Rach's resolution for the coming season? Bring on more joy!

rachael ray john cusimano construction
John and I standing where our kitchen used to be. Rebuilding our house is a great metaphor for 2021. Let’s dust ourselves off and remake our lives better than before.
| Credit: Photography by Silja Magg

Our light was dimmed a bit by the events of the last year. But as I've been saying most of my life, not just in 2020 but since I was in my 20s: Every day you can flip the switch on in your own life. And every life in the world can have a ripple effect that is infinite. It can start with a kind word to your neighbor or dog or cat or turtle. It doesn't matter what sparks it in you; something can happen today that makes you smile and believe that things are getting better in some way. And you can spread that to the next soul who needs it. And on and on.

Speaking of Valentine's Day (was I?), anyone who was single in 2020 could use a little extra love. I have so many single friends that I asked too often, "How's your dating situation going?" Since sheltering at home and meeting new people don't really jibe, I finally learned to stop asking. I just sent extra love their way in the form of good food and Zoom cook-alongs. May everyone seeking it find love in 2021.

You know I'm a big winter girl. I do not like it when the temperature hits 60, so I don't tend to get excited for spring. But this year for the first time I can say that I am really looking forward to the first warm days and seeing proof of life again. A fresh, green planet is going to be the glimmer that starts us on our way to a better life, a better collective consciousness. I think everyone's resolution list this year probably set the bar a little lower. Maybe we can raise it higher now and set our "new season's resolutions" in honor of the first day of spring. Here's mine: I'm determined, after a hard last year, to feel more joy during this one. And to spread it around!

One thing that creates joy is food! I hope all of us—old, young, married, single, gay, straight, woman, man, animal, or, again, turtle—have some great seasonal produce coming our way. I'm looking forward to bringing beautiful fresh ingredients like ramps, spring garlic, fava beans, and little baby veggies almost too cute to eat into the mix. It's ultimately good for the planet if even the biggest meat eaters eat a little less of the red and more of the green. For anyone who loves to cook, it's an exciting time if you let it be. So let it be!

This article originally appeared in our Winter/Spring 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.