Yesterday afternoon, I felt the need for biscuits. I walked into our kitchen, took down a mixing bowl, grabbed flour, sugar, ground rice and butter, mixed them up, flattened the mixture down onto a baking tray and shoved it into an oven. Cleared up, burped Mog, changed Mog, put the kettle on and brewed coffee. Took my plate of shortbread out of the oven, and risked my fingers breaking it up whilst still too hot, sat down in the sitting room and ate it as the whole house steamed gently of warm sugar and cosiness.
"That smells good," commented my cleaner, arriving at that moment, "I"m much too lazy to cook, I just buy things from the shop."
And I thought, hmmm. I'm sitting in my slippers, I haven't left the house all day, it took me five minutes to mix the dough and five to clean up, and in return I have hot, fresh, shortbread to go with my perfectly brewed coffee, and the house smells fabulous. I'm much too lazy to find my boots, find my coat, find Mog's blankets, walk all the way to the shops and then traipse around them hunting for biscuits, then queue for twenty minutes dodging the insanely long queue for the post office before walking home again. If either of us is lazy, I don't think it's her.
And then I started thinking about other stuff too. We have a breadmaker, I use it to bake the majority of the bread we eat. Not because it tastes better (although, mostly, it does), not because it's cheaper (it isn't), but because I can store more flour and yeast than I can store loaves of bread, and because, again, it's easier to tip a pile of ingredients into the machine and press "bake" than it is to drag myself over to the shops and back. And I get to stay inside, stay warm, and smell the bread baking. Yet others seem to think that's too much work. It feels like a lot less work to me, especially when I get the flour delivered.
Moving away from food (although it is a struggle, especially at this time of year), I have two girls. Apparently, simply for loving my daughters, I am some kind of a saint. This life is all I have ever wanted it to be; I have everything I have ever hoped for, I am doing the things I planned to do when I was twelve. And yet, some people can't share in my joy, don't celebrate with me, but instead offer pity and sympathy. There are, undoubtedly, trials and tribulations involved. I'm not going to pretend life is perfect and easy and constant sunshine and daffodils. For every freshly baked loaf of bread there's a poo explosion, and for every giggle a tantrum. Balance. I have friends, family, and a network of support around me. You have to leave your warm house every day and drive miles to work at a job you dislike. And yet you pity me?* I have it easy.
*If you're reading this, I probably don't mean you, personally.