Sunday, February 5, 2017
Rev 2.17 -- It's Enough
Is this really happening? Am I really gonna do this? Oh my, it appears as if I am. Daring adventure...!
I work in an office. Not at a desk on a ship. But in an office. Actually in a cubicle. In a cube farm. Surrounded by other cube farms...nine whole floors of cube farms. Pushing paper, holding meetings, sitting on conference calls, stressing about flag briefs, and bitching about concurrent clearance comments that may or may not contribute value to the issue.
There's good work to be done, and I'm doing it to the best of my ability. But there's more to life than the overwhelming, mind-numbing and soul-sucking bureaucracy.
I'm in DC, living in a gorgeous old row house on Capitol Hill (thanks to my wonderful friend!), walkable to nearly everything I could ever want or need, history and daily civics lessons at my fingertips...or toe-tips since I walk most places. I bike or run to work; it only took me about six weeks to lose 10 pounds of boat-induced fat when I got here just making my way to and from work. I've been to see Wicked and The Ballet at the Kennedy Center, I'm a new Smithsonian Associate and will be attending my first event at the Smithsonian in a few weeks, and I've been going to the DC Roller Girls roller derby boot camp so I can hone my skating skills and try out for the local team. If I had to pick a city, DC's a pretty damn good one.
But I'm not a city-girl at heart, and find myself at some odds with my current place in the world. I recently read an article about veterans at the Standing Rock protest on Task & Purpose that quoted Sebastion Junger, talking about his new book Tribe, "I think in the military you get a very intoxicating sense of urgency and being necessary to others,” Junger told [the article's author]. “One of the tragedies of coming home is that it’s possible to suddenly feel like you’re not necessary anymore to society or anyone else..." Um...well, um, yes. "Intoxicating sense of urgency" just about perfectly sums it up.
So, at the risk of sounding too touchy-feely, too woo-woo-freaky, too vulnerable, I'm restarting this block to focus on my personal growth while I'm ashore...with apologies to any readers who started reading this, thinking it was gonna be more sea stories. It's not. It's gonna be about enough.
I miss writing. I tried to write just for myself, you know, like in a journal. I just couldn't keep it up, couldn't make myself do it. There was no structure, and my handwriting is atrocious. Here's my structure...for the next 30 days at least.
I know the 30-day challenge is a little overdone. At first I thought about doing the Whole30 diet, but their website had too many options and it overwhelmed me so I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. Which led me to think more about what I was trying to achieve. I wanted to eat healthier, have guidelines, something to fall back on when I had a tough decision to make -- like to eat delicious food out and spend too much money or snack at home, eating healthier and saving money. So here are my guidelines for the next 30 days:
-- I will only buy primary food ingredients. No processed nuthin! That means yes to milk, veggies, fruits, meats, and grains in their original forms. That means no to cheese (O.M.G! what the hell do I think I'm doing?!?), sausage, no beer or wine or booze, yogurt, bread, crackers, bagels, sugar, nothing processed. I can make whatever I want from the primary ingredients, but I have to make it. If I want butter, I'll buy cream-top milk, and churn my own like I did in Montessori school forty years ago. Maybe I'll finally get good at making bread...or else I'll be eating a lot of wheat briquettes...
-- I'm allowed the following exceptions: flour (as long as it's whole grain), olive or coconut oil, and vinegar...though I'm on the fence about vinegar. I also don't know about honey. I think honey's going to be off limits. And oatmeal. Shit, I don't know about oatmeal either.
-- I'm allowed to use what's already in the house as of this morning when I decided to do this, even if it breaks the above rule. So, the two beers in the house will be gone before the end of this Super Bowl game, the pickles and mayonnaise may last me through the 30 days of egg and tuna salad, I already finished the bread, and that boxed chile relleno in the freezer may be a meal of last resort one of these evenings when I'm absolutely famished with zero motivation to make anything after a long day of tilting at bureaucratic windmills.
-- I may not buy stuff. Random junk. Things I think will make me satisfied, but then end up taking up space in the house after their novelty has worn off. I have enough stuff. I need to use what I have. I live within a *mile* of amazing historical sites that I can run or walk to, more museums than I could possibly wear out, the National Arboretum that looks different every day, delightful trails that lead to overlooked nooks of nature. I have enough. I need to enjoy what I have instead of bringing in more.
-- The rules are suspended if I go out to eat with someone else. The rules are not suspended if I'm eating out by myself. Apparently I need some incentives to be sociable.
-- I will share what I can here about what I learn, about myself, about making bread, about how to make myself happier out of my natural element.
Like I said, touchy-feely, woo-woo kind of writing. But it's what I need right now, so I'm gonna own it. It's enough.