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Handing 2011 its Hat and Waving a Hanky...Buh-Bye! - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Handing 2011 its Hat and Waving a Hanky...Buh-Bye! [Dec. 29th, 2011|04:19 pm]
Well, I’ll be the first to scream “correlation does NOT mean causation”…well, okay, screaming is sooooo not me. And a sample size of one is also known as a potentially delusional personal experience. But having strewn those disclaimers:

Stress appears to have way more of an effect on my ability to lose/gain weight than what actually goes in my mouth.

Witness: three weeks leading up to Christmas, stressed out, not sleeping well, but exercising three or more times a week, eating carefully, at worst imbibing a bit too much alcohol…gain ten pounds.

Witness: five days of Christmas, little to no stress beyond whether there are too many blue lightbulbs on that section of the tree and would an orange one look weird in the middle, a solid 7-8 hours sleep every night, pretty much no exercise beyond hauling lightweight ornaments up and down the basement stairs, four pounds of Christmas cookies eaten, countless other chocolates and candies tasted, seafood lasagna, egg rolls, coffecakes, mozzarella sticks, crab puffs, a toddler’s-worth-of-cheese, lobster, butter, plus two bags of crap popcorn (aka, Turnip gets bored on the Jersey Turnpike food, so one in each direction), boxes of red wine, several bottles of champagne and…lose five pounds.

Thereby dangling the possibility that should I manage to develop a stress-free life, I could eat normally and be skinny. Thanks for THAT cruel joke, Life. That’s awesome.

As a control, I’ve been tearing through the box of apple cider doughnuts I brought back with me, thereby combining stress AND crappy diet. Because I am ALL ABOUT the science.

I didn’t even MEAN to bring back apple cider doughnuts. Even though they are wonderful and remind me of home. But as I set out on my usual Connecticut foraging rounds, I suffered disappointment after disappointment, so in the end, as chubby people are wont to do, I sought solace in sugar and fat. See, I normally don’t take off so quickly after Christmas; so this time I got hit with the one-two punch of Monday AND a holiday. So – the Burrata, Stravecchio and Italian Sausage…denied. The handmade genuine for-real Kielbasa, sold out of a house in the middle of a residential neighborhood…denied. Even my back-up meat purveyor…closed. Thankfully, I was able to score local bacon, a local Kielbasa that while not really a K-ring to my mind, IS a damn fine smoked sausage, and, of course, to make it all better -- the cider doughnuts.

And when I got back to work, my annual shipment of Provencal soap and culinary lavender had arrived. Yes, I buy my soap from France. It’s my splurge. $70 and it lasts me a year and a couple of months. I was going to take the lavender home and make a lavender syrup…but right now, as the end of the year looms and it’s clear that I am NOT going to make deadlines on two of my projects…I just remove the lid and inhale. I’ll let it console me one more day and THEN bring it home.

Now, only one conundrum left for the year – what to have for New Year’s dinner?

I’m hermiting. I haven’t had a chance to do that in years – and while I ABHOR the very idea of New Year’s resolutions, since every single minute of every single day is a new chance to do better and if you can’t randomly set your mind to change NOW and just get on about it, without having some special DATE on which to do it…you’re probably not going to be able to make a lasting and effective change. (That’s my inner Curmudgeon talking. If it works for you, well then, have at it. Who am I to judge? I mean the part of me that’s NOT a curmudgeon. THAT’S not judging you. The Curmudgeon, on the other hand, is rolling her eyes at us both.)

But I've resolved that I need to be a little more conscious of what I personally want and need…that I need to expend just a smidge more time making MYSELF happy…even though that will probably mean roiling in guilt over my selfishness. But I AM resolved to see if the roiling is as bad as I fear. Maybe I’ve overblown it. Maybe I CAN just cater to myself now and again and be okay with it. (Is that the sound of rolling eyes? You’ve had your moment, Curmudgeon, get back in the damn box.) While making other people happy truly DOES make me happy, I think it's gotten a wee bit out of control over the past several decades. I'm pretty sure that an occasional splurge of self-indulgence won't take root in my well-salted-with-guilt-and-self-reliance Yankee head. If it does, I have good friends who will Round-Up that expletive.

Anyway – I have to admit the forced frivolity, the agonizing march to midnight, the painful dodge-a-drunk drive home or crash on the floor somewhere, sharing a bathroom with someone who had too much to drink and ate….oh, god, what IS that? New Year’s is not my favorite holiday. Oh, I’ve had some fun ones – where even the curmudgeon had to begrudgingly admit that it was OKAY – but it’s a guilty pleasure to cook a fabulously simple, but special meal, treat myself to a really nice bottle of wine, a lovely dessert, a movie of my choice, and in bed and sound asleep LONG before the New Year begins. Because really, what I hate MOST about New Year’s Eve? Wasting half of New Year’s Day, sleeping, because I stayed up too late the day before. There’s a tiny little voice in my head that says “What is WRONG with you?” but we’re ignoring it. There will be time for sloth later in the year. And on future New Year’s Days. This one? It’s all about making ME happy.

But the issue still at hand – what do I have for dinner? My usual great food/no fuss (fuss being both the cooking and cleaning part of it) go-to treats: lobster or ribeye, I’ve had BOTH in the last week. And while I could easily have either again and in either case, could probably improve on the meals I just had, again with a minimum of fuss…hmm, maybe lamb chops…

[User Picture]From: sestree
2011-12-29 09:53 pm (UTC)
NYE is our annual forray of tons of fingers foods that are hideously bad for you served in jammies and bare feet. Midnight? please - we'll probably both be asleep around 9ish depending on the cats.

Beer and munchies. Never failed me yet.

You should take more time for you. As someone who was ingrained with more guilt triggers than if The Wild Granny had been Jewish - or possibly Lesbian - or both - I hear ya there. Easy to say/harder to do.

Now I'm hearing a midwestern mischka type sound of Ma hitting on a Long Island Blonde. charming.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-12-30 01:43 am (UTC)
And 2011 can not leave fast enough for me. This was a fuck of a year and I'm so glad it's over.
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[User Picture]From: fountaingirl
2011-12-30 02:55 am (UTC)
Holy hell, yes, this x1000.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2011-12-30 10:15 am (UTC)
Yeah me too. Compared to most of the years ending in 1 (2001, 1991, etc) it's been reasonably calm on my end - just dealing with pyllgrum's Parkinsons and now his disability status and not working.

Still ... nice to see 2011 leave don't let the screen door hit yer ass on the way out
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2011-12-30 01:42 am (UTC)
FINALLY! Sanity! Your new year's plan sounds perfect to me. I'm unavoidably going to a party now but I will be envying you your solitude, real food and drink and the movie whatever it is.

One way to quiet your Curmudgeon is to remind her that those folks who you felt the need to take care of are (supposedly) grownups. If they want to be idiots, that's their look-out. It's a shame- but there it is. It's a hard one for me, too. But I'm learning.

(Can't wait to hang out with you!)
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2011-12-30 02:17 pm (UTC)
Well, I have to admit that it's not so much people I'm taking CARE of. (Seriously, anyone who spends any significant amount of time with me gets a very clear understanding that I should not be their first choice of caretaker...Take two naproxen and walk that expletive off, being my solution to physical problems...get outside and dig in the dirt or care for an animal being my solution to mental problems...a nice fluffy pillow and a strong set of forearms being my solution to unresolvable problems...poor Captain still gets twitchy when he sees me holding a pillow...)

I just like to enable the good times and happy things for other people. I get a phenomenal sense of satisifaction out of running the VA Faire, the neighborhood Halloween thing, throwing parties, hosting stuff, organizing stuff, wearing the Santa or Easter Bunny suit at GiantPetstore to benefit a rescue group, being the person who deals with the lost dog, stray cat, injured bird. But I do need to carve out more ME time. And carve that out FIRST.

And we WILL hang out. That's included in the carving...
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[User Picture]From: russell_moore
2011-12-30 02:11 pm (UTC)
"This one? It’s all about making ME happy. "

I'm with you on this, more or less ... I am so muddled though I'm not sure what would make me happy

I wish you many smiles in 2012 ... you are an amazing person and I am happy to have you as a friend
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2011-12-30 05:50 pm (UTC)
We will have many smiles in 2012. I demand it.

If you aren't sure what will make you happy...my darling man, you are overthinking it. Find small joys...enjoy them...and they'll give you enough light to find the big ones.

Holy crap, was I just philosophical? Don't TELL anyone; it'll ruin my rep.
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