Day Two

Don’t call it a resolution. It’s more of an experiment.

I’ve decided to give intermittent fasting another try, and to make it just a little more challenging, I’ve also decided that January is going to be a dry month. Guess it’s the roaring twenties all over again with my own little return to the days of prohibition.

I wouldn’t say I drink too much, but I will admit that there are times when I have more servings in a week than what doctors would consider “drinking in moderation.” It’s just become a habit to have a drink before going to bed, sometimes two, and almost always a couple when we go out.

I’m doing both of these together for several reasons:

  1. Sleep better.
  2. Save some money.
  3. Think more clearly.
  4. Feel better.
  5. Lose a little weight.

But mostly, I hope to give my body a system re-boot. Give it a chance to recover from the indulgences of the last two months, or really the last couple of years.

infused-water
More infused water coming soon (but only between 12 and 8 pm)!

There will be days and nights when I will be tempted to give up on one or both of these challenges. My husband is a musician, which means late nights in bars and restaurants. If I go with him, I will be ordering water or a soda, and only water after 8 pm. Sometimes it might be easier to stay home with a nice cup of tea.

So far, so good. I didn’t sleep well last night but that was probably because of the coffee I had with dinner. Tonight it will be chamomile tea. I will try to write more often this month and let you guys know how it’s going. My first real test will be Saturday night when we go to a local brewery where the band is playing. I should be a cheap date, though!

Learn more about Dry January.

What is intermittent fasting?

 

Meh (or a look back at 2019)

Remember when I claimed to be back at this whole blogging thing? Three posts in one year doesn’t make for a prolific blogging year, does it?

I had good intentions, but I’ve spent the last three months with balls of yarn on my lap, a hook in my hand, and my head down as I tried to complete what I thought was an impossible challenge: five afghans by Christmas. I started in September and finished the last one a week before Christmas. Yes, I’m patting myself on the back. Then for bonus points I added one mini (baby!) blanket to the mix and finished that just two days before Christmas. 馃檪

As I was preparing to wrap these up I thought about the times I had to re-start, pull out rows of work to start over, bring in new yarn, wait patiently (mostly) for new yarn to arrive so I could continue working, or adapt the pattern when I ran into trouble. They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. You can see the flaws if you look even just a little more closely. Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

It’s been an up and down year for me. There were plenty of good times and I made some new friends. Got plenty of stuff done at work. Listened to a whole lot of Beatles music. But overall: meh. I wish I’d done more. I always wish I’d taken more pictures. Written more. Stretched my (creative and literal) muscles further. I could have set bigger goals for myself.

This morning I was listening to a song from one of my favorite Christmas albums ever, Abriendo Puertas by Gloria Estefan, and the lyrics of the title song reached out to me:

y vamos abriendo puertas,
y vamos cerrando heridas.
porque en el a帽o que llega
vamos a vivir la vida.
y vamos abriendo puertas,
y vamos cerrando heridas.
pasito a paso en la senda
vamos a hallar la salida.

and we are opening doors,
and we are closing wounds.
because in the year that arrives
let’s live our life.
and we are opening doors,
and we are closing wounds.
step by step on the path
let’s find the exit.

What am I looking for in 2020? I’m hoping to let some wounds heal and close for good. I’m going to see what’s behind doors number two and three and maybe four and five. I would like to get a little perspective, take a break maybe. See what’s out there. Keep learning and figure out how not to write in cliches. Wish me luck. Again.

What are your goals for 2020?

I’m Back!(?)

Well, it’s probably too soon to tell. This is just my first day of a two-week vacation after all. You know what they say about good intentions. Could be another couple months until my next blog post, but we’ll see.

I’ve made myself a list of vacation projects and that in itself is probably not a good start to a vacation. But if I don’t make a list (who doesn’t love lists?) I will waste away the time doing nothing but surfing on my phone.

And on the subject of surfing, I was thinking the other day about how I go from one hobby to another, not really sticking with one long enough to really master it. Remember my paella manifesto? Or my pottery lessons? If you don’t it’s because I never really stuck to either of these long enough for anyone, not even me, to see what that was all about. Is this because of a short attention span? Do I get bored easily? Maybe a little of both.

Because like I said earlier I really do like making lists, here are just some of the activities I’ve tried:

  • photography
  • playing guitar
  • youth sports photography
  • journaling (Morning Pages)
  • bullet journaling
  • blogging
  • making paella
  • pottery
  • crocheting
  • reading
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • gardening
  • and the latest, baking

relic cameraSome of these have stuck around longer than others. Photography, of course, is one activity that is not so much a hobby but a way of looking at the world around me. I will always have a camera (although the one on my phone gets used regularly since it’s always with me) and I do pick it up now and then.

 

I love to cook, but the quest to perfect the paella is now just a desire to enjoy a good seafood dish every now and then. Now I’m thinking more sweet than savory. I’ve never baked much that didn’t involve a convenient box mix, but from the first episode of The Great British Baking Show that I stumbled upon while browsing Netflix, I was hooked. I’ve watched almost all of them now and my Pinterest board for “Breads, Sweets, and other Treats” keeps growing.

Crocheting was fun as well as challenging. It seems to be more of a fall and winter activity but I’ve put it on my list for the next two weeks because I would like to crochet some Christmas gifts this year.

depth

Pottery was fun too though. I should take another class. I’ve never been to formal yoga class but I’ve found a YouTube channel I like and whenever I feel the need I pull up one of Adriene’s videos and stretch the kinks out. Zumba is still a weekly activity and I would love to do it more than once a week regularly.

I watched a video a couple weeks ago about how to “Create an Amazing Life” and one suggestion was to be a lifelong learner. Try different things. Acquire new skills. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to have an amazing life by trying new things and seeing what sticks.

How about you? Is there anything you’ve tried that you’d like to get back to? What new hobby are you into? Maybe there’s something else I need to add to my list!

 

Ten Tracks

I’ve always been a music lover. The music I love has changed over time, though. I don’t remember what I listened to as a child, but I’m sure it was whatever was on the radio, probably in Spanish, or playing on my dad’s stereo, which could have been anything from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley to Julio Iglesias. As a teenager, I didn’t really care for salsa or traditional Panamanian music (musica typica). It was very heavy on accordion and not what my friends were listening to at all. (I’ve come around since and do enjoy some of this, particularly salsa music.)

By then I was listening to the local pop stations on the radio and enjoying both the Latin pop scene and the music from the States that made it down to Panama. I was also a big fan of the American Top 40 countdown with Casey Kasem. I listened to it faithfully every week on the AFRTS station and would often waste a whole lot of time writing down that week’s list. The year-end countdown was when I would make my own mix tape featuring my favorites from the year. I might still have a couple of those tapes somewhere, but nowhere to play them now.

Now we have playlists instead of mix tapes. For this assignment, I’ve prepared a playlist of ten songs that represent me.聽 These are in no particular order and just the songs that come to mind right now. The list could be different tomorrow.

  1. I Will Survive 鈥 Gloria Gaynor
  2. Walking on Sunshine 鈥 Katrina and the Waves
  3. She Works Hard for the Money 鈥 Donna Summer
  4. Put Your Records On 鈥 Corinne Bailey Rae
  5. Mi Tierra 鈥 Gloria Estefan
  6. I Wanna Dance with Somebody 鈥 Whitney Houston
  7. Brown Eyed Girl 鈥 Van Morrison
  8. Amor Latino 鈥 Carlos Vives
  9. Mi Verdad 鈥 Man谩 feat. Shakira
  10. I Feel Lucky 鈥 Mary Chapin Carpenter

Written for WordPress鈥檚 Finding Everyday Inspiration course. Day 15: Take a Cue from Your Reader

A Football Haiku

This assignment is all about word count, so here’s my very first attempt at a Haiku. It’s Championship Sunday in the NFL, so..

Let’s bring it home, Vikes.
Time to make history with
A game-winning play.

Written for WordPress鈥檚 Finding Everyday Inspiration course. Day 13: Play with Word Count

The Post: A brief review

Last night we made an impromptu decision to go out and see The Post, the new Spielberg movie starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth the price of admission. Go ahead and spring for some popcorn, too. You might finish it before the movie actually start if you arrive in time to see all the previews, commercials and then the movie trailers, but that’s ok. Once the movie starts you’ll be immediately caught up in the storyline, whether you know your history or not.

Meryl Streep never ceases to amaze me, and Tom Hanks delivers another brilliant performance. This movie is so well done that even after you are done praising the performance, you realize it was all perfectly put together: the dialog, soundtrack, editing, costumes and so on.

And then you start thinking about how these events transpired with these very real characters. This happened almost fifty years ago and feels like it could be happening right now. Women’s rights, freedom of the press, war protests. All relevant today.

聽“In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” 鈥斅犅Supreme Court ruling, New York Times Co. v United States

As we were walking out of the theater last night Doug commented: “All journalists should see this film 鈥 and we should all be journalists.”

Written for WordPress鈥檚 Finding Everyday Inspiration course. Day 12: Critique a Piece of Work

A well-worn seat

If I’m working on Morning Pages, I’m most likely sitting in the living room in my favorite spot: the corner seat on the couch, next to the side table and lamp. If I’m working on my Bullet Journal, ditto. Blog posts, same. Designing a Canva graphic or poster for The Adaptations, again, that’s where you’ll find me.

I should probably change it up every once in a while and give this poor seat a break so our couch wears evenly, but it’s become a habit. I have an afghan handy if I’m chilly (which is 99% of the time). The lamp casts the perfect light and there’s a very convenient coaster in case I’m sipping on coffee (or something else) while I write.

Alexa is nearby to provide a little background music while I write. Usually, we’ll go with a jazz music or maybe the Stan Getz station so that lyrics don’t聽intrude on concentration. (For example, the song playing right now is “More than a Woman” by the Bee Gees 鈥 because I didn’t select a jazz station 鈥 and so my head is bopping and all I can think about is John Travolta on the dance floor while my head is bopping to the rhythm. Should have gone with Stan.)聽 I like some music on because otherwise the ringing in my ears drowns out my thoughts.

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And now, I need to ask a favor. Are you enjoying what you’re reading? Do you have any suggestions for future blog posts in terms of subject or types of posts? More photography, less writing? Vice versa? Pick one or the other? Fill out my contact form and let me know!

Written for WordPress鈥檚 Finding Everyday Inspiration course. Day 6: The Space to Write

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.
鈥 Mark Twain

I’m a pretty good procrastinator.聽The only reason I’m getting these assignments done on time is that I was also a teacher’s pet in school. I never wanted to disappoint my teacher.

But if it’s a matter of cleaning the bathroom, I can put it off long enough for Doug to start thinking maybe it’s his turn to do it. I haven’t cleaned the floors either since before we had house guests. Yes, I know. I’m not a diligent housekeeper. I’m not a slob though, so the house never looks too bad unless you look too close. It helps that Doug’s a minimalist and very organized and neat.

It’s easy to procrastinate the tedious tasks or the complicated projects we’re not quite sure how to start. I’ve been known to spend hours planning how I’m going to do something without ever actually starting the project.

My stalling tendencies also apply to confrontations. I usually avoid them at all costs. And yes, those costs are sometimes high. I’ve paid the price a few times when I should have said what was on my mind instead of going with the flow. I have to learn to recognize when I need to take a chance, be brave, and speak up.

Maybe I’ll work on that tomorrow. Or the day after.

Written for WordPress鈥檚 Finding Everyday Inspiration course. Day 5: Hook 鈥橢m with a Quote