I really should be doing writing for work now, but instead I’m goofing off. It’s hard to concentrate on work when an evening of rare free time is available. Being “on the road” for work means there is no home stuff to do in the evenings: no cooking, no cleaning, no animal care chores, etc.
Usually work travel is full of other responsibilities, but this time I’m on my own. No fellow “road-warriors” on this trip, so no need to fill the evenings with social dinners and such. Instead, my evenings are available for work or solitary pursuits like exercise, reading, knitting, or watching TV in my hotel room. Sure, I could get out on the road to explore the local town, but at the end of a long work day I just want to unwind with one or more of the above.
So, again, I should be working since there is so much to do this trip. But instead, I’ve been reading Julia Child’s My Life in France as I unwind in my room or eat a solitary dinner in the hotel grille.
It’s easy for me to relate to someone so obsessed with good eating, and the fact that here in the U.S. one must often learn to cook well in order to eat well. How ironic that I read about her appreciation for canard a la rouennaise while I consuming a chicken and arugula panini that definitely started with frozen, pre-measured ingredients. No comparison, I’m quite sure.
Like so many others, I saw Julie and Julia at the cinema last summer and was bowled over by Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. I’m old enough to know who Julia Child was, yet too young to have really watched any of her cooking shows. And, frankly, French cooking always seemed incredibly cumbersome and time-consuming, not to mention overly rich for my palette.
But she is a wonder in many ways that come across very clearly in this book. She may have focused on cooking — typically considered a domestic, and therefore “female” art in the U.S. — but she was a professional devoted to her business. She put a lot of thought into her work, and wanted very much to share her passion with others.
Julia and her husband also had what seems to be a very non-traditional marriage. Not having to deal with caring for children or forced by her husband to fit the standard American cultural mold for womanhood, their marriage sounds refreshing and real. They loved and supported one another and that is really inspiring.
She only briefly touches on their lack of children not being by choice, but she passes on this quickly as if to say “Well, it wasn’t meant to be; let’s just move on!” I suppose it doesn’t really matter why this was the case, but I’m glad they had a happy life together no matter what troubles they faced.
It’s Tuesday night and under normal circumstances I’d be hanging with my friends at Stitch and Bitch tonight. There haven’t been “normal circumstances” for a month now, but this is my last week on the road. For now at least.
There are no indications that I’ll need to travel for work again any time soon, but work life is rarely predictable these days. I would like to do some personal travel again soon, though. Personal travel that would involve spending time with B while kicking back, sleeping in, and spending lots of time in each others arms. That would be the best kind of road trip imaginable.
I got out of the habit of writing in my blog for so long that I’m sure it shows. Like anything, writing must be practiced regularly or the craft suffers. I’m going to make efforts to spend time writing here regularly again so I can get my skills back up to high standards. I’m striving for more clarity and sincerity and less blathering. That’s hard to do. But with enough practice, I’m sure to get there. And so it begins…