:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a sporadic ending. (Amy)

I meant to do one more commentary on eating healthy and my laissez faire approach to running a 5K (or, to be frank, physical movement in general). After that post, August 8 was pegged to be my big wrap up, the Grande Finale of my grande finale (I would like to draw your attention to the fact that, in these first two sentences, I've managed to use 2 different bourgeois French phrases and 1 French word Americans have turned into total hacked out cliches).

But obviously, that never happened. For many different reasons, but mostly because I have skewed priorities and also this summer my adult onset ADD was exacerbated by no less than three different home improvement projects (2 big, 1 little) and mostly I'm just generally someone who dives head on into various projects and eventually just sort of whimpers out.

So. Let's wrap this bad boy up with a way-too-many-details review:

I began back in October (?) by saying I wanted to get healthy. I wanted to lose 50 lbs, run/slow jog a 5K during a not-too-hot/not-too-cold month, and I wanted to eat cleaner and greener. Later, my eating cleaner/greener evolved into turning myself into some type of makeshift Paula Deen. And then even later I came up with some different projects, like writing and sending out my work and also turning myself from a sluggish, overfed caterpillar into a beautiful social butterfly.

Here's what happened (I've already foreshadowed in the previous paragraphs how this ends, so you can skip to the overall wrap up at the bottom if you'd like):

*Big 5K: Slept through it. Literally. I have no explanation for myself. I totally understand if anyone feels the need to downgrade my AAA rating to AA- (or below).

*50 lbs: Still with me. Bad house guest. Doesn't even offer to help clean up, makes rude comments about my meal preparations, and really just refuses to leave. I'd throw 50 lbs out, and I have in the past, but 50 lbs just sneaks right back in, and also brings uninvited guests with it, like 10 lbs and 20 lbs more. He's totally dysfunctional, and I blame every single one of my ancestors, all the way back to cave woman grandma. Damn you, cave woman grandma!

*Physical movement: Sporadic at best. In fact, I've decided that is what I'll ask to have written on my tombstone: Here lies Amy. She was sporadic. At best. I've learned to embrace this aspect of myself, and I've decided I'm really okay with it. Others may not be, and in sporadic bursts I try to fix that to make them happier, but you know.

*Eating cleaner/greener: I shopped once at Whole Foods, the mecca for those who eat clean/green. I spent half a week's paycheck there and almost coughed up my spleen at the cash register. I then discovered Trader Joe's, who I am still deeply in love with, but the problem is Joe lives kind of out of my way and his shopping carts are ten sizes too small for my needs on the account of the fact I am a married, week's worth of dinner groceries shopper. I suspect Trader Joe prefers single, one-day-at-a-time shoppers and so our relationship may not work out, in the end. But I'll always love him, even if he never acknowledges it.

One thing I will note about eating cleaner/greener that I discovered through that process (this was to be my 2nd to last up date back in July, by the way): it's exhausting. It's exhausting to constantly research which things are genetically modified (GMO), potentially GMO, which companies are most evil and which products they have any kind of association with (Monsanto, I'm pointing at you--you, you feckless, power hungry, greedy-wants-world-domination-of-food-supplies, with your mega-power lawyers/minions and your sneaky business practices and former-employees-turned-federal-level-politicians planted deeply in your blood money pockets) (I'd link to Monsanto, but I'm certain they'd find me and sue for outting them just now), and which dairy products are truly organic and which are not. Exhausting.

And then to go shopping and have to read the labels and really think, while trying to keep a busy 2 1/2 year old occupied and convinced it's to her best benefit to park her butt in that shopping cart or else? Triple E exhausting.

Basically now I've gotten to the point where I do what I can afford with organic produce (peaches, lettuce, apples, etc--get them organic, they have skins that soak up every bit of poison imaginable) and then I buy just regular stuff, whatever's on sale.

I bring my own bags to the store, and I try to shop the seasons as much as possible (note: summer is a veritable orgy of fruits and vegetables. Getting our vitamins in right now because, apparently, in the winter we'll be eating mostly carrots, turnips, and parsnips. The end). And with things like dairy, which are outrageously expensive if you go organic, I've settled for: please no Rhgb or whatever that hormone is that makes cow milk glands go into overdrive and causes girls to go into puberty at age 6.

What I'm generally saying here is: I'd like to vote with my checkbook like all the clean/green food advocates urge, but my checkbook had to do an intervention with me and remind me: I do have a mortgage to pay. So I've lowered my standards, but I'm far more educated and much more aware of what goes into my grocery cart. This is a good thing. Oh, and I think farmer's markets rock.

*Cooking: Yeah, I still do it. And I'll never be a Paula Deen. I must have a recipe to follow; I will never be the kind of cook who wakes up one day and says: "I think for dinner I'll take some squash and cabbage, a little chicken, some of this, some of that, and voila!" And everyone who tastes it insists that I write Food Network to get my own show or at least try to convince Anthony Bourdain to feature me on his show. No, no. I'll always be the kind of cook who needs a recipe in front of her.

And some of these recipes (if they're good recipes) turn out awesome. Some turn out like the sludge they truly are. Since starting this aspect of my COFFEE project, seriously. I've cooked at least 100 recipes, and about 80 of them have been WTF doozies (no finger pointing here, but uh, SELF magazine and 98% of your recipes? No. Just: No. Please stop).

Which is why I will never, ever write any recipes. I think recipe concocting is an innate gift, a true talent, like someone who can sing. And I think some people (just like the ones who appear in the opening shows of American Idol talent auditions) really, truly believe they have this gift. And I think someone in these people's lives should eat one of their meals and gently, kindly let them know: I'm sorry, but you do not have this gift. You have other talents, just not this one. Before they make an embarrassment of themselves on national tv, or some girl in Georgia cooks one of their concoctions that makes her husband (who is naturally gifted at cooking but has decided for whatever reason not to on most days of any week) to say: "Did you follow the recipe? Well, it needs a lot of work. Whoever wrote needs mental evaluation. This is so gross."

But I am cooking, 25 days out of a 30 day month.

*Writing/sending out my opus magnums (magni?): I have written. Sporadically. But I have not sent out my work. I may do Nanowrimo in November and see what happens, but I'm easily distracted and suffer from skewed priorities (see opening paragraphs) and so I never, ever make promises to myself or anyone else I'm not sure I can keep. But I plan to embark on Nanowrimo in November.

*Social butterfly: I've joined a few Meetups over at Meetup.com. I have never attended one. But I like to imagine myself going, and that's a big first step. I bet.

Overall Wrap Up:

I was (clearly) not totally successful at any or all of my projects. But I do work out, a whole lot more than I used to. Like, pre-COFFEE I worked out this many times per week: 0. Post-COFFEE, I work out this many times per week: sometimes 0, sometimes 6, sometimes 3, sometimes 2.5.

Eventually I'll make it to a 5K...or not. And eventually I'll lose 50 lbs. Or just 10. Maybe some day I'll miraculously win the $900 million lottery (I don't play the lottery) and I can shop at Whole Foods to my little heart's content. Maybe I'll just keep shopping at Kroger so I can mutter "What the fudge?! TEN dollars for ONE organic red pepper??? Are these people on CRACK??" ...or maybe I'll find a way to make my relationship with Trader Joe work.

Really. Life is just a scootch and clog and slog and bog process, as writer Anne Lamott says. You scooch ten scooches forward, then you bog down for awhile. Then you scootch back 3 scootches, bog for awhile, scootch up a bit, slog down for a long stretch, and then scootch back and then clog for awhile, and scootch forward. So on, so forth. Sporadic, which is just how I like it. I think everyone else should, too. Life goes way too fast; slow it down, people.

This was a really, awesomely cool project/group to be a part of, goals met or not. In fact, I kind of approach big things now on COFFEE project-like terms--like, something overwhelming will come up that I need to get done and I'll say: "Self, you can work on this for....6 weeks. It's your new project." And then I totally clog and slog and bog on it, occasionally scootching forward now and then. As is my very nature. But it's re-shaped my processing approach to the overwhelming (and life is constantly throwing the overwhelming at us, I find...just look at the United States Congress for example. So overwhelmed, all of them).

And (And!) I got to make a ridiculously silly homemade cooking show video.

And (And! AND!) I made some super cool, hip new friends. Which kind of makes me want to modify my Social Butterfly project a bit--I've been a veritable social butterfly here, at COFFEE, and this is good.

If you want to keep up with me further (in a very sporadic way), you can always find me here at my (sporadically updated) blog: sweet little crosspatch, where I both muse and rant on topics of great, worldly importance that no one (no. one.) in any presidential administration past or current appears to care what my opinion is on. Or about. Or just what my opinion is. I have no idea how to end that sentence in a sensible, grammatically appropriate way. Anyway, if you want more of those kinds of sentences, go there.

And that's it. Amy out. Peace, love, and granola. Catch you on the flip side. (That's all I have. I'm all out of 70's slang.)



patresa said...

oh, amy, you make me smile.

in addition to your use of French, i also really enjoyed your personification of Trader Joe's, 50 lbs, and Monsanto.

i'm impressed that you cook so much! (even if you think it's gross.) i imagine you're eating cleaner and greener just by default of cooking instead of going out. SUCCESS!

i personally enjoy your sporadic-ness. because i'm the same, it seems real to me.

i will enjoy following additional clever sentences at sweet little cross patch.


amy said...

ph, i heart you and you rock. sporadic people of the world unite!