As a logical, numbers crunching individual, I learned a long time ago, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”
The literal translation of this phrase may be construed as:
When enjoying lunch with a friend, who enthusiastically states, “I’m buying,” most often a thought ran through my mind of “Wow, free lunch! One less meal I have to buy.” Nope, it’s not free.
The trade off? Next time, I’ll buy lunch or, next time when the friend calls at 10 PM for emotional support, I’ll listen. Or next time the friend needs a ride when their car breaks down, I’m all over it. No, there’s no free lunch.
Remove any resentment or sense of obligation from the mix and we have a cooperative sharing relationship, friendship, a human condition entrenched in trade-offs. No doubt, we relish in the opportunity to be a part of this magical experience, not only in friendship but in all relationships.
Within our hearts, the “unconditional love” we profess, for our children and grandchildren, we seek pleasure, pride, laughter and return of love. No, we don’t abandon them when unfulfilled, but we grievously hunger for reciprocation continually trying to inch closer.
No free lunch, this life. No free lunch, traveling the world. Sacrifices? Yes, many. Beside the obvious of leaving those we love, leaving the familiarity of the home we have treasured for 26 years and leaving the security blanket of predictable, but not mundane life as we’ve known it, we leave behind our most valued “creature comforts.”
What are they? Will we find alternatives to replace them or will our interest in them entirely dissipate over time? They include:
Our bed: A California King Sleep Number with split top mattresses with dual controls, with the ability to raise and lower the head and the foot for maximum comfort. After many years of suffering with advanced degenerative disk disease, this bed has been a life saver not only for me but also for Tom.
My pillow: A Tempur-Pedic neck pillow that has been highly instrumental in improving my sleep. Unable to imagine life without this pillow, Tom and I used a SpaceBag and our cute little vacuum with the hope and expectation that we could shrink the pillow sufficiently enough to pack it to travel around the world with us. It’s much smaller after sucking out the air, although heavy as a rock. Maybe, maybe not.
|My Tempur-Pedic neck pillow before deflation|
|My Tempur-Pedic neck pillow after deflation|
Our two comfy chairs: Whether a sofa, a love seat or a chair, we all have a favorite place to park our butts at the end of a task filled day. With our two comfy Flexsteel chairs, positioned perfectly in front of the big screen TV, we have spent endless hours together entertaining ourselves by laughing, talking, watching our favorite shows (many ridiculous) and lounging. We never sleep in these chairs. We each have the habit of awakening one another if we spot the other’s eyes begin to close. Why we do this? I don’t know.
Our TVs: Whether cooking or eating in the kitchen, the TV is on in the background, although we’re seldom fully engaged in a show. In the evenings after dinner, we head to the family room to the above mentioned chairs, laptops whirring on our laps as we begin our nightly ritual of talking, laughing, commenting, sharing a funny email and simply having a great time.
Our dessert: Ah, a year ago, when we both decided to go gluten-free, grain-free, starch-free, sugar-free and low carb, I quit baking the elaborate desserts we used to enjoy each night after dinner. Tom got fatter and I exercised harder. Here are a few of our former desserts, now replaced with healthier low carb, gluten free, sugar free items:
|Elaborate dessert: Homemade Ice Cream Cake, perfect for a hot summer night. Bye, bye, cake!|
|Elaborate dessert: Homemade Puff Pastry Napolean! No more!|
|Elaborate dessert: Homemade Butterscotch Meringue Pie (I used 12 eggs whites)! Never again!|
|New dessert: Unsweetened Greek Yogurt topped with GF, SF, low carb chocolate sauce, unsweetened organic shredded coconut and bits of low carb chocolate coconut protein bar. Not bad at all! (Tom won’t try this).|
Our ice machine: Eight years ago when we renovated our kitchen we added a SubZero ice machine. It was easy to adopt the habit of first loading our insulated, handled mugs with ice to the brim and then pouring in our favorite iced tea, Crystal Light (using two packets to 1/2 gallon of purified water, as opposed to one packet). Our four little ice cube trays, now filled with jewelry, yet to be packed, will make enough ice to last most of a day.
Creature comforts will now be replaced with creatures, big and small. Comfortable beds, comfy furniture and my pillow traded for lumpy discomfort? Maybe. TV replaced with reading downloaded books, playing games, sitting outside at night staring at the stars, listening to the sound of the ocean, the roar of a lion, the laughter in the streets. Desserts may impossible to make with limited availability of ingredients and icy drinks may be a thing of the past.
Trade-offs? Yes, many. As Tom always says after we’ve rearranged the furniture, “Give me some time. I’ll get used to it.”