Up until a year ago, I had maybe one or two gin and tonic’s. It was an okay drink, but a bit too piney for my taste. So when offered one, I would typically decline. “Not worth the calories” I would think. Then one day my dear friend (she was dear before but she was about to solidify her status) offered me a G&T. “No thanks,” I said, “not a fan.” “Then you haven’t tried Hendrick’s.” She made me a cocktail, and immediately I fell in love. This was no ordinary gin. Of course Hendrick’s is not an inexpensive sort of gin. I would periodically pause by its shelf at the liquor store, but would walk away because of the price. Every now and then my (dear) friend would invite me over for a G&T. I never said no because I knew it would be Hendrick’s.
This summer, with schedules being quite busy and lots on our minds, I decided to splurge. I bought a bottle of Hendrick’s. But rules were immediately established. I now have a child of drinking age and knew that between my husband and him, I would hardly get a few weeks out of a bottle. “This bottle of Hendrick’s is for Friday G&T night, one per person. If you want more, go to the liquor store and buy a cheap version for your refill.” It seems a bit silly I guess. And I have been lovingly made fun of more than once. But the bottle lasts a long time this way, and Friday night arrives like Santa bringing a stocking filled with gifts, making the week’s busyness fade away and the relaxation of the evening slide right in.
Little things in life are important. The small decisions we make, the simple pleasures in life, the people who are such a constant that we don’t really even notice them… until they aren’t there, these are what make a life. I know people who do important work but don’t seem to actually be living. They move from task to task, obligation to obligation, accomplishment to accomplishment. As someone who can spend significant time on serious matters, I have come to enjoy the simple, silly, seemingly insignificant aspects of life. They are what bring me joy, laughter, and pleasure – a cat curled up on my lap, a great television series, swapping stories with my hubby at the end of the day, making my children laugh, sitting on the porch with good friends.
I am very proud of the hard and serious work that I do. But I believe that if I weren’t doing this work, someone else would. And so while I take my work seriously, I don’t take myself too seriously. Making room for the things I enjoy has helped build a life that I love and makes me better at that serious work I do. Here’s to Hendrick’s and my (dear) friend!