Friday, November 19, 2010

Time Enough at Last

Today I woke up at 6:45 to go for my daily run. After I ran, I took a shower and proceeded to enjoy my daily “relax” time before I left for work at 8:30. After work (which is only a couple of hours on Friday mornings), I went grocery shopping and stopped by my boss’s house on the way home. When I got home, I made Brian a pretty sweet shrimp stir fry and then set about to clean ALL the things. Bed made, dishwasher emptied, floors swept, laundry (which I had put in before work) folded… the whole gamut. I made two pounds of meatloaf so that when I don’t have time to cook on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Brian can still have a good meal. This cooking session was accompanied with the idea that I would make him more meals on Saturday and Sunday to ensure that I can be cooking-free those days I’m busy. When Brian got home, I cooked him some chicken and made him a bomb chicken and egg and lunch meat and cheese and lettuce and spinach salad. After eating a bowl of cereal, I got ready for work and at 4:30 headed to my janitor job. I got home around 9:00 and went to the gym with Brian for (another) work out.

And now I’m reminded of a line from Coming Up for Air, the oft-forgotten George Orwell book I’m reading (recommendation courtesy of Vic Bobb). The narrator has just spent pages relating his love of fishing and then confesses that he hasn’t been fishing since he was sixteen years old. He notes, “In this life we lead… we don’t do the things we want to do… There’s time for everything except the things worth doing.” I’m not sure anyone knows how true that is more than I do. With my compulsive inability to relax, I am constantly missing out on life and on doing what I want to do. I still haven’t made it down to check out the local library. I still haven’t watched that movie I’ve been meaning to because, well, it’s a foreign film which would mean I’d have to read the subtitles (wait for the rest of this explanation before judging!), and the constant focus on the screen required by that means I can’t multitask while watching it. I’ve had a hankering to make homemade granola that I just haven’t got around to making yet.

So these are my assignments this weekend. I am relaxing. I am not thinking (too much!) about grad school. I am not going to feel pressured to do things I don’t really want to do. I will watch a movie by myself, and maybe even make popcorn. I will bake granola. I will walk down to the library just to check it out. I will take a break from all the silly things that seem to demand my attention, and I will focus my energy on the things I want to do, the things actually worth doing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spinach and Salad and Peas, Oh My!

Grown-ups lie.

When I complained about eating vegetables as a kid, my mom would always imply that I would learn to like them as I got older. I always assumed people hit this magical age when suddenly green beans and salad and cucumbers sounded tasty instead of vomit-inducing. Turns out that age doesn’t exist. I know it’s not just a matter of needing more time because I’ve already outgrown most of my dislikes from childhood. I used to hate chicken and refried beans. Now I absolutely adore chicken burritos. I used to hate grapes, but now I love them (and almost every other fruit). It’s not that I haven’t hit the “mature tastebud” stage yet. Vegetables are just nasty, and when my parents told me they weren’t (or at least wouldn’t be when I was older), they knew what they were doing. They knew if I thought I’d learn to like them I’d keep eating them. And they knew I’d even keep eating them when I wasn’t forced to so I could learn to like them. It was all lies.

I’ve given it a valiant effort. I truly have. I gave myself to the age of twenty to eat whatever the crap I wanted and take advantage of my fast metabolism. But over the past couple of years, I’ve really tried to clean up my eating. In a lot of ways, I have. I have started eating more fruits and vegetables and stopped eating sugar and fatty stuff all the time. I try to stick more to whole wheat products instead of white flour. I actually like the taste of whole wheat better. I cut fat off of my meat (I don’t like it there! It’s gross and chewy!) and go for a run almost every day. However, I can’t help but think about that missing component for health—the three servings of vegetables a day recommended by the FDA. Especially with Brian losing weight and getting healthy, I’ve been feeling worse and worse about my failures. I want to be a good example and teammate with him when it comes to health. I want to raise a healthy family eventually, and now is the best time to start with the healthy bit.

But I can’t help it. Vegetables taste, as Brian would put it, like a dumpster. I just made myself cucumber slices with a bit of cream cheese and lunch meat on each of them for dinner. Freaking nasty, let me tell you. The cucumber slices just ruined everything, and I had to have some frozen cherries just so I wouldn’t have that “just ate vegetables” upset stomach all evening. People tell me to cook them, and I just think, “Why? So I can lose half the nutrients AND eat something that tastes like garbage?” Yeah, no thanks. Or that I should put ranch on everything. Then it still tastes awful but also has about a million times more calories. I have tried. I have force fed myself the three servings of vegetables at various points in my life. I have tried to like spinach, salad, celery, cucumbers, beets, and many more. Some of them aren’t bad, I’ll admit. But seriously, I’d still rather eat grass. Maybe that’s what I’ll start doing.