Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. Life gets you down. Work beats you up. Friends and family pull you in too many directions. Your body rebels every chance it gets. And your mind…well, chances are if you’re reading a blog like this, you know what the mind can do.
In times like this, I always promote excessive self-care. Put yourself first. Be kind to yourself when others aren’t. Take long baths, enjoy some green tea at work, indulge in a little ice cream after dinner, do that gentle yoga or meditation before bed. Take care of yourself.
But what do you do when taking care of yourself isn’t enough? Take some advice from Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle and “Treat. Yo. Self.”
I don’t like to spend money, and I really don’t like to spend money on things: clothes, shoes, electronics, games, movies, etc. No, when it comes to spending my money, I prefer to buy experiences.
A few months ago when I was visiting my boyfriend in Blacksburg, Virginia, we both realized that life had been coming at us hard in the past few weeks. So we decided to treat ourselves to a leisurely meal at our favorite restaurant: Local Roots.
We’d visited this cute farm-to-table restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia twice before and fallen in love. The cocktails were creative and perfectly balanced. The cheese plate was unreal. And the fresh, flavorful entrees… I mean, c’mon!
This trip we knew that a long dinner at Local Roots was just the thing we needed to relax. And boy, were we right. Sometimes, the stars just align and the universe says, “Ok, you’ve had it rough recently. Here. Enjoy a night of perfection.”
We were seated at a large round booth. Our waitress was charming and understanding of our need to take our sweet time between courses. And the food—oh, the food!
As a writer, I tend to focus on words. But sometimes, images are better. Below is my meal in pictures with a few simple subtitles to set the mood.
If a beautiful and delicious gin cocktail doesn’t help lift your spirits…
then a cheese plate this decadent must.
We got fancy with the salad and oysters.
Satisfied our need to stress-eat with some gnocchi covered with—yes—more cheese.
Treated ourselves like kings with this Ancient White Park Steak, which was—no exaggeration—the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.
And ended the night face-first in some fruit-covered pound cake.
Just the memory of that night and the taste of that meal is sometimes enough to get me through a hard day. Because when you’re feeling really depressed and overwhelmed, it’s important to find those things in life that give you joy and remind you why it’s good to be alive. For some, it might be spending time with their kids. Others might need to escape to some tropical island or to the couch with a good book. For me, apparently all it took was a night focused on food, love, and a really, really nice cheese plate.
If you’re ever in the Roanoke area, check out Local Roots. You won’t regret it!