Happy Days, Day 23

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This could be an every day happy moment, or at least on those days when I actually hit word count. I participated in National Novel Writing Month religiously in high school and through college and learned the power of a daily word count goal. A few hundred – or thousand – words doesn’t seem like much, but consistently and over the course of a month, two months, three, suddenly you have something substantial.

I broke up with NaNoWriMo somewhat unpleasantly several years ago because I thought it had gone all askew and unfocused, but really we’d just grown apart. We’re now (just) friends and I’ve since made a point of making time for the things I kept claiming were important in my life, and now writing is a daily… well not quite habit, but definitely a daily part of my life. NaNo taught me a lot, but the primary thing was not just the power of a daily count, but the power of a visual graph. Suddenly you can see your words adding up, and you can see your goal coming closer.

Or for me, really, it’s more that I can see when I miss a day, and that quickly becomes unacceptable. So here’s my happy moment in a graph, the collective words from the last month and a half and the words to (hopefully) come. If you look closely, you can see more than just a few days that I haven’t made count or missed entirely, but the beauty is that all together – those days don’t matter. Not one bit.

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Stop Letting it Slide

You know how you let something go for a day and then another day and soon it’s been too many days and you’re afraid to come back to it because the sheer act of looking at it and acknowledging how long, how much you’ve let it slide terrifies you? And that terror keeps you away even longer, making the act of return more impossible and daunting by the day?

Yeah.

Hi.

Sometimes it’s good to remember all it takes is just a little effort, a little self forgiveness. Let all those days you’ve saved up in your guilt bank just go and ignore the interest. I’ll start the happy days project again soon (with photos!), but it was giving me too much stress to go back to it once I let it lapse a day (or two, or three). Same with my querying and several other projects. It’s time to just take a deep breath and do one small thing, even if it feels inconsequential at the time.

So here’s my one thing. And here’s my other: today I am happy (and grateful) to live in a state where 40 degrees is pretty damn cold and it doesn’t get much colder than that. I’ll put up with the 110 degree days (and weeks [and months]) for that.

And here’s my yesterday: I am happy (and grateful) for my friends and all the varieties they come in. I am especially happy for my D&D group – which is still patiently (re)teaching me how to do spell resistance rolls after all these years (again and again [and again]), but gleefully accepting my undead, hollowed-out, flying pachyderms.

And here’s my Saturday: I am happy (and grateful) for the invention of Skype, for the ability to span distances and time zones and see and speak to friends how have moved or who we’ve moved away from. I need to use this magical technology to connect with more friends, even if I end up making faces at the screen more than half the time (but I’m getting better! Used to be 89% of the time).

And here’s my Friday: I am happy (and grateful) that I have finally shed so much of my youthful insecurity, especially when it comes to music. Taylor Swift is awesome and so is Muse and Weird Al and Dvorak and Lady Gaga and you can just handle. It. And I am happy (and grateful) to be able to access so much music and have the disposable income to actually pay for it.

Now breathe. Let go. I got this.

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Happy Days Project – Day 21

Day 21

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I have a few photos from all those happy days I skipped, and I’ll probably get caught up at some point, but right now it’s far less stressful to just jump in where I can.

Summer all I wear is a skirt + blouse. It gets very dull very quick, so I am super excited for autumn if only because it means I can start making things a little more interesting. In fact, my coworkers know that it’s finally fall because that is when I break out my knee socks. I might have a knee sock addiction. If you’re ever looking for knee socks – or socks in general – Sock Dreams is probably the only place you’ll ever need to go. You’re welcome.

I’ve never been good with fashion and I’ve lamented time and again that it’s a shame I hate pants so much, because otherwise I’d be the kind of person who just wore jeans + t-shirt and called it good. Alas, I wear skirts instead, which means I have to at least try to match sometimes. Or dresses.

This is what usually results. A sort of hodge-podge of colors and styles that I claim works and therefore I can usually get away with. But you know what, this particular podge made me really happy yesterday. So. There. :P

 

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Halfway Through the Break

Two months into our four month TTC break and I am definitely glad we took this break. Granted, we would have taken it anyway due to timing, but I needed the mental time off as well. Your brain is just constantly on while actively TTC, searching for any clues or hints as to what your body is up to. Looking back, I feel more like those months were our Intro To TTC crash-course and we can only do better moving forward.

Appropriately, I’m writing this on CD1. It’s a good time for new beginnings, for clearing out the old and getting ready for the new. I wrote before about all the playing I did with diet and exercise and now it is time to stop. Time to put down the cider donuts and stop intermittent fasting and tweaking and not-so-tweaking diet and instead focus on stress relief, rest, frequent but slow exercise, and a non-calorically restricted diet.

There are some good habits that I developed doing AIP that I need to get back into, namely daily broth and greens. Class helped me slip out of those two habits, actually, as it interrupted my daily schedule, forced me to commute to a place without an available fridge or even a microwave (the horror!), and threw no small degree of chaos into my life. While the change was good at the time – it helped in playing with the keto diets – it also reinforced the benefits of my normal routine.

So diet-wise, I’m going to go with what I know works: lots of greens, lots of tasty broth, some organ meat here and there, more vegetables, more fat, and avoid grains as much as possible. Like when I first did the AIP, instead of focusing on things I shouldn’t eat – like cookies and sugar and cake and sugar and bread and sugar – I’m going to first fill up on all the good things and try to avoid a mentality of deprivation. This has worked really well for me in the past.

I’m also going to slowly (or maybe quickly – we’ll see) cut back on coffee. For the keto diets, I reintroduced my daily coffee as a way to get more fat (omg butter coffee is amazing, by the way), but if I’m not intermittent fasting, I don’t need that anymore. To be honest, I missed my morning tea ritual. There’s something a whole lot slower and calming about tea – I can savor a pot of earl grey for an hour while a cup of butter coffee is gone within minutes.

Related to that is I really need to work on incorporating stress relief techniques into my life – well before we start again. So. I looked up yoga classes near work. Ugh. And I found a free one to try. So I’m going to do it. I’m going to swallow my prejudice against yoga and just try again. I promise I’ve tried before, several times, but I think if I go into this treating it as a relaxation technique instead of anything else, I might have more success this time.

Beyond that and diet, I’m still trying to come up with other things I can work on in the next two months. Are there any stress relief techniques that were beneficial to you?

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Still Alive & Happy Day 20

Class ate my brain last week in more ways than I expected. I was up at crazy hours doing homework and working on presentations and then we thought we’d be road-tripping it up this weekend and that fell through so we went for a long day hike yesterday instead and in conclusion this is the first time I’ve really had more than a few minutes at the computer.

So I’m behind on a) writing, b) blogging, c) happy days, d) life, and e) reading other blogs. Thankfully, even though the road trip fell through, I decided to still keep this four-day weekend that I made for myself (yay Veteran’s Day!), so hopefully I can get caught up. <3

Day 20

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Our trip would have included lots of hiking, so we both unanimously decided we needed to hike anyway. Instead of driving across the state, we’d just hike trails we’ve been meaning to hike for a while. Like the Tanque Verde Ridge trail, which is this gorgeous trail that runs along the top of the Rincon Mountains. The whole thing is 13 miles, round-trip, and we ended up doing close to half that. I think we hiked 7 or 8 miles instead. It was chilly at first, but as soon as the sun hit us, off came the jackets and hats (and shirts). Because it’s basically climbing straight up the side of a mountain, not only do you get great views every time you stop for a breath (which is often), you also get to see the flora change drastically, from lowland desert scrub to a higher grassland scrub, and eventually – if we’d made it that far – to actual trees. We stopped in the grassland area, though, but someday I want to hike the whole thing. We just weren’t quite prepared for a full day out.

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Happy Days Project – Days 13 & 14

Day 13

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Happy November! Our week had been a little on the hectic side, so I decided I wanted a slow morning. This looked like a long, lovely sunrise walk, then an hour writing, and finally an hour (or two, I was purposefully not keeping track) of sitting on the couch with the windows open, sometimes wrapped in our boo blanket, sometimes not, sipping broth and reading a good book.

I finally leveled up my broth by doing the obvious and adding onion & carrots & celery during the last hour and omg it is so delicious. I was drinking the stuff out of duty before but now it’s just absolutely divine. Then I read about a place called Brothl (which is unfortunately not here) and have been taking broth inspiration from their menu. A little seaweed is delicious. I’m working up to chicken feet. o.o

And then, as if all that wasn’t lovely enough, a cat came and sat on my lap, purring, for a good while.

 

Day 14

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Sunday is cooking day in our household, and it also means grocery-getting. I have developed an appreciation for the American food system, even while I also know it’s highly destructive and unsustainable. But after living in Russia for a few months and seeing the severely anemic state of their vegetables, I can’t help but fall in love with those gorgeous displays of greens and broccoli and beets and parsley here.

It’s also the potential at the beginning of the week, looking at what we got and thinking about the delicious things we can make. By Wednesday I’m always tired of whatever we have / made, but Sunday is still a little magical.

That’s all to say that I’m grateful that a) we can find such lovely greens (and our garden is finally producing some, too), b) we are fortunate enough to afford such lovely greens (I recognize this is for many people a luxury and I hope someday that won’t be the case), and c) we have the time to actually do something with them.

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Nightshades, Nightshades Everywhere

… with not a single one to share.

(Warning: Severe overdramatics ahead.)

I have been so good about avoiding nightshades for the last sixty + days. So good. I check every label now, even mustards and olives. I look and I scour and I remember and I avoid. And my skin has been thanking me for it.

AND THEN SHREDDED CHEESE.

BLOODY FUCKING SHREDDED SWISS CHEESE.

*breathes through nose*

I just. Why should I check swiss cheese? It’s harmless! Then again, why should I check the shredded variety? I know they add cellulose as a coating, but that’s it. That’s all. OR AT LEAST IT SHOULD BE.

Then I remembered something someone mentioned about added carbs from cellulose-covered shredded cheeses (back when I was caring more about my carb count) so I glanced at the label out of curiosity and there – there – of all things, was listed potato starch.

A nightshade.

On my shredded cheese.

Well. Fuck.

At least my sensitivity isn’t going to kill me, but geez. I guess I get another opportunity to see just how sensitive I am to this stuff. Yay.

(/end overreactive dramatics)

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