A lot has happened since Scuba became so ill and since we lost her. Not the least of which is, I've gained almost 10 pounds. It was sort of the perfect storm, actually.
Scuba was very sick at Halloween. We lost her in early November and then had Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. On top of all that, Bob and I ran our marathon at the end of October. So, we stopped running, and we went into a mode of spending much of our extra time at the animal hospital. I switched from a nightly cup of tea to a nightly glass of beer and started eating for comfort. As we moved into the holidays, I indulged as anyone would. Life is too short not to enjoy some Christmas cookies and a glass of homemade egg nog. I'm sure that the depression I felt over losing the Roo didn't help, either.
Needless to say, I came into the New Year with some new goals and some new pounds on the bod. Not a huge deal, but since I have lost 20 lbs. in the last two years, I have been used to seeing the scale go down and down. Now, in the past three months, the scale has been going up, up, up. Not a good feeling. I still like how I look and how my clothes are fitting, and I am very happy with my progress in the gym (I can do 3 pull-ups in a row!). I'm lifting heavier and can see more muscle definition, which is good. But I know the weight I've gained is not all muscle and water weight.
As December ended, I got rid of a lot of the processed sugar in our house, and I started refocusing my efforts on providing clean, nourishing food for my family and myself.
As I reinvigorated my efforts at clean and healthy eating, I realized just how lax I had gotten in my diet and in our family meals, snacks, and treats. I had slipped into recycling the same meals over and over again, as well as turning to a lot more convenience meals.
Now that I am doing more menu planning and bringing in some old favorites, as well as trying new healthy recipes, I am finding my attitude in general is brightening. I'm feeling a little more joyful and even playful with my kids.
I sometimes forget what a huge impact all of the food has in the areas of my life. I don't know why that is. I think that sometimes life just gets so busy, and perhaps so overwhelming, that we start to lose focus on what's really important. For me, I can see how my life has blurred out of focus over the last few months. That's not to say I haven't been very aware of how precious life is and the value of what is important in my life.
During the month of Christmas, I worked very hard to remember the meaning of the season and to have all of my actions come from a place of joy.
After the holiday was over, though, I paused and reflected and realized that even though I felt a lot of joy throughout the season, I am not sure I ever felt completely at peace.
Some of the reasons for that may be too personal to share here (or even to fully understand myself), but some of that most certainly came from the hectic nature of the season, from trying to be all things to all people, and from a general blurring of focus.
As I'm writing here, I think I am coming up with my resolution for 2014: I want to live a simple life. I would like to live more simply so that there will be less moments where my focus becomes blurred, when I lose the sense of what's truly important in my life.
How do you live simply in this 21st century?
I've talked about some of this with Bob already, and I am glad that he is also on board with such a goal. I think this is the kind of change that is going to affect the whole family, hopefully for the better. I think we will most certainly find some challenges in the fact that he and I will both define "simple" in different ways. That could cause some serious, serious challenges. We're just going to have to work through them, though. It may mean that both of us will have to let go, a little bit, and trust in the other person.
Letting go and trusting -- may have a lot to do with living more simply.
Let go of fears
Let go of anxieties
Let go of the desire for more and more stuff
Let go of ego
Let go of distractions
How to do it all? I'm going to need a plan. But right now I will start with baby steps. Right now I am happy with making a menu, providing healthy food that nourishes my family and also nourishes ME, both in my body and my spirit.
So, here's my menu for the week:
- Sunday: Asian-inspired flank steak salad with spicy cauliflower soup
- Monday: Chicken Parm Zucchini Boats
- Tuesday: was supposed to be chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans, but I think we're going to have to fix up some warming Chili
- Wednesday: Marinated Salmon with Siracha Cream Sauce, green beans, red pepper
- Thursday: Sauteed chicken, cauliflower, and broccoli
- Friday: Family Pizza Night