Yesterday we had a gorgeous 70+ degree day. The windows were open allowing fresh air to flow through, the slight hint of rain lofting in the air. It felt so nice when I took a walk and while I cleaned the house. Even though it’s still winter, it gave the impression of a vacation somewhere warmer. That really helped perk up my mood.
I cannot express how difficult it’s been to avoid all my favorite sugary treats. A friend of mine always told me that white sugar was more addictive than heroin — while I can’t vouch for the latter, it’s pretty obvious to me that sugar really is an awful addiction. I have spent almost two weeks now fighting the cravings and desires to eat a piece of chocolate or enjoy a sugary coffee. It’s not even so much the caffeine I miss at this point as much as the sugar rush.
I’m motivating myself to keep going. Each day I abstain from sugar is a small victory. I don’t notice sugar crashes nearly as much as I used to. I’m motivated to keep trying.
During the week, I wanted something comforting and familiar, so I cooked up some baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, and meatloaf. It wasn’t too hard to substitute butter with coconut oil for the sweet potatoes, and I added a sprinkling of cinnamon to round out the sweetness. I stirred coconut oil and dash of salt into the broccoli. As for the meatloaf, I’m no stranger to omitting breadcrumbs. It was a great dinner — it was just what I needed the night before going back to work.
It was so nice to stay home and keep warm, rest, play around a bit, and give my body a chance to adjust to my current dietary plan. Now that I’m back at work, I’m feeling a lot more grounded again and more able to face the day. Sure, that exposure to all the goodies I can’t eat really stings, but I think I’ve got this covered. I can overcome the cravings until Easter.
I’m grateful that I got to spend some extra time with the kids, especially since we had a decent amount of snow to play with and make snow cream. They had many “snow” days and were only at school for 2 out of my 8 days off, so we definitely got to spend plenty of time snuggled up in pajamas.
Sometimes you feel like you have nothing to say. In some cases, you can stop at that, and proceed with your day. In others, you have deadlines looming and a necessity to say something — preferably something worthwhile. My tip for the day is to sit down, write whatever comes to mind or whatever you’re doing, and soon enough you’ll have ideas. Most of the time, I experience writer’s block and simply opt not to show up. However, simply sitting with my journal and writing whatever comes to mind tends to loosen those holds on my thoughts, and I find some great ideas. Give it a shot the next time you find yourself wordless.
A few birthdays back, I asked my husband for Hemingway books. I really can’t remember why it was I opted to read Hemingway’s works, but I knew his reputation as a great author. Of course, life has a way of pulling my attention away, and I got through two and a half books before going about two years between opening one up. Since I’ve been working on overhauling my diet and enjoying so much needed vacation time at home, I thought I’d pick up one of his books and jump back in. I don’t remember where I put A Farewell to Arms, so I decided to start fresh with For Whom the Bell Tolls. So far I’m slowly but surely turning the pages — I’ve never been one of those book worms who sits down to finish a book within hours, thanks to my short attention span. However, I’m motivating myself to read for fun, to explore new places and people. Usually, I fall down rabbit holes here on the internet, reading up on plenty of non-fiction from blog posts to medical articles. Those are usually less mindful than the act of picking up a book and following the author’s lead. This will be an exercise in mindfulness, a means to distract myself from the sugar demons, and a great way to relax.
Here I am once again enjoyed paid time off thanks to the day job. I’m so grateful to have the opportunities to take time away from my bread winner so I can relax and focus on my health and well-being. This particular vacation is being spent at home, embarking on establishing new eating habits to bolster my health and foster more energy. I’m tired of feeling worn out, so I figure this will be an experiment to see if perhaps my indulgences (more than 20% of the time, mind you) detract from my overall well-being. I’m here to live, but I’m here to live with good quality in all aspects of life. The more days I spend loafing around in my pajamas, the more days I feel I’ve wasted. So, I’m grateful for the opportunity to challenge myself and make a change for the better.
Last week we discussed commas in their basic usage — to join clauses. This week we’ll talk about using them in lists. Now, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love the Oxford (serial) comma, and those who don’t. I’m in the former camp. I find that the Oxford comma brings much more clarity to a sentence, even if we’re expected to assume the last item in the list is indeed part of the list — comma or no comma. For example:
“I like reading, writing, dancing, and drawing.”
Each item in the list is separated by a comma. Each comma can be assumed to mean “and.” However, we don’t write sentences that read like this:
“I like reading and writing and dancing and drawing.”
That’s just not proper. You could also write it this way:
“I like reading, writing, dancing and drawing.”
Sometimes, however, you’ll find that omitting the last comma leads to confusion. For example:
“I have three kinds of pizza including pepperoni, sausage and pepper and mushroom.”
What have I done here? I’ve left you wondering what the second and third pizzas are. Do we have sausage and pepper? Or do we have just plain old sausage? Do we have pepper and mushroom? Or just mushrooms? This is why I opt to always use the last comma. If you get into a habit of omitting that final comma, you may find yourself confusing your reader — not good if you’re submitting a paper for a grade or a business proposal. We’re not taking out an ad in the paper, nor are we confined by the editor’s need to save space for all the articles. In the digital age, we have more than enough room on the screen for that last comma. On a paper, your teacher or professor is counting words, not characters. If you’ve never been really sure about commas in lists, start practicing writing lists today. Take the Oxford comma out for a try. You may just find out what a lovely little partner it can be in all your sentences.