A few weeks ago, while I was just starting to boil pasta for dinner, I heard a light knock at the door. It was my three-year-old neighbor accompanied by her father inviting us to come down and eat homemade pizza with them for dinner. My initial instinct was to turn them down since I was already cooking and perhaps a bit because the invitation was a last-minute surprise. Sadly, I have realized the older we have gotten, the less spontaneous life seems to be. I remember in university days when life was a series of deciding what to do next with just moments notice. Eating was always a group activity and turned into a potluck by near necessity based on what resources each person had.

Excited to reignite my comfort with last-minute, casual meals together with friends and neighbors, I said yes. I offered to finish my pasta, whip up a salad and bring it all down to their apartment. I called my husband and told him to report to the neighbor’s place for dinner when he got home. We had a delightful, relaxing evening together eating a little of this and a little of that. It reminded me not to plan so much, keep the calendar open, feel comfortable with less programming, be open to spontaneity and enjoy food with other people more often.