Food Hospitality, or Romanticizing Indulgence

This is the time of year I review old things and resolve to do new things.  I was really into this in, like, 2009 and other random years but didn’t feel compelled to list out every crazy thing I did in 2013, because actually everything I did was crazy.

The smaller task would be to list out all the beautifully ordinary moments that existed in the year. Things that come to mind: grilled pizza on the twinkle-lit deck this summer, meaningful meals with friends between each trip, the one or two football games we were able to catch wrapped in blankets with chili in the crockpot, hanging four strands of snowflake lights on our sliding door and watching the snow pile up, snuggles with nieces, selecting our favorite photos to send as a thank-yous to helpful friends, and feeling my little nephew kick.

I am also totally clueless about 2014, so I have not resolved to anything yet. When we return from Cuba, our fellowship with World Next Door will be over, and beyond March is a giant question mark. All my resolutions this year would be all the previous years’ resolutions combined, and also the ordinary ones like clean eating and exercise.

But last night as I was stuffing face in this Cuban pizza shop in Miami, Continue reading Food Hospitality, or Romanticizing Indulgence

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Let’s go.

Hey 2013 75

Dear B,

Say Yes. The world (and grandparents) will give you a million reasons to say No. Most reasons will be logical and rational. In fact, you could live your whole life saying No, and you would be justified, safe, and successful in your niche. But in 2013, say Yes. Pay attention, and walk through each door God opens- even the scary ones. Allow God to lead your heart and keep saying Yes even when it’s a little bit crazy. You are a little bit crazy, you know.

Detox. Detox from brownies and cookies and pie and chocolate-covered anything. Detox from sadness and grief. Detox from the black hole of the internet that beckons you to Google and infertility forums instead of praying and friend-calling.  Detox from E! and TLC and the DVR. Detox from sloth (Yes, you. Your pants don’t fit, pal.) Detox from discouragement. Detox from ingratitude and discontent. Detox from expectations. Detox from consumerism. Detox from noise.

Steep. Steep in these things to extract and absorb their flavors: vitamins and minerals and nutrients. Steep in fruit smoothies and salads and probiotics. Steep in hope and comfort and truth. Steep in friends and prayer. Steep in encouraging books. Steep in gratitude with every tiny little gift, wherever you find it. Steep outside, where air is fresh and things are alive and real. Steep in Body Works Plus Abs, or at least steep in Yoga. If neither of those, steep in the elliptical and stretching. Steep in laughter. Steep in releasing, letting go, surrender. Steep in satisfaction. Steep in mindfulness, quietness, mediation. Steep in beauty and creative expression.

Our plan for 2013: Say Yes. Detox. Steep.

Love,
B.

In which I (re)solute myself

Dear B,

You have to stop with the sugar. Incorporate an actual fruit and a vegetable into every meal (lemon-lime is a flavor, not a fruit, pal). Stop eating when you’re full. You are not entitled to a dessert after every meal. Your thighs are tired of this dialogue: excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, pardon me… you could be in control if you really wanted to.

Along those lines, when your body figures out how to adequately fuel itself, exercise more than “whenever”. Walk daily, at least. Participate in a cardio activity and lift 3 times per week. You have a top-notch heart rate monitor?! You’re  in the season of life when people glance at your midsection and say, sooooooo? You’re running out of jokes for that one. You like exercise. You have a good bike. Running makes you proud. None of your clothes fit. Get to steppin.

Per the first two, speak kindly to yourself once we’re finished with this list. To quote your own self circa 2009: Be yourself and trust that who you are is good enough, cool enough, nice enough, honest enough, funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and competent enough.

Maintain a schedule. Wake up and carry out your appointments and/or write your reports no matter who is on Ellen. It does not help when the end of the month rolls around and you’ve only seen so-and-so twice instead of 6 times because their time slot is at 2. Same as Ellen. Ellen does not pay your bills. Progress notes pay your bills.

 

Clean your blasted car, girlfriend.  It is your office space, and no one likes goldfish crumbs or frosty drops all over their desk. Although, if you follow #1, you shouldn’t have a problem with the frosty drips anymore. It’s annoying for all of us when you have to spend 10 minutes collecting then thousand games and art supplies off the backseat and into the trunk before anyone can sit down. Don’t even get me started on the melted crayons. Respect your space.  Clean it.

Water the plants! You are inattentive, and they will die. Do it. Every Sunday or something. Don’t even think about a dog or kids until you can manage this.

Develop a plan and do something with the front flower bed. Rip out that one last shrub, and create something spectacular there!

Become organized. Label your files. File your receipts. Archive old files. Maintain the system. It will facilitate the stress-reduction goal mentioned above. Oh, and maintain a home office. The ottoman doesn’t count.

Get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. At one time this meant limiting midnight back-to-back episodes of Chelsea Lately and Sex and the City. Now it means putting your kindle down and stepping away from book series. What is WRONG with you? Sleep is better!

Stop buying Kindle books willy-nilly. You cannot be trusted to a) buy in moderation b) stop reading before 3am.

Make some friends. Yikes. Don’t know how to help you with this one. Two words: act normal.

Pass your LCSW exam in April. (That means start studying for this, like, yesterday)

Become certified in CISM and follow-up with the opportunities and resources that have been offered to you. It will open doors.

Go to France. Jeff needs to meet Mr. Gay, and Mr. Gay needs a hug, probably. You need to hear these things again at least once in your life: Bwooookie? Happy. Bwookie resemble Karen. Thank you, Bwookie. Happy. Happy. Happy.

Stick to the budget. No exceptions.

Write daily. No matter what, about anything. Okay, maybe daily isn’t realistic. 5 times per week? Three? Done. Three times per week, you will write.

Resolved. 13 to 3.

Goodbye, 2009. You were Awesome.  Let’s look at the list of things I promised you:

Wear less sweatpants. This is the beauty of a tropical climate. You own a thousand cute outfits that are perfectly wearable year round. Hello? After writing this last year, I immediately went to the outlets and bought 2 pears of comfy warm sweatpants from J. Crew- including the infamous “yellow sweatpants” from Vegas. However, after Mardi Gras, I did go organic and accidentally lose a bunch of weight which allowed me to wear pants without elastic waistbands more often. I even got new jeans. Resolved.

Do not wait until the last minute to read an entire semester’s worth of articles. You are paying a trillion dollars for this education, so you might as well learn actual theories and not just Marva Lewis’s notes on attachment via overhead (read: iChat). I never took Marva Lewis again. Resolved.

Get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. This will likely mean limiting midnight back-to-back episodes of Chelsea Lately and Sex and the City. You will manage. Ummm. Mostly resolved. It resolved itself when I went to Belize.

Remember the athletic center you are forced to pay $900 a semester to use? Go to it. Your friends used to have to come pick you up because you rode your bike too long and too far. Figure out where that bike riding joy went and reinstate it. Except, don’t ride yourself silly in New Orleans. You will get kidnapped. I never bought a bike. Unresolved. But I joined the ABT class at the Athletic center and started swimming when the weather got warm. I also took up running again for about 2 weeks. Resolved.

Do not drink Diet Coke for breakfast. Start each morning with a giant glass of water. End each day with a giant glass of water. If you must have the Diet Coke, at least buy it from the machine where Molly won $1.25 and haunted house tickets. Unresolved. End of Story.

Stop writing emails on Ambien. If you send an email after 10 pm, there’s a good chance it was written under the influence (cough, Judy Lewis). You are not more hilarious on Ambien. You simply have no filter. Find the tool on gmail that screens for irresponsible emailing and enable it.  I’m 5 months off the Ambien! Resolved!

Stop being so afraid of new things the first time around. They always turn out just fine. Unresolved. I’m always afraid of new things. I just don’t like change.

Be patient. Timing is everything. Patience is not really my thing, but in this particular circumstance (and I remember what it was when I wrote this) I was. And it paid off. Resolved!

Clean your apartment so you can begin hosting the over-promised, under-delivered hot tub reading parties and Sex and the City Sundays. Your home should be your place. That means you should be able to walk through it without having to scale piles of clothes. Cleaning- Unresolved. Hot tub parties- Resolved!

Purchase cleaning supplies and hangers. Resolved.

Be intentional with keep-in-touch-Sunday even when other things try to crowd it out. Relationships are most important. Don’t forget.  You tell me?

Ski. You know you want to. Un. Re. Solved.

You are about to become an intern again. Be yourself and trust that who you are is good enough, cool enough, nice enough, honest enough, funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and competent enough.  Resolved. Right, Mia? Riiiight?

Embrace the next eight months and try everything. You’ll never get this season back. Resolved. Mostly- with a few grass is greener… moments.

Graduate! It’s sort of the point. Re-to-the-solved!

Allow God to lead your heart. He did a fantastic job in 2008, and if you pay attention, your whole life could be as amazing. Resolved :)

Lets get this party started.

IMG_3209_2

Dear B,

Wear less sweatpants. This is the beauty of a tropical climate. You own a thousand cute outfits that are perfectly wearable year round. Hello?

Do not wait until the last minute to read an entire semester’s worth of articles. You are paying a trillion dollars for this education, so you might as well learn actual theories and not just Marva Lewis’s notes on attachment via overhead (read: iChat).

Get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. This will likely mean limiting midnight back-to-back episodes of Chelsea Lately and Sex and the City. You will manage.

Remember the athletic center you are forced to pay $900 a semester to use? Go to it. Your friends used to have to come pick you up because you rode your bike too long and too far. Figure out where that bike riding joy went and reinstate it. Except, don’t ride yourself silly in New Orleans. You will get kidnapped.

Do not drink Diet Coke for breakfast. Start each morning with a giant glass of water. End each day with a giant glass of water. If you must have the Diet Coke, at least buy it from the machine where Molly won $1.25 and haunted house tickets.

Stop writing emails on Ambien. If you send an email after 10 pm, there’s a good chance it was written under the influence (cough, Judy Lewis). You are not more hilarious on Ambien. You simply have no filter. Find the tool on gmail that screens for irresponsible emailing and enable it.

Stop being so afraid of new things the first time around. They always turn out just fine.

Be patient. Timing is everything.

Clean your apartment so you can begin hosting the over-promised, under-delivered hot tub reading parties and Sex and the City Sundays. Your home should be your place. That means you should be able to walk through it without having to scale piles of clothes.

Purchase cleaning supplies and hangers.

Be intentional with keep-in-touch-Sunday even when other things try to crowd it out. Relationships are most important. Don’t forget.

Ski. You know you want to.

You are about to become an intern again. Be yourself and trust that who you are is good enough, cool enough, nice enough, honest enough, funny enough, pretty enough, smart enough and competent enough.

Embrace the next eight months and try everything. You’ll never get this season back.

Graduate! It’s sort of the point.

Allow God to lead your heart. He did a fantastic job in 2008, and if you pay attention, your whole life could be as amazing.

Love,
B.