Work with me, please.

Archive for March, 2014

Me vs. Them

On February 21, not even two week ago, our washing machine was repaired.  The technician replaced a broken pump because coins had found their way into the pump and cracked it.  He found $0.83 inside the pump.  How much is $0.83 worth?  Well, $0.83 can get you $295.60 in washing machine repairs.  Not exactly a bargain.  Actually, the cost was $310, and fortunately, I had a coupon for 10% off the cost of labor.

I called a family meeting with Hubby and Dem Kids. I had the $0.83 in one hand and the broken pump in the other.  I showed them how pocket change had cracked the pump and thereby costed us the equivalent of 4 nights at the movies or 16 pizza nights.  Of course, fingers were pointing in every direction to peg the owner of the change. Frankly, I didn’t care to whom the money belonged (for the record, ahem, I use a wristlet and I keep change in one section of it).  I just asked that they check their pockets when they undress at night and check all pockets when doing laundry. That’s reasonable, right? 

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Well, my little show – and – tell was for naught.  Since then, as I’ve move clothes from the washing machine to the dryer or out of the dryer, I’ve found a drum tuning key, money clip, and penny.  Three different occasions where either Hubby or the kids started the wash. 

What the what?  What did I say after finding the tuning key and money clip?  “Remember to check pockets . . . .”

I know they don’t listen to half of what I say and forget the other half.  But, gee whiz, who doesn’t like money and saving money?  As a matter of fact, Jay asked if he could have the $0.83 the day I told them about the repair.  Ok, he’s only six and a half, so maybe he doesn’t get the irony. 

So, I’ve got to think of some clever way to help everyone remember to check pockets.  And, I need to save the next appliance repair coupon I see . . . just in case. 

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Let’s See If I Can Remember How This Works

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Roasted veggies pureed into sauce for lasagna with brown rice pasta

I haven’t blogged in so long that I’m struggling to remember what it was about it that I liked so much.

I took a break that I didn’t plan. I just didn’t feel like it. Or rather, I felt like doing other things. Like playing Ruzzle. Work kicks my mental butt most days. By the time I get home and get through dinner and homework and preparing for the next day, my brain is not good for much other than Ruzzle.

I’m expert at giving myself permission to not do things that I genuinely don’t want to do. My elders mistakenly and repeatedly labeled this as “stubborn” throughout my childhood. I didn’t have the correct term for it then either. Today, I’m calling it self-care.

So, this brings me to a recent commitment I made to myself. My attachment to sweets and junk food had gotten out of hand. I eat a lot of healthy stuff and I was probably eating an equal amount or more of unhealthy stuff. For the 28 days of February, I modified my food intake to eliminate white flour, white sugar, and fried foods. In other words, I broke up with cookies and cake and french fries. We’ll get back together at some point, but it’ll be a healthier relationship. No more abusing my waistline.

I cut out meats too with the exception of a roasted chicken drummette one day because I’d tried a different seasoning mix for the kids, and I wanted to see how it turned out. Watching Hubby and Dem Kids enjoy pizza, burgers, etc and especially preparing such foods for them was less difficult than I expected. I survived lunch with coworkers who were enjoying all kinds of deliciousness. I made it through birthday and going-away celebrations with more strength than I thought I had.

There were many, many times when I felt I was eating food accessories (grains, vegetables, nuts, beans) instead of food. I allowed myself a small amount of cheese and eggs to have some sense of indulgence. On several days, I made simple, meatless dishes that I enjoyed and would be willing to have again.

My mantras for this year have been “find a way” (thanks, Diana Nyad) and take care of yourself. This experiment gave me the opportunity to practice and internalize both. I’m confident that I’ll have more self-control when it comes to food. As a reminder and to refresh the commitment, I plan to make this a tradition and try some version of a modified diet every February.

Now, if I could apply this to Ruzzle, I’d really be doing something.

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