “throwing together whatever is in the fridge and pantry, saying a quick prayer, then sipping wine from the bottle that I opened to add some fun zing to the chili.” I made my second batch last weekend, and now I’m hooked. There’s just something about soup simmering in a warm kitchen and filling the house with yummy aromas as the weather turns colder. It’s good for the belly and the soul.

Daylight. It’s almost fall-back time, and already you can notice the sun bowing out a little earlier. Let me put it bluntly: I DON’T LIKE IT. I used to enjoy that extra hour of sleep, but now I realize that the extra hour is only noticeable for one night. I’d happily give up an hour of sleep for more daylight. These days, I’m trying to get outside and enjoy late afternoon sunshine as much as possible while it lasts. Although I admit: I do love being able to watch sunsets during my wintertime runs. Silver lining. Speaking of running…

Running. Running enables the aforementioned daylight savoring. Not to mention October is arguably the finest month of the year to run just about everywhere. The temperature, the natural scenery, the abundance of races…it’s tough to beat. And all of those races? You don’t have to run in any to benefit from them! You can’t surf the running web these days without seeing an article about a race that either just happened or is about to happen. It’s instant motivation for a workout.

Not running. I’m not training for any races right now. I’m running simply because I love it. Which feels deliiiiiightful. I can (and do) go for spontaneous long runs…or I can (and do) go and get my hair done. I can decide that today is an “I must run up a hill over and over again” kind of day…or I can run a couple of miles, then come home and do exercises in the living room with ’80s music blaring. I don’t have to worry about any one workout leaving me over-tired for the next day, and I don’t feel (too) guilty about skipping a day. I recommend the experience.

Living with someone. Yes, I count this as a luxury. Living with someone means that I have someone to share that homemade cooking with (and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he contributes to the cooking). Living with someone means that I had someone to help me find, and extract, the microscopic-yet-agonizing splinter in my foot recently. Living with someone is particularly wonderful this month, because it means I don’t have to watch my annual pre-Halloween spate of scary movies by myself. It’s nice when you’re not the only one who wants to leave the lights on all night long.

What kinds of small luxuries make up the chili for your soul?

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7 thoughts on “Chili for the Soul

  1. Tucking into a good book! I hate my commute at the moment, but because it’s all on public transportation that means I have extra time to read and I’m trying to focus on that positive 🙂

    I hear you on the losing daylight thing, too. Daylight is definitely one of my little luxuries, and the loss of it in the winter is a major bummer. Although, I’m looking forward to the clocks going back because I’m struggling with the sun not being up in the mornings when I’m getting ready.

  2. Great post….it really got me to thinking about my luxuries….One day I will run to just run again (it is a beautiful feeling)…but right now i’m training for my next half :)…….

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