I take the peeled red onion in its glass bowl out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature, the cucumber, my favorite rye Manna bread, the vegan butter. I remind myself I’m thinking of not defrosting the last loaf of the bread in the freezer, just doing without it for the next few days before I leave for L.A., but almost before I’m done forming the thought it makes me cry. I don’t berate myself for crying. I just take the last loaf of bread and the last pound of vegan butter from the freezer. (No argument with myself at all, only this instinctive response, this immediate decision to not deny myself this treat right now if it’s making me cry.) It’s disturbing that such a funny little thing is eliciting tears. But I don’t try to unravel it, just sit on the bed with my hand on my heart and let myself cry. In between I remind myself it’s okay. I get to keep eating the bread and butter. “You can always just get more exercise,” I say. And then I laugh, tears still wet on my cheeks. I’m glad I didn’t chastise myself for crying over this small looming deprivation. I decide that regardless of what worrisome state or precarious balance the crying might speak to, I feel good and sure and right about my response. I feel lighter for the release of tears, comforted by my kindness to myself. “Bread and butter,” I whisper, “for as long as you need it.” I’m grinning now.
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