Posted in about me, ebb & flow, food, physical health

The former deliciousness of peanut brittle

For a long time, peanut brittle was one of my favorites. And it was an infrequent treat, which made it even more delightful.

It’s been years, maybe decades, since I had peanut brittle.

There was some at work the other day.

I took a piece. Or two…

And you know what? It wasn’t that delicious.

I relayed this story to a friend who reacted with sadness, but no! It’s not sad at all!

Peanut brittle is crap. It’s (formerly) tasty crap, but it’s still crap.

And now, if it shows up in the teachers’ lounge again, I won’t have to expend any energy to pass it by, because it’s not delicious.

It’s not the first time this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The list of things that are no longer delicious just got one thing longer.

And yes, there have been a few things that I had for the first time in years and yes, they were still amazing. (A cream doughnut from McMillan’s Bakery immediately comes to mind. Only ate a couple of bites but YUM.)

But it’s OK to let your taste buds get pickier about junk food. Your body will thank you for it.

Posted in about me, ebb & flow, mental health, mindset, tips

Making just a little time to let yourself feel better

I found a good reminder for myself. Something that I was doing that I shared with my online world a few years ago that maybe will help you, too.

Here’s the context:

I was working part time, teaching band. The schedule was brutal, many of the classes were brutal, and there was very little professional fulfillment.

I was taking Anatomy and Physiology online at the same time. Super-interesting, but also brutal.

And parenting a 5-year-old.

That semester, The Climbing Daddy (who was not yet my husband) and I were also house-hunting and ending up buying (we closed in December, shortly after finals, in the midst of concert season). Because, y’know, there wasn’t already enough going on.

But I was using Duo Lingo, a language-learning app, and doing a bit each day, among other things, and apparently, it helped the overwhelm.

This is what I wrote:

So there’s work, which is … less than amazing.

There’s A&P, which is interesting but sucking out whatever life blood work leaves.

Meal planning and prep has gone to hell.

Exercise is still happening—almost exclusively running and climbing—but not as frequently as I’d like.

But I’ve done a little bit of Spanish every day for almost three months, and I’ve recently started playing my uke most days just for 5-10 minutes (F is learning, too, so we play together), and these things help me feel a little bit like I have free time. Which makes everything else a little more bearable.

 

In conversation surrounding this, I mentioned that our eating was still relatively healthy, just more pre-made foods which I wasn’t excited about, partially because of quality, and partially because it was causing a lot more trash.

But the point is—if you’re feeling like you’re at your limit, take 10 or 20 minutes and do something you enjoy. It’s not that much time, you can totally find it some days, even if not daily, and it will help your mental game.

And it’s nearly all a mental game, isn’t it?

Posted in ebb & flow, mental health, mindset, physical health

You don’t have to be amazing

A meme crossed my path. All caps, lots of colors — the kind of design I might be into…

YOU DID NOT WAKE UP TODAY TO BE AVERAGE

I have a couple of thoughts about that.

1. Math.

2. Maybe you did.

By definition, we can’t all be above average.

If we’re using the math-based definition, typically accepted as the mean, we can’t all be higher than it because then, by definition, it would be raised.

If we’re using the definition that makes “average” somewhat synonymous with “normal” or “usual,” we still can’t all better or different than that. If we’re all different than normal, then the definition of normal changes.

And maybe you did wake up today to be average. Maybe life has been terrible and to have a typical-for-other-people day would be amazing. Maybe so many out of the ordinary things—good or bad—have been happening that you’re ready for calm. Maybe for any one of a zillion reasons, finding a groove and hanging out in it for a while would be lovely.

I know a lot of people who would love to hang out in a comfortable groove for a while.

We don’t have to be The Best Ever at everything we do. Within the bounds of lots of asterisks (that I’m not going to ramble about today), doing a good but not amazing job at work is good enough. Being a good but not as good as you feel like maybe other parents are parent is good enough. Preparing decent food for yourself and whoever else you’re feeding is good enough.

Get some exercise. It doesn’t have to be hard core. Eat healthy food. You’ll feel better. Get enough sleep. Or as close as you can get. (There are so many hurdles, some of which we can’t control.) Love your people. Accept that sometimes, life isn’t going to permit all of those things to happen every day.

And when you have energy or drive to do more, do it. Don’t let other people steal your energy. If you want to spend time creating something beautiful or different or silly or useful or just plain amazing, do it, and don’t let the haters tell you that’s not how you should spend your time. (I hate the “too much free time” means of dismissing people.)

But waking up to be better than average every day? That’s stressful. Let that shit go, even if it’s in all caps and lots of colors.

Posted in about me, ebb & flow, thoughtfulness

Remembrance photography

I was invited to consider volunteering to do remembrance photography.

(Invited as part of a photography group. Not personally invited.)

I clicked through to see if it was what I thought it was.

It was.

Volunteer photographers do photo sessions with parents and their deceased infants. The example photos shown were very much like typical infant shoots — cute poses, big bows on girls’ heads, close ups of holding hands, etc.

I don’t think I could do that.

I take pictures of a lot of things, but I don’t think I could arrange a dead baby in a cute pose for a photo.

I don’t think I could keep myself together working with parents whose hearts are shattered into a million pieces.

I am barely holding it together just writing about it.

Maybe, by the time I’m a skilled enough photographer to consider that sort of assignment, I’ll have whatever internal stuff it takes to be able to handle the emotional side.

Until then, hats off to you, people who do that work.