They had me at bacon

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I have two words for you – carrot bacon.  Coming from a professed meat lover, I know these two words will shock and amaze you but I have just made my first batch today and will continue to do so.  It was delicious!

My foray into more of a vegetable and plant-based world has been encouraged by a friend who has recently decided to eat a Vegan diet.  I am supportive of his decision and I am hoping that his food choices will help him alleviate some of his medical anomalies.

In his quest to research his new eating style, he has sent me several videos on the topic and they have been very interesting, to say the least.  For a woman somewhat shy of fifty, I have noticed my body does not react well to the foods that were once digested without a second thought.  Bloating is a common complaint so I decided to investigate a plant-based diet and give it a try.  I am not confessing to becoming a Vegan but I am going to give this new lifestyle a fair shot and see how I feel after a couple of weeks.

Food plays a huge role in our lives.  In our twenties, we could eat whatever we wanted.  In our thirties, we became a little more conscientious and made better choices.  In our forties and fifties, we become sadly aware that we are no longer in our twenties and thirties and our lifestyles have to evolve.  I am excited to venture into this new chapter of healthy eating and thankful that the internet is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to recipe ideas.

The carrot bacon is done.  The pistachios, walnuts and almonds are toasted.  The breakfasts and lunches are prepared for the next few days and I am eager to find out how this journey evolves and how my body adapts to the changes.  My first two plant-based dinners were a huge success and I felt full without feeling sluggish.  That to me is a huge step in the right direction.

I am not committing 100% to the Vegan diet.   I may have the odd meal that may not be entirely plant-based but  I am willing to commit to taking this new journey one day at a time.  If it improves my health and well-being, I’m willing to give it a try.

 

 

Stuart Smalley said it best

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Most of us are hyper-critical of ourselves.  I am certainly guilty of that crime.  We are truly our own worst enemy.  We over-analyse the most minute details about ourselves and never give a second thought to the perception that others may have of us – a perception that may be the polar opposite of how we see ourselves but much closer to the truth.

We have become a society of comparison.  We gauge our success, or perceived failure, by how we think we measure up to those around us.  We judge ourselves by their opinion and not by the standards we set for ourselves.  What we fail to take into consideration is the amount of effort we put into each day by just being ourselves and how difficult that journey can be.  It takes a person with a strong moral compass and courage of conviction to follow the direction in which they feel will allow them to be the most comfortable and to genuinely be themselves.

Too often we allow our actions and our decisions to be swayed by outside forces.  We ignore that little voice inside our head and we succumb to the white noise around us that berates us for those actions.  But that initial behavior represents our true self.  Those nuances of our personality are what set us apart from every other person on this planet. Those are the things worth cherishing.  Those subtleties are the little details that friends and family will hold onto long after you have left this Earth for your next journey.

It would be easy to conform into a stereotype that you feel would be welcomed by society, to make decisions that would be accepted by the masses, but you would be doing yourself a disservice if those choices were not right for you.  Hold true to the things that make you who you are and know that the important people in your life appreciate the choices that you make.  We all need a little daily affirmation – because you are good enough, you are smart enough, and, doggone it, people like you!

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Drawing a line in the sand

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I never used to take sides.  I despised confrontation….I still do.  But I was so afraid to voice an opinion for fear of a negative reaction that I would exhaust myself creating an argument for both perspectives.  Oh, how I have grown.

Perhaps my uneasiness came from wanting to keep the peace.  But, thankfully, I have come to value my opinion and I have developed enough of a level of comfort in my beliefs to be able to assiduously express those opinions.

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I will now take a side.  I will vehemently argue for a position that I feel has merit.  I truly believe that my point of view has a validity that is worth arguing, and I now have the courage to present the grounds for my debate.

I don’t know when this inner strength became apparent.  And although I still deplore any form of negative encounter, I am more than willing to stand my ground and speak up for the things I believe to be important.  My integrity defines me.  My convictions embody the person I choose to personify and my willingness to defend my argument solidifies the confidence I have in myself.

I have chosen my side.  I have drawn my line.  And I will defend it with confidence and pride.

 

 

 

 

 

An open world begins with an open mind

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I saw this video on Facebook.  Every so often, after spending countless minutes of looking at absolute crap, you stumble on something that is absolutely worth watching.  And after watching this video, which is more of a summation of a few people, I continued down the line and watched all of the individual videos that were posted.  I was in tears after watching this video.  I was sobbing at the end of last one I watched.

But the tears I shed weren’t specifically about the videos.  The tears I shed were about the message that I got from watching the reaction of each person as they found out they weren’t exactly who they thought they were.  Each of the participants were so adamant about their background that they had all but dismissed any other reality….until they got their results.

The message in this experiment is one I wish we could spread across the planet.  And this test is one that I wish WAS made mandatory for everybody.  Finding out you share DNA with someone you have been historically trained to hate, not as a person but as a race, religion or belief, would be a hard pill to swallow.  But that pill could possibly begin to cure the current pandemic  called Hate.

 

 

 

Into the Mystic

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orbs-in-the-woods

Faint whispers.

Rustling leaves.

Movements in the bush.

As I strain to hear them,

I know they long to be seen,

if only for just a moment.

They are the ghosts of my past,

the purveyors of my future,

and the keepers of my secrets.

They linger in the spaces

between shadow and light.

Their consciousness

meets my curiosity,

and I strain to see their light

in my twilight vision.

Their dance

is my celebration.

 Their presence

is my comfort.

They seek my truth.

They are my warriors, my army,

and they will always

be the reason I smile in my sleep.

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Embracing the sum of my parts

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I’ve learned a few invaluable truths over the last four (plus) decades of my life.  Each stage our lives requires a different version of ourselves.   We grow, we adapt and we transform.  Slowly and steadily we become the person we need to be for the next phase of our lives and, perhaps without knowing it, we evolve into the person we need to be to acquaint ourselves with the person we shall finally become.

I can look back at my life and recognize the divisible parts of myself, the bits that have led to the present sum of who I am today.  I may still resemble a modicum of those versions of myself but the me now compared to the me then are vastly different people.

Through each chapter of the syllabus of me, I have gained a confidence that I only once professed to have.  I have finally gotten to the point in my life where my opinion matters, if to nobody else than, to myself.  I have reaped the rewards of struggle and adversity.  I have calmly assumed a new sense of who I really am and I am very selective with the friends allowed behind my strategically built walls.

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At this stage in my life, I have truly become the sum of my parts.   I have taken the best bits of myself, learned from and discarded my errors in judgment and created the person I am now.

Would I change anything from my past?  Perhaps.  But if all of those equations – the fractions of time, the roots of my problems, the addition or subtraction of friends and family – meant that I would not be who I am today, I would probably answer all of the test questions the same way so I could calculate the same remainder.

 

 

The Devil finds work for idle hands

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The Devil may have toyed slightly with my resolve as I lay in bed yesterday morning, reluctant to put my feet on the cold floor, but I slipped out of his grasp as I began my day and didn’t give myself a moment for a second thought.

I have never been an idle person.  Sure, I went through moments of lethargy and reluctance as a teenager, but who didn’t?  Yesterday was a glaring reminder of that part of myself, that stubborn fragment of my psyche, that doesn’t allow me a full day to just be passive and enjoy watching life go by.

If I were being honest, I would have to admit that I enjoy being busy.  And thankfully I have many hobbies that I can choose from that can occupy a significant part of my day as well as the daily and weekly chores that come with living on my own.

Among the housekeeping and maintenance duties that come with being a home owner, today I finally finished a project that helped me feel like I fully restored the identity I had before I was married.  My new sign at the end of my driveway, painted by me, proudly displays the family name I was born with and am proud to reclaim once again.

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Yesterday the Devil realized his time is better spent elsewhere.  The house is clean, the floors are mopped, the shopping is done, the dump run was completed, two new soups were made, the dog was walked twice, the sign was painted and hung and I even had a few spare moments to watch some golf.  I don’t think I have to worry about my hands ever being idle.