Everyday Adventures

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed lately–with all the things I want to do, with everything go on around me, with the desire to chuck it all and just sleep for a week–and while I’m not giving into any urges that would being permanently damaging I am trying to be a bit more conscious of a few things that I tend to forget from time to time:

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

It’s true, I’m a bit impatient at times. I love projects and endeavors that provide instant gratification. And while I won’t go so far as to claim that the wait is always worth it, some things are worth waiting for or taking my time on. (Let me repeat that a few times to myself again.)

In the case of the house, we’re still not finished unpacking but we’re getting there. Where we’re no longer in a hurry is on the renovation front. For a couple of reasons (looming holidays, taxes, etc.) we’re putting off any real renovation until 2015 and we’re okay with that. After all, we’re planning to be in this house for a long time, so why not live in the space for a bit before we start making decisions about how to change it.


We did decorate for Halloween, though, and that was fun. So far it’s just the outside (and having a bigger outside to dress up means I definitely need more items, but it’s coming along) but the inside is high on the priority list.

Have Fun Without Guilt

All work, no play, you know the rest. But it’s less about becoming “dull” and more about being happy. Even though I have a mountain of things I want to accomplish, if all I ever do is work on whittling that list down what will I have to show for it? Where will the memories of a happy life lived come from?

So I’ve been playing a bit, lately. Last night I was feeling super rundown so I changed into pajamas right after supper and dug out my copy of Practical Magic and just chilled. the fuck. out. I’m not saying that watching the antics on-screen completely restored me (neither did going to bed a bit early) but it helped. And reminding myself that I deserve a little downtime helped assuage the guilt coming from the unchecked items in my planner.

We Make Our Own Rules

Aside from the whole ‘death and taxes’ bit, the only rules that are important are the ones we make ourselves. We agree to certain rules as part of a lawful/moral society, but beyond that we retain autonomy over our own lives. Just because ‘they’ do it that way doesn’t mean I have to; especially if their way is dragging me down.

I’ve been examining some of these ‘rules’ and finding out (like the pirate code) that they’re really more just guidelines. And some of those guidelines are going on the shelf for a bit (if not forever) while I create new rules and structures that suit my purposes better.

So, yes, I’ve been spending a bit of time in my own head these past few days as well as spending some time thinking about very little at all, and just coasting for a bit. It’s important to note that, from a creative standpoint, I’m not blocked or frozen. The ideas keep coming and the hows keep getting answered and I’m still planning and plotting my next phases. I’m just not so much on the action at the moment.

And that’s okay.

Confessions of a Natural-Born Klutz

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
White and blue sapphire engagement ring missing a prong

Poor ring, it wasn't her fault I'm a klutz

The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

So, there: I’m a klutz.

In my head I’m always striving for grace, moving fluidly, like a dancer. In reality I’m misjudging distances and regularly slamming my shoulder into my office door frame, my wrist into the doorknob and my hands into anything around.

While annoying, this wasn’t a big deal. And as long as it’s been, maybe it’s even grown to lovable quirk status?

But with the addition of a very special piece of jewelry to my daily wardrobe, I started to become more aware of just how much danger my new, somewhat delicate, ring was in.

I love the fact that my center stone is set above the halo, but that also means the higher profile is more prone to catch on things.

And catch it did just the other night! I reached into the fridge (my right hand was already full) and one of the prongs caught on the shelf above and snatched it clean off!

Sadly, this was not the first time I’d had to take my ring in for a repair–that happened after only a month of wear when the center stone became very loose in it’s setting. I’m still not 100% sure what cause that, but I have a feeling my poor work posture might have contributed (I have a bad habit of leaning over the edge of my desk with my hand tucked under, just at the edge. I have no idea when I started doing it, but I’m trying to break the habit, fast!)

The upside to this tale is that Todd very smartly purchased the protection plan for my ring which covered the resizing, regular maintenance and any repairs it may need over its lifetime. I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t have to use it but for the occasional cleaning but, yeah. At least we’ve got it.

As a result of these incidents, I’ve become more and more aware of my actions. I may never achieve the grace I’ve always longer for, but if only for the safety of my pretty, precious ring, maybe I’ll manage to flail a bit less.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon


Have you had to break some bad habits to preserve your jewelry?

Portion Perceptions


Since part of getting back into the swing of things this year meant watching what (and how much and when) I eat, I’ve been paying more attention to labels so that the info I’m entering into is as accurate as possible.

And while I always knew, and understood, the idea that we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths, it really hit home over these first two weeks with my occasional afternoon snack of chips and queso.

One week we had the large, restaurant-style chips in the house and a portion of those is approximately 7 chips. The next week, having run out of the larger chips (they were left over from holiday entertaining and snacking), I ended up buying the smaller bite-sized rounds.

Imagine my surprise when the same calorie count (140, for the curious) translated to 24 round chips.

Why is this relevant? Well, while quality should always trump quantity, sometimes the hand-to-mouth comfort of larger portions makes us feel better than the righteousness of a smaller portion. In this case, though, the portions are equal, it’s the perception of the many pieces in one versus the few in the other.

(Yes, there’s plenty to be said on meeting emotional needs with food–this isn’t a post about that and I sympathize with those in Overeaters Anonymous who struggle with just this issue.)

In fact, 24 of the rounds almost felt like too much. I’ve even been known to only have 12 (yes, I counted) and been perfectly satisfied. But there’s very little chance that I would have settled for only 3.5 of the larger chips. I mean, come on, would you?


Tortilla Chip Comparison--big triangles vs little rounds

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘your eyes are bigger than your stomach’?

It’s not your eyes that are the problem, it’s your mind. Taking the chip example and putting into dinner mode, think about the size of  your average dinner plate: 10+ inches.

Now place a deck of cards (for meat/protein), a 1 cup measure (veggies) and a 1/2-cup measure (grains or potatoes) on it.

Swap out that whopper of a dinner dish for the smaller salad plate (8 inches) and place the same representations onto the plate.

10.5 inch dinner plate with portion representations 8 inch salad plate with portion representations

The dinner plate on the left looks positively naked while the salad plate is full. And it’s not unusual to feel short-changed with a small item on a large plate. That perception of being deprived or “gypped”  by a near-empty plate is what leads to loading up double portions or going back for seconds. And soon a habit is formed that a 12 oz steak is a single portion (not more than 2!) or that if you’re plate isn’t filled you won’t be full.

Switch to a smaller plate, though, and a lot of those habits are easier to break.

We still keep our dinner plates around, of course. They’re great for holidays when a little indulging is okay. When you’re having a cookout they’re great for serving kebabs or acting as serving dishes for smaller dinners. Or under a soup-bowl to hold a slice of bread or corn muffin.

But we don’t use them very often for dinner and we don’t miss them, then, either.