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Variety News: Toast

Long time no blog! This is what happens when I decide I need to step up my game, and then don’t have time to step up my game. So, we’re back to the old “personal journal” style of blogging until such time as I…have more time/motivation to change it. I do what I can.

I was making a sandwich for lunch recently and as I stood there with two slices of toaster-thawed bread, I was frozen contemplating my options and the ensuing consequences. I want to lose weight, you see, and I know from past trial & error that my body does not process “processed carbs” well. Also, like a lot (most?) people, I eat way more calories than I burn. Which is why I was standing there contemplating toast for far, far longer than anyone really should.

If I made a whole sandwich with two pieces of bread, that would be far more calories than I needed, but also the wrong type of calories for my body to process. It would taste good and feel good while I was eating it, but I’d be dealing with the consequences for a lot longer.

On the other hand, throwing out a piece of toast is just wasteful, toast never really stores well, and cubing it and putting it in the freezer just means I’ll have the same choice to make another day as I contemplate whether to stuff my body with…uh…stuffing, or not.

My toaster does not do nice things when you only put one piece of toast in. It feels the need for parity, apparently, so defrosting one piece of toast isn’t really an option either. And we don’t eat enough to leave the bread out – it goes moldy and I end up throwing half-loaves in the garbage if I don’t keep it in the freezer.

The simple answer, of course, is to not buy bread, but given that I live with my husband, and he doesn’t have the same hang-ups about bread that I do, and also likes sandwiches, it doesn’t seem fair to make him abstain when it’s my body that has the issues.

And yes, normally I’d have cauliflower rounds on hand to substitute with, but I couldn’t find any at the store when I made my last grocery run. Being asked to wear a mask at the local store that sells them (cauliflower rounds, that is) tends to make me anxious to get back out as quickly as possible, so I don’t look around much if what I need isn’t where it previously was and easily visible.

So there I stood in the kitchen, contemplating toast, waste, waistlines, and sandwiches, pressed for time as always on my lunch hour. No matter what decision I made, there was guilt involved – guilt for wasting food, or guilt for derailing my own goals. Nothing a little planning ahead or creative thinking wouldn’t have solved before I even thawed the bread out…looking back, I could have just spread the guacamole on the ham, wrapped the whole thing in provolone and been perfectly happy. Pressure tends to kill creativity though.

I finally tossed the second piece of toast in the garbage, made myself half a sandwich, enjoyed every bite, and then emailed the new company I just signed up with to come get all my food scraps once a week to compost (since the hubby and I can’t agree on composting methods – I want worms under the sink, and he will only agree to worms if they stay outside). They use a fermentation method of composting, and can take meat and dairy, so if they can take bread as well…then my problems are solved and my guilt is assuaged. *Whew!*

*Note: Yes, the composting company – Swift Buckets can/will take bread. The perfect solution.

Needless to say, I’m trying to let go of the guilt I feel when making decisions to “do, or do not”. I often end up feeling guilty no matter what I decide, and I need to just knock that off.

On that note, no guilt about going back to the personal blog format with all text and rare pictures. This just…is what it is. That’s all it needs to be.


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Finding the Calm

It’s late Monday night as I type again, but this week, we finish the mid-life crisis. Note that my head isn’t all that great with keeping dates and timelines straight, so all of this might not be strictly in the right order, but it’s all true, which is what matters, really.

In any case, we left off with my tattoo sleeve, and the story it started churning around in my head. The sleeve was finally finished late last summer/early fall, and by then, I was ready to start writing up that story. I was also coping much better with some of the feelings I’d been dealing with. I’d taken up archery (a year ago last month, actually), and faithfully went to the range once a week or so, and I’d also taken steps to ensure I could take care of “me” – which sounds so cliche, but I think that’s because we have to remind ourselves to do it so very often.

I started sleeping more hours at night (after reading a study basically condemning my brain to dementia or worse if I didn’t), and taking time for myself when I needed it. I was still doing a lot of thinking…some of it on paper, some just in my head, about the feelings and…”loss”, I guess, is the best way to describe it. Things that I simply can’t have or do because…well, because I chose/choose to prioritize other things. I acknowledged that I built the life that I have now, and I choose to stay in it for all the reasons that I am who I am.

There are things I still don’t want to accept not having/doing, and experiences I’m choosing to go without, and that’s just something I’m going to have to live with. But I’ve made a sort of uneasy peace with them that allows me to move on. To not dwell and obsess and drive myself insane trying to make it happen no matter the cost…because obviously, I’m not willing to pay that particular price.

Vague, I know. Like I said, some things are too personal for the cold light of public scrutiny. I suspect most who have gone through this same sort of process understand just what I mean.

And of course, I was writing again. Finally. Making time for one thing that I truly needed to get back to. I’ve since restarted Misty’s story, because part of this process was figuring out what kind of a writer I wanted to be, and where I wanted to go with my stories. I started Misty over because I figured out (20k words in) what kind of “presence” I wanted the book to have, and for once, I have an inkling of how I can give it that feel. So far, the rewrite is coming along well.

I decided to release the young reader’s book, under a different pen name (it’s coming out in April). Partially because I’m curious to see how it does, and partially because I’m still curious as to where my young treasure-hunter will end up, and I actually want to write the rest of the series.

Which brings us to the present. And me, on the other side of what’s commonly known as a “mid-life crisis”. But is it, really a “crisis”? It’s definitely uncomfortable and painful and there’s a certain sense of “mourning” that goes on, but now that I look back on it, it seems more like a growth period. A period of redefining myself, and balancing the “self” I was in my youth with the “self” I grew into as an adult. Part of that was stripping off some of the armor I’d put on for protection, and parts of that were embracing my “quirkier” aspects. Yet another part was acknowledging things I’d wanted for a long time but was afraid to really examine, and deciding if I was willing to give up other things in order to have those long-held desires. In some cases, yes, and in other cases, no. And for the latter, accepting my own decisions. Which is admittedly, the hardest part, and there are still parts of me that want to throw a temper tantrum like a child because I can’t have what I want…but that was a big part of the last few years. I’m over the whole tantrum thing. I’m increasingly able to just accept what “is” and move on, though I don’t think I’ll ever quite give up those desires completely. They’re part of me. A good part.

Which is okay. Accepting that there are some things I want and will never be able to have was a big part of this whole experience. I won’t say it’s all “good”, but it is “okay” now, and I can get past it.

Recently, I’ve completely switched up my supplements too, with the idea that perhaps something in my body isn’t “processing” quite right. I’ve been doing my best to lose some weight and its been doing its best to hang on tight, and after some research and reading, I picked out some super-supplements that I hoped would give my thyroid and adrenal glands some help in balancing everything out. I knew they would affect my hormones (any little thing does), but I wasn’t really expecting how much they’d affect my brain. In a very good way.

So, if you’re up for a little “better living through vitamins” talk…that’s what we’ll discuss next week.

For now, you can all be as grateful as I am that the “crisis” is over, the sun is out, and things can only get better from here!