|Which is, to say, not so swell.|
But I received some excellent advice on Thursday - to rest. I think there's been so much going on that I have felt more and more stretched, less and less centered. Certainly less present. So I heeded that advice, and made sure that did things that were restful.
This is not to say that I sat around on the couch. In fact, I did very little of that. Rest doesn't have to involve inactivity. It's almost more of a mindset than an action. It may actually be more about what I didn't do, than what I did do. I call this "zen-gathering."
I did not...
- ... stress about work or budgets.
- ... try to numb myself with food (and I'm proud to say that throughout all of the emotions or stress I've gone through lately, I have been able to keep myself from eating emotionally.)
- ... talk about myself negatively, even once, all day Sunday. I've been a wellspring of negative self-talk lately, and that's unusual for me. I made a conscious decision to nip it in the bud, and as a result, Sunday felt so much more happy and balanced.
- ... work out, very hard. That made 6 for 7 days this week (with one planned rest day) - which is my best record since surgery. Saturday's workout was at Slimmons as usual - though it was particularly fun for us since it was movie-music themed. Richard came dressed as Frank-N- Furter, and I couldn't resist waiting in line for a picture afterward.
|If this picture had audio, you'd know that "Singin' in the Rain" was playing as Patty took it.|
- ... see a movie. We're still riding on our stored-up Arclight points, so we got to see Cowboys & Aliens for free. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I will say that I felt modestly positive about it, and that Daniel Craig sure packs a punch.
- ... collaborate with Tom to plan out our food and work schedule for the week.
- ... spend some chill, relaxing time with friends. As I grow older, I seem to be less of an extrovert, in the sense that I get more energy out of time alone (and with Tom) than I do from time spent with others. But mellow time with people I enjoy always reminds me that just because I'm more introverted than I used to be, it doesn't mean I'm not an extrovert.
- ... go on our weekly food shopping trip, including Super King, Trader Joe's, and our farmer's market, which is just beginning to hit prime harvest season.
That trip to the farmer's market - along with the nix on negative self-talk - might've been the turning point for me. I was consistently grouchy for over a week, but that all changed when I sat down at the Farmer's Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant run by the market. While we waited for breakfast to arrive, Tom and I shared a four-ounce cup of nearby Carmela Ice Cream's new flavor, Lemon & Olive Oil.
I know, I know. Ice cream for breakfast. Isn't that unhealthy? Could that be emotional eating?
Well, it would be unhealthy if it was a large serving, but it was a tiny serving. It would be unhealthy if it were full of fillers and candy and crap, but it was organic, with natural ingredients made by an artisan company. It would be emotional eating if I were not otherwise addressing the emotions I've been feeling, but I have been working very hard on that. Or if I wasn't hungry (I was), if it triggered a binge (it didn't) or if I wasn't mindful. And I was extremely mindful.
In fact, it was a very sensory experience. I closed my eyes and let the tangy flavors linger on my tongue. I thought about the ingredients, about the way they work together, and how it could inform my own cooking. I talked about those ideas with Tom. It was as mindful an experience with food as any I've had. Although though there were only a few spoonfuls of the ice cream, focusing on it mindfully made it infinitely more satisfying than any large bowl of low-quality junk food would have been. Better than any gourmet meal that I didn't pay attention to.
That experience led to the next... and the next. I reflected as I enjoyed my Farmer's Kitchen egg-and-squash-blossom scramble with sauteed fresh greens. That mindfulness inspired a few of the beautiful fresh market purchases we made, which will in turn inspire some upcoming posts for Finishing the Hat. It's surprising just how much one little thing - like a small but savored indulgence - can inspire and snowball into more and more mindfulness and creativity.... whereas mindless emotional eating can snowball into binges or other unhealthy behavior.
Do you pay attention to your meals? Or do you multi-task, do you have to read or watch or talk while you eat? You might consider taking some time to really think about and savor your food. It's surprising how vibrant a meal can be when it's the center of your attention. Take care of you today, and give it a try!
And, finally... Friend Makin' Monday: the Girly Edition! I actually helped contribute to the questions this week.
1) Do you like to shop?
I do. I find it creatively stimulating. I love looking at product design, I love discovering things I've never seen before, or new ways at looking at things. All of these things can be done at a well-curated museum... but just as easily done at a well-curated boutique. I do far more window-shopping than purchasing, and I find it just as enjoyable.
2) How often do you wear makeup?
It seems that my answer is directly correlated to how long I've known people. If I'm comfortable with you, I'm probably not wearing much makeup, or any at all. If I know I'm meeting you for the first time, you can bet I'm wearing some makeup (albeit natural-looking.) I think it's a confidence thing.
3) How do you feel about nail polish?
I can't keep it on my fingernails - I'm a peeler. So I buff the fingers and (sometimes) paint the toes (if I'm pampering myself.)
4) Do you consider yourself a feminist?
At this point in time, I think it's kind of odd that anyone would not think of themselves as a feminist. Really, at the core, feminism is about equal rights and respect for women. Every man and woman should want that.
5) What's your biggest challenge as a woman?
I've seen gender prejudice in action in the workplace. Heck, do you see how few women work as directors, as compared to men? I'm not sure how you solve that problem... but I'm going to keep doing my best, and hope that people will see it.
6) Do you wear skirts and dresses? Or do you prefer something else?
I love skirts and dresses, because I think they're cute, and I generally find them more comfortable than anything else. (Full disclosure: I'm probably wearing bike shorts underneath, which is the key to that comfort.)
7) How do you feel about high heels?
I have never, ever, EVER felt comfortable in them. Maybe it's my weight. Maybe it's just me. But give me a cute pair of strappy sandal wedges or ballet flats, and I'm happy.
8) Do you subscribe to magazines?
Boy, howdy. My favorite is Real Simple, though I also subscribe to Health. As a treat, I sometimes buy myself a copy of Martha Stewart Living, or her health offshoot, Whole Living. On a plane I almost always read Entertainment Weekly. I realized recently that if you combined all of the magazines and blogs I read, the collective mission statement would read: "Let's host a freakin' gorgeous - yet tasty and healthy- dinner party. And then watch a movie afterward." Is there any wonder I came up with Supper Club 600?
9) Do you shave your legs/wax/use depilatory/go au naturale?
I'd like to say that I shave regularly. Really, I would. Semi-regularly is probably more like it. (Sorry about that, friends at Slimmons. I have a husband who just doesn't care about absence or presence of leg hair.)
10) What is your favorite thing about being a woman?
I love that I can embrace my femininity, and be strong... and that in this culture, at this time, those two things don't have to be contradictory.