#33: A Nod to the Chickens

This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for seasonal foods.

So we embark on our first fall/winter without eggs in the fridge. As we get more and more committed to eating seasonally, we decided that’s as it should be, since chickens lay fewer eggs in the colder months, when the days are shorter. Rather than add to the stress of the chickens—who have to be tricked into believing the days are longer with artificial light and the like—we decided to just go from almost no eggs to no eggs for a while.

Since Mike and I were just using them in recipes once in a while, we don’t really notice a change. It’s Bella, who loves her egg burritos once a week or so, who must adapt. What’s been so wonderful (once we distracted her with an equally tummy-pleasing meal) is listening to her explain to people that eggs are for warmer months, because in the cold the chickens don’t lay as many eggs. She says it just like that, and it makes sense to her. So although it’s only November yet, it seems like it won’t be too hard to convince her to wait out the season for her burritos.

Now if we could just convince the kids to try cauliflower…

#32: Morning Pages

Write it down.

I was just in the shower thinking about writing, and how I love to write, need to write a blog post, but don’t know what to write about. I was thinking about how I used to do “morning pages,” the daily ritual writing prescribed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. There was no “I don’t have anything to say,” because there was no choice. I had to write. Every morning. It was so good for me, as a writer in training and as an evolving person. So just now, in the shower, I thought, what if I do that again? My morning pages? It might not be done in the morning, but if I could sneak in a few paragraphs every couple of days, I might just rediscover the therapy of writing.

It’s totally facing a demon, isn’t it? If you’ve ever tried to write before (without particularly having anything to say), you know just what I mean. It makes me nervous, a little nauseous, forcing myself to face a blinking cursor. What is so valuable about it makes it worth it, though. It’s a purging of sorts, and also, wondrously, the written word tends to hold us accountable. In that way it can be hugely therapeutic.

Case in point: One thing I suggest frequently to people frustrated by their inability to lose weight is to chronicle their eating and/or exercise habits. Whether for my eyes, a public blog or just their own private use, writing it down is surprisingly effective. You might think you eat healthfully, but when you look back at a week’s worth of brought-in lunches you ate standing up in the conference room, you realize that extra roll on your tush might just be made of mozzarella.

Logging your workouts can also be tremendously eye-opening. It doesn’t have to be fancy; just a note penciled into the corner of a box on your calendar will do. Look back at two weeks of exercise notes and you might find that you’re neglecting your weight training and running a bit more often than your knees would prefer. Or you might see that you’re never finding more than 30 minutes at the time you go to the gym…maybe an earlier arrival is necessary to get in a more worthwhile workout.

So…let’s write it down. Frustrations, successes, big dreams and letdowns. Whether you share yours with me is up to you. I’ll continue to share my journey with you!