Sometimes bad news really knocks you in a way you never could have imagined. It doesn't even matter whether or not you saw it coming, the blow still feels crushing.
This kind of bad news makes you re-evaluate your perspective and the words we've come to throw around so casually when defining what are actually nothing more than life's little hiccups. Will I find it "unbearable" if my flight is cancelled and I'm stuck at the airport all day? Will I be "depressed" if it rains during our holiday at the beach or if our favorite team "tragically" doesn't make the finals?
Only in the face of something bigger can you look back objectively and see that in reality, all of those occasions actually represented the good times in life...the moments when there was nothing more important to fixate on. They were the times you were in fact blessed and didn't even know it.
It's about perspective easily lost and suddenly regained. Is a "depressing" day some dark clouds and a missed opportunity for a holiday tan? It easily could have been. But after Friday, "depressing" and "unbearable" will be terms reserved solely for the real issues in life. The ones that sneak up on you when you're busy being happy and knock you so hard you forget how to breath. Such as an unexpected phone call on a random afternoon informing you that your beloved puppy has cancer.
It probably seems ridiculous to link a post about baking French pastry with a post about cancer. Given that I tend to lose my appetite altogether in times of stress rather than finding comfort in food, baking should seem all the more trivial and ridiculous. But weirdly it didn't. In truth, I have no idea what one should do when trying to absorb the incomprehensible, I just know what somehow felt right. And to me, that was to get out my treasured pastry cookbook by the incomparable Michael Roux and bake some of his pâte à choux. (His wonderful gougère recipe is available here from Gourmet Traveller.)
When the delicate golden puffs were ready, David joined us in the lounge and we enjoyed sweet chouquettes dusted with lavendar sugar and savory gougère crusted with baked Gruyère cheese. Dex of course received his share. More than his share in all honesty, but he was not going to be denied today. Tomorrow will come with all its problems and difficult decisions, but today we would enjoy as a family, taking the time to really savor the small moments that really do matter most.