Ok, popcorn was probably not the best idea after a trip to the dentist…
Before I dive into what is likely to become a rather lengthy post, I thought I’d give you a heads up of what it will contain. That way, you can save yourself the time if it’s not something you’re interested in.
This is going to be a very random post, with no point other than to voice the thoughts that have been floating around in my brain today. There will be some ranting, there will be some advice, there will be some depth of consciousness, but really there isn’t a point to this post other than to get it all off my chest. That and I really feel strongly that I need to be consistent in posting something once per week, especially going into the new year and some upcoming news I have for you. So I figure it’s better to post something, however random and awful, than to post nothing.
If you’re not interested in my ramblings and what I did today, I wish you well in your search for alternative reading material. No hard feelings, and I promise to come back next week with proper content.
For those of you choosing to stick around… buckle up. It might get weird. And soap-boxy.
Today I spent the morning in town at some appointments. I had my 6 month teeth cleaning, my annual eye exam, and then saw my loctician for some repair work and other maintenance on my dreads. My first appointment was at 8am, and I know from observation what traffic can be like heading into Boise, so I gave myself what I thought was enough time. Normally, I think it would be. But of course, I had to deal with one of my favorite pet peeves…
I understand that accidents are interesting, fascinating even. And I understand that it is polite and courteous to slow down for accidents and emergency response vehicles so you don’t pass them at full speed. BUT… you do not have to slow down to 5 mph to stare at the accident… especially if it is on the other side of the freeway! I was headed east, with the majority of traffic that time of day. On the westbound freeway at a particularly troublesome overpass, a semi hauling 2 tanks had apparently gotten into a collision with another vehicle and ended up on it’s side across all lanes of westbound traffic. The liquid (sugar beet extract) it was hauling in said tanks had consequently spilled all over the freeway. Obviously this caused a closure of the westbound freeway and traffic was being rerouted, but it did not affect the eastbound freeway at all. In fact, all emergency response vehicles were on the other side of the barrier wall. But of course, everyone had to slow down and stare at the accident, probably because they’ve nothing more exciting going on in their lives. Which backed up traffic for a few miles and caused me to be late.
It’s literally my biggest pet peeve of driving, usually because I have somewhere to be and not enough time to allow such a delay. So yeah, please be courteous to the rest of the people on the road behind you and keep your curiosity at home. Thanks.
Ok, moving on.
Is it just me, or are visits to the optometrist getting more and more expensive? Or is my insurance just getting worse? I’m only in there once a year, and it’s a damn good thing because if I had to go more frequently, I’d go broke. I kinda want to do some research and compare prices. I’ve been going to the same dentist and optometrist since I was like, 12. And even though I’ve continued to move farther and farther away, I haven’t transferred services yet. I figure I can manage 2 trips per year.
After a bit of research, getting my eyes checked is actually the cheap part. It’s the glassed and/or contacts part that is outrageous. Contacts especially. Right now I am using BioTrue dailies, which cost $120 for a 90-day supply for both eyes. So a year’s supply costs just shy of $500. I know I could get glasses for cheaper, but this time around I opted for the contacts because I’ve been using them more and my prescription didn’t change, so my glasses are still good. Luckily there is a $200 rebate offer right now. But still. Makes me want to consider lasik.
Anyway, I ran into my best friend at the eye doctor, so I went over to her house after to catch up a bit. She and her husband are talking about possibly finding a new home for one of their dogs, and I’m contemplating the pros and cons of adopting her. Pat and I have talked about the merits of getting another dog so Sora isn’t all by her lonesome all day. I mean, we’ve also talked about the merits of not having a dog at all but… as long as we have the one, we should attempt to be the best dog parents possible. She definitely could use a playmate. We have discussed that if we were to get another dog, we’d want one that is close in age to Sora. It would also need to be an active dog so they could keep up with one another. A couch potato wouldn’t work well with Sora’s hyperactivity. This dog is a border collie/German shorthair mix, who is a few months younger than Sora. The reason they are thinking of finding her a new home is that she is primarily kept in the kennel at their house, because of kids and other pets. I always feel bad for kenneled dogs because I know they are happier running around free. But I also know what it would mean to take on another dog, and I hesitate to make that commitment.
We want to travel more and more in the coming years and having pets means we have to find a place for them to stay while we are gone. Currently Sora goes over to the grandparent’s while we are gone, but as time goes on, that will get to be more and more of a burden for them as they get older. They also have a houseful of smaller dogs so it get’s a bit chaotic when the larger dogs come over. If we had 2, that probably wouldn’t be doable for them. The alternatives are finding a kennel or dog hotel, or paying someone to house sit. Granted, due to our time off limitations, at most we can travel 2 weeks out of the year. So in the grand scheme, not a big deal. We also have talked about moving to a larger city for a year or two sometime in the near future, and even having a petite black lab would be a challenge in a tiny high rise apartment in the city, never mind 2 mid sized dogs. I already complain about the mess one dog makes in my house, and then there are the vet and food cost considerations…
But she’s such a sweet dog. And her energy matches Sora’s. They would be so happy playing together. She’d rarely, if ever, have to be in a kennel again. I’m just such a softy for pets..
Pat is willing to support whichever decision I make, despite his stronger opinion against the idea. And of course, we would need to have a few play dates to ensure the dogs get along well. But I should probably sleep on it a bit before moving forward.
Next I went to see my awesome loctician. One of my thinner dreads had become structurally compromised, and just last weekend a large portion of the extension hair detached from the dread, shortening the dread by several inches. Repairing that one was the purpose of the appointment, but we went ahead and tightened my roots again. I was just there in September, but I never turn down the chance to clean up the loose hairs that are EVERYWHERE. I always enjoy going to see him. He’s a very interesting character and we always have good conversation over tea or a beer as he works on my hair. He’s one of the very few people in the area who does dreads, and he even teaches full courses on becoming a loctician. I’m hoping to take one of his classes sometime in the near-ish future. I figure with our long term plans to travel and live remotely it would be useful to be able to maintain my own hair, and I could even start installing/maintaining them for other people as a side gig. Anyway, it was an enjoyable hour spent chilling and chatting, and of course my hair looks lovely all clean and tidied.
Which brings me to a random bit I need to throw out there into the universe. More often than not when I am receiving a compliment on my hair, I hear people say they have always wanted dreads or always thought about getting them but just never went for it. It’s also something I hear frequently in the dread community; “I wanted dreads for years, and once I finally got them, I wished I’d done it sooner”. So here’s a little tip, which applies to dreads as well as many other things in life.
Just. Do. It.
Life is too short to not live your life the way you want, according to your own expectations and no one else’s. Too short to not take the chances, have the adventures, do the crazy things, and fill your little soul with as much joy and happiness and love that you can find. It is literally your duty and responsibility to live your life to the fullest, every damn day. Putting things off, finding excuses, and being scared are what cause regrets. They are what rob you of your happiness. You have the power to design your life. Only you. I feel like so many of us are convinced we are victims of our own lives, like nothing is within our control and everything is happening to us. Life is hard, and there are circumstances that come our way that we can’t control. What we can control is our response to those situations, and we can design and direct almost every aspect of our lives. Don’t like your hair? Change it. Don’t like your job? Go get find a different one. Don’t like the relationships you have? Get rid of them or change them. Don’t like yourself? Work to develop healthy self-love, and work on improving yourself in the areas that need it. Don’t like [fill in the blank]? CHANGE IT.
This is something I’m actually really passionate about. I used to not like my life. I wasn’t suicidal or anything, I was just depressed, unhappy, and dissatisfied with the life I was leading. And I realized it was because I was living my life according to someone else’s expectations, someone else’s standards. And so one day I decided to start making all decisions based on what I wanted, what would make me happy, and what I believed to be the best decision for myself, regardless what other people thought or believed. I didn’t go out and revolutionize my life overnight, but I did start to challenge myself to make better decisions for me. And 4+ years later, I’m a completely different person. I’m not depressed, I’m happy. I look around and I love my life. I’m fulfilled in what I do, I’m satisfied with where I am going. I still have hopes and dreams and goals that I want to achieve. There are more changes and continual growth around every corner, and that’s exciting. I’m doing things I’ve always wanted to do, I’m in a place I’ve always wanted to be, and I’m deeply satisfied with who I am. And it’s been a liberating journey. And I truly believe that everyone has to power to design their life, to make changes, and to accomplish what they want to accomplish.
So yeah. Don’t hesitate or make excuses. Think things through, but then make a decision and act. And own the decision. And the results. Learn, grow, and move towards the life you want to live. You alone have the power to dictate your life. You either empower yourself or you disable yourself. Be honest and choose wisely.
Ok, that turned into something I wasn’t expecting. But hey, real talk. Think about it.
Now jumping to a whole different track…
So the last few weeks have been weird for me. Physically I haven’t felt myself. I’ve been back to eating normally, I’ve been doing a lot of stretching and a little yoga. I’ve been getting consistent sleep. I should probably drink more water, but I haven’t been completely bad. But for some reason my body feels off. I feel sluggish and tired, I feel achy and stiff, and I have no motivation to do much of anything. I really need to start on a personal project (now that I have the right tools), I have at least 9 books sitting in waiting to be read, I should do more yoga… but all I want to do is curl up on the couch with junk food and binge watch a TV show, or series of movies. I’ve started taking my multivitamin again, just in case it’s because I’m low on something. I’ve also just started using this superfoods powershot powder. I add it to smoothies in the morning, or just add it to water to make green juice. I’ve been lazy about making my own green juice – all that produce, the mess, it doesn’t last long – so this is an easy alternative. But I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on.
Today was a bad eating day. I had a red bull for breakfast on the way to the dentist (yeah, yeah… I know…), 2 black bean burritos from Taco Bell on the way to get my hair worked on, and then struggled with dinner so ended up with a bag of microwave popcorn and a full glass of the aforementioned green juice. Some days I have a super foods smoothie for breakfast, a fully loaded salad for lunch, and some form of sauteed veggies with rice and beans for dinner… other days are like today.
Which brings me to another topic: Balance. I’ve probably preached about this before, but I really think it’s important. You have to find balance in your life. This looks different for everyone, and can be different between the various facets of your life. I strive to eat healthy and have been slowly adjusting my diet to be optimal for me. Some days are good, some days are bad. I’m vegan/Whole Foods Plant Based 90% of the time, but the other 10% percent? I’m eating cheese, non-vegan candy by the bag, and way too much fat and oil and processed junk. And for me, that’s balance right now. It means I can enjoy myself when I want, or when I’m in company with people and being vegan isn’t ideal. And I don’t have to feel bad about it. Because 90% of the time I’m rocking the veggies and whole foods, and living my best life.
Balance also means that I can be productive and work on projects, or read books, or do yoga and take a hot bath some nights of the week. And others, I can hit the couch in sweats 2 minutes after arriving home and binge a whole season of a TV show in one night while ignoring the laundry, dishes, and mess of my house, with a cocktail in one hand and a bag of Haribo gummies in the other. And I don’t feel guilty.
The key to balance is not letting the scales tip too far in either direction. You can’t be too strict on yourself and push yourself beyond your limits without also taking time to take care of yourself and allow yourself to have fun and enjoy life. But you also can’t become so carefree and lazy that you fail to accomplish anything. It’s a delicate scale and it’s hard to navigate. But you’ll know it when you find it.
Ok, I think for now that’s all I’ve got for you. It’s also past my bedtime and I have to be up for work in the morning. If you’ve made it this far… well, I hope you feel it was worth your time. I also appreciate it. Sometimes it’s nice to detox your psyche. Until next time…
Hello! I’m Whitney and this is my home for all things food and life.