a new normal

Changes are inevitable. As the routines fall back into place and the rhythms start flowing again, the new “normal” begins to appear. I am a record on repeat when I say that I don’t do change. I physically prepare by tightening my armor. Locking my muscles, clenching my core and hunkering down. It is an auto pilot reaction.

Then I remember to breathe. And, stretch. Move. Dance. Anything to loosen up the knots and tightness. The change is inevitable, but how I handle it is not. It is choice.

Thor and I reached a point in our lives four years ago when we crossed into having spent more of our lives together than apart. This was by the numbers. A simple count of the calendar years. But, if you count the formation and growth that happened during some of these formative years, their accumulated value is much greater than their numerical score.

Children have been part of our lives for less time than we have had without them. A lot less. And, maybe that is where my hiccup is with defining and settling into this normal.

Sometimes I ache for the pre-kid days, where we slept long through the weekend mornings. Dates were plentiful and generously distributed between days, afternoons, evenings, weekends and weeks. Conversations were uninterrupted. Sadness overwhelms the longing for bygone days when I realize that these times will only return when my children have grown. The pudgy fingers, wild imaginations, sweet snuggles and dreamy days we are immersed in will be faded memories.

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Baseball season has started again. This classic tradition has been a part of Thor’s life from the time he could first toddle up to a ball-T and huck a ball to his dad. It is annual. It is the fire that fuels his flame. It grounds him as much as it gives him the release that allows for suredness and solidity.

It is his thing.   Always has been.

When I walked into his life, baseball inevitably became a part of mine. I was a constant fixture at every single game. At the beginning I did it for him. My presence gave him support. A familiar face in the crowd. I was a fan who sat through the endless double headers, rode shotgun for long weekend drives to one field after another and altered schedules, dinners and weekly plans around the game.

As the years have gone by, baseball has become a true love. My skills at keeping book evolved and I grew to enjoy the skill, strategy and team work that made for a good game. I became the diehard fan who truly appreciated a pitching duel and a game of extra innings that stretched into the night. I learned to love the slow pace and the intensity.

I was well practiced in decorating cupcakes like baseballs featuring each players’ numbers. I did not know teammates by their god-given name and referred to them by cockamamie nicknames that made no sense at all.

I was a part of the team, as close as I could be without stepping foot on the field.

A week after Pepper was born, my first outing was to a late night baseball game. Summer was winding down and it was the tail end of the season. Our sleepless nights were strung together with endless nursing sessions, so being huddled into the corner of the stadium, snuggled beneath a comforter with a suckling infant felt both strangely out of place and very normal at the same time.

I was reaching, aching, longing for a sense of familiarity in a very unsettling place of completely new territory.

But, it was not there. The comfort and stability had shifted dramatically. My focus was changed. I was no longer the fan in the stands whose eyes were honed in on the game.

With each game, my attentiveness grew more distant. My distractions accumulated. The book was no longer an accurate score of the game. Bit by bit, the distance extended. Both physically and metaphorically. As Pepper became more mobile, I started to watch from afar. The long jump sand pit was an enticing distraction. The sloping green hills were perfect for rolling, romping and sliding down. My only two eyes could not be on both the child and the game. The laws of nature were inevitably stacking up against me.

As Pepper grew, we were not fully aware of what the issues she had were called or what label they had and therefore didn’t have all the resources and help we do now. We were in the thick of being observant but not focused and practiced but not refined. So, we coped as best as we could. Rigid schedules with strict predictability and systematic approaches were key. Dialog that was rehearsed and repeated was necessary. Bedtimes that happened at the same time, same place and with the same structure was key. Sleep was her only respite (and ours) from manic energy and amped up emotions.

The baseball schedule did not jive with that of Pepper. There is no loaded energy in that sentence or emotions radiating from those words. It is a simple statement – a fact.

Spring brings the much needed “therapy” that keeps Thor grounded. It gives him the release and time he needs to reset his energy and parent with the best of his abilities. It is his thing, fully and completely his much needed passion.

Missing my role at each baseball game and the normal that was a part of our lives, as a couple, for so long fills me with a deep ache that is tinged with a nasty and embarrassing shade of green envy.

I want to be there.

I want that thing – that role, that place, that time back.

And, it is not coming back. There is grief. There is sadness.

This week I looked past my view and into that of the one I love, my partner. I sidestepped my fear of feeling like an outsider.

We went to the game. The absolute pleasure at having us there was visible. It was physical and tangible. It was audible as he pulled me close, held my cheek and said “You came.” His pleasure softened the harsh reality of a new normal.

I was interrupted every two minutes and the distant proximity of the scorebook made me feel at a loss for what was happening. I spent more time walking and watching the goings on off the field than the happenings inside the fence.

But, we came. The girls’ endless questions produced more knowledge about the game and a budding interest in what was happening with the uniforms, the cheers and the plays.

With practice, the etiquette will come. The questions will lessen.

Baseball and the role I play within the triangle of Thor, me and the sport he adores will never be as it was. But, the new normal will begin to shift and gradually appear.

The cast in life is set. We have to show up to figure out our new roles in the performance.

seeing the real world

We are living the city life. As big and bold as the “city of subdued excitement” can offer. But, to children who have always called the rural county home, it is a change.

A big change.

Our daily drives used to be long and tedious as we left the open fields and turned onto the freeway for the twenty miles one way it took to do our “life”. Now we are a hop, skip and jump from the city. A half mile walk down the trail to the heart of downtown. Less than fifteen blocks to Pepper’s school. A maze of bus routes to choose from.

It all there in front of us. Close enough to touch. The minutes are not spent in the car or watching the gas gauge visibly slide from full.

The bigger change, and one I did not forsee, is what we are seeing. Daily.

From our vantage point, the view has changed.

There are the semi-permanent campsites set up down the gulley from the walk we take into town. There are the old socks and empty bottles under the stairway we descend to our favorite trail. And, there are the same faces we see on the doorsteps, along the covered porches, huddled in sleeping bags and holding their signs. Our main road is littered with trash from top to bottom and the variety is a real life lesson in habits and lifestyle.

It is a kind of “in your face” change that cannot be ignored or overlooked.

The girls are seeing life first hand – right there on the sidewalks we walk, outside their car window and to the sides of the trail we traverse to the park.

The city is not new to us. We would visit frequently and in the big scheme of the nation, it is blurb on the map of CITIES.

My initial fear was that it would be too much. Too big and too real for a childhood. And, my apprehension that their questions would be too difficult to answer and too real.

Here is the thing. It IS real. Very real. And, it’s obvious because it is not behind hidden doors or in the open farm fields we knew so well. It’s out there – in the wide open.

The questions the girls have asked are thought provoking and full of honest inquisitiveness.

“Why have we seen the same man five times this week in the same clothes? Why would he be wearing the same clothes?”

After seeing a man wearing a skull encased hood with hollow eyes and bulging teeth, my girls asked “Why would someone wear something so scary? Why would they choose to scare someone? Does he know Halloween is only one day in October?”

We meet their questions with as honest of an answer as possible. And, humanize the figments that homeless people become when we ignore their signs, cast downward glances and do not return a request with a polite reply.

Their admonishments are also vocal and overtly loud as they witness the wafting cigarette smoke and see the lit stub fall to the ground. Their solutions are real and an authentic attempt at problem solving as we traverse our streets with trash grabbers and a bag in hand. There is pride in this job well done and the hand that directly changed the – both theirs and ours – environment.

In this ever real world, we are not delving into the real as much as we could. There is rarely an explanation given to the query of why that smoke* smells “sweet and nice”. Or why we make the personal choice to not give money but support with small tangible tokens of help.

And, we assuage their fears with reassurance that our job is to protect and teach. We explain that a terrifyingly realistic outfit does not necessarily represent the person within the darkness.

We talk of demons and the battles that some struggle with. And, that addictions – whether it is something relatable and observed daily like cigarette smoke or more sinister in disguise – are real battles that can change people’s behaviors and actions.

I am glad that we are broaching subjects that are difficult for even the wisest adults to explain and reason.

We are facing them head on. I am facing my own fears and apprehensions as we talk of walking the walk. Providing help to those in need. Giving when we can.

It is hard. The situations are not easy and the questions ever changing and equally difficult.

But, they are real.

And, I am grateful that we are seeing it, talking about it and figuring how we can help it.

Because to a child, nothing is unfixable. There are second chances and new beginnings in everything.

*Marijuana is legal in our state and is occasionally smoked in public.

a house becoming a home

We are at four weeks since moving and three weeks into sharing 700 square feet of living space. All the boxes are unpacked – at least what made the cut as high enough priority to be allotted a bit of space in this small condo. The nooks and crannies have their residents. The routine is becoming just that – predictable and second nature. The top to bottom weekly cleaning of every surface is an easy 60-minute job start to finish. The short stroll to the trail that winds along the water and drops us at the best beach with the best park and lends itself to a dock that weaves into the cutest of artsy towns you ever did see is becoming like a walk to the mailbox. Just another one of those things you do.

And, it’s good. So damn good. This place we’ve plopped down for a bit. It’s not “home” and I still refer to it as the “condo”. It’s not a pretentious description but a bit of safe guarding for a term that is special and dear to my heart – home.

The thing is that we have jumped off the treadmill for a bit. We were running for so long and so hard that we had overlooked the toll the robotic movements and rhythms of daily life were taking. But, now we are here.

There is one utility bill to pay. One single bill. It’s bizarrely simple.

There is a confined space of 25 feet by 30 feet. Just that. And a single wall of windows with a 180-degree of the bay.

The garbage gets picked up and the recycle taken away. What day the big truck comes – I don’t know. My bag and waste head down to the dumpster and bins every other day.

The laundromat downstairs with its assembly line of multiple machines has become a welcome addition to the crazy volume of dirty clothing rambunctious, free wheeling kids create.

Household items have become multi-taskers. The salad spinner the perfect home for runaway Tupperware lids. Four mugs for four people jokingly means one hot drink per day.

The simple life is good. It is just right.

The skinny budget with uncomfortably tight margins is remarkably loose. Account balances are heading upward instead of holding steady.

Then there are the touches. The luxurious finishes in the bathroom and kitchen are top notch. Silently closing doors, solid granite countertops and full tiles that artistically wrap around and flow from floor to ceiling. The expense was not spared when this condo was remodeled. I am savoring it all because I don’t know if I will ever live like this again.

A month ago a cute (cuhhhhh-yooooooooot is a more accurate description) came on the market. We drove by and looked it over. But, we honestly scoffed at the asking price (gulp!) and the lack of opportunity to realistically react because of the ridiculously fast pace houses are moving around here.

But, here we are 30+ days later and it is still on the market. And, the price is threatening to drop.

It is near perfect. That dreamy list of must-haves and wants mixed with pipe dreams has more check marks than anything we have found so far. There is potential. There is the possibility of real return on our investment. And, it is adorable. All the quaint character of a true craftsman.

An offer means the possibility of a new “home” and one very deserving of that sacred word.

It also means another hop, skip and a jump onto that crazy treadmill. An endless to-do list of things to improve and fix from the small mundane pulling of weeds to the bigger projects that turn a weekend into work. It’s as turn key as we will get for being almost 100 years old and I know that the to do list is a matter of preference – high standards and ideals that we hold our home and our possessions to.

It is homeownership again. It is weight and responsibility.

I like this. This place where we are at. This ease. The opportunity to have other people take care of stuff for a bit. It feels good. It is settling and comforting.

This condo isn’t home. That much I’m sure of.

But, I don’t know if this house is either.

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being present

Things are truly in flux right now. We are in this awkwardly uncomfortable gray space. We sold our house last week (breathe a big long sigh of relief with me now….) and have made the choice to move into a temporary rental for the time being. The housing market is a seller’s dream, but a buyer’s nightmare. With a budget that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, we know we need to have a strong offer that is not contingent on the sale of our house. So, the logistics of this reality have landed us in my in-laws home for a week while we wait out the period between sale and rent.

This place we are at is weird. Not the physical location, but the metaphorical place of emotions, decisions, adulthood and waiting. I’ve typed it before and I’ll do it again – I don’t do patience well. And I really don’t do change well. So waiting for change is just crazy making material for me.

We are in a home of love that is very obviously not our home. Living out of laundry baskets and treading someone else’s space carefully. Organizing in my mind the two different places we are storing items – the place that holds our “when we have our new home stuff” and the more immediate storage place of “get ready to unpack when you have moved into the condo”.

Thor and I are processing this much differently than the girls. We talk. I cry. I mourn the loss of my first home and anxiously anticipate what the future holds. Thor pounds the pavement with rhythmic exercise.

The girls have an outward expression that is cross between asshole and emotional hellion. It’s all there. The behavior exposes the feelings they don’t have the words for. All the unsuredness and longing for the only home they’ve known comes out in fits, tantrums and irrational and radical moments. These moments seem to be strung together in a day that resembles a gnashing of teeth and claw marks as we cross the finish line each night with exhaustion. It is hard. It is temporary. It is our here and now, but not our forever. Or even our next month.

It’s a bizarre turn of events to go from being insanely and manically busy for weeks on end to having nothing to do. Not just having no yard to take care of or a smaller house to clean, but having no paperwork, no desktop computer and no remote that I know how to work.

It forces us to be present. Fully and intensely present.

In the silence and blank space, there is the time to face the mixed emotions of leaving our home and the uncertainty of the future. There is the opportunity to talk. And the time to be silent and still. There is the time to embrace the girls and hold them tight as their enormous emotions threaten to explode on a collision course. This moment and this place are good for us. The rough edges are softening and the meditative clarity is beginning to shine like a beacon.

Through this process, it has become clear that one of my coping mechanisms when the waters get murky and the road gets rougher is to check out. Not in a dangerous or long lasting way, but for a brief zoned out period that takes me to another place. The reflexive check of email or the drag down of the social media site to see what the rest of the world is up to.

Because sometimes this place, this here and now, is too much.

The emotions, irrational about faces and sounds radiating from Pepper are too all consuming. The melancholy whining and clinging of V suffocate my physical and emotional space. The aching to have adult interaction or feeling there is no purpose in my drudging actions. These are my times that I check out.

But right now, I am taking the opportunity to be there. In the moment. Walk the path of change and help the kids as they navigate this incredibly drastic shift. I am letting their energy and emotional abilities be the guiding force. If it is hours of Lego creations that are their outlet, we sit and build. If their muscles are craving the rhythmic release of energy with an intense jumping session at the trampoline place, we go. If snuggles are needed to feel like their upside down world is patched back together and secure, we hold and squeeze. And if their tears flow, attitudes are testing and energies are trying, we wait in this moment and ride the wave through the crest and down.

There are lessons and opportunities in the seasons. With each shift, a chance to learn and grow. When I look at the timeline of this thirty five years of life, there are certain catalytic events that shifted the path. This is one of those events. A chance for our family to grow together as a unit. A lesson for the girls how big emotions wax and wane and how you live in them, embrace them and then let them go.

This is the season to be present.

i choose joy

It’s been a long season and the lack of writing a direct result of the frenetic pace and seemingly endless loose ends. October slid into the focus event of November – a big fundraiser for V’s school that I organized and chaired. Then our house went on the market and an offer was accepted the same week we sat down to turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. And now we are on the treadmill of moving. The closing date looms close and the countdown is accentuated like the exaggeratedly loud thunk of the minute hand moving within the ginormous clock face. Hiccups, number crunching, waves of panic, house tours and uncertainty of the future all admist the backdrop of the magic and joy of holiday season.

My writing has suffered – along with other things as this ship barrels forward. It all has got me thinking. Writing is my therapy. My outlet of expression and my creativity craft. It is good for my soul. My mind is clearer and my thoughts less jumbled. When I write, I keep things in better control because the thoughts aren’t swirling. I don’t feel the need to freely spout thought provoking and philosophical questions to acquaintances looking to make small talk. My tears of stress sit less close to the surface and don’t threaten to bubble over at random times or with a big hug that squeezed me just tight enough. My muscles are looser, my actions more deliberate and my vision of the future focused.

So, I write.

I wonder what I want this place to be. This little alcove in the internet where my words sit. I have a loosely defined idea and a small community who actually seem to read what I write. But, is this the place where the authentic honesty I find most cathartic and cleansing in my writing belongs. Will it be welcomed? Will my insecurities and underlying shyness be fodder for critics and complainers? There’s a lot on my mind and I want (and truthfully need) a place to share it.

Here is some of the random thoughts that have been swirling and spinning. Here they land on the screen of your handheld or the backdrop of your computer screen. Each one alone could be a full blog post but right now they are here. An organized thought that sits on this blog shelf and is free from my mind, my hold, my energy.

We are on the other side, the downward slide, of the bell curve of holiday madness and disruption for Pepper. For six weeks, she has been almost levitating with energy that can’t be contained. All our tools, our well practiced dialogue and therapies can only attempt to steer the runaway car. The season is still magical and wonderful and full of joy. But the manic frenzy she brings to every outing, get together or fun adventure is time consuming and energy sucking. There aren’t enough eggnogs or hours of sleep to offset the frantic high.

The election season simultaneously terrifies me and intrigues me. I appreciate diversity. In truth, it fascinates me. The whys of the whats that the whos are doing is incredibly interesting. It’s obvious why I majored in cultural anthropology. But the polarity and distinct black and white that presents itself during election time is terrifying. It is abrasive. It is full of misleading information and profiling that adds up to disenginuity. It breeds an environment where differing opinions are not welcome. The laser focus on what is wrong with our country, our president, the candidates, makes it nearly impossible to see the good, the value, the richness and commonality each of us has. I consider flushing my list of Facebook friends by weeding out the supremely offensive posts and narrow minded memes that are inadvertently directed at me because I don’t agree. I don’t profess my beliefs and opinions loudly or overtly. If you ask, I’ll share. Willingly and graciously. I am that person that the memes and assumptions of moronic behavior are pointed at. That voter. The one who doesn’t agree with your feelings and harsh judgement. I speak my mind and pave the roads of the future in how I raise my children. And I brace myself for election season.

We are selling our home and moving. Basically right now. We close on January 8th and the last six weeks have been a whirlwind of house showings, offer considering, hoop jumping, paper signing and now packing. I don’t have the words right now to articulate how it feels to be leaving the first home we have owned, the one I brought my babies home to, the garden I have lovingly and therapeutically tended or the spaces that T’s shadow still lingers. This move is huge. It’s life changing in so many ways. There is great sadness in the goodbyes but great hope and joy in the future this change brings. This new year is poignantly symbolic in so many ways and I’ve got a feeling 2016 has a very good vibe about it.

It feels so darn good to purge as we prep to move. Priorities about what to keep shift when it means packing and loading up. Space and time are at a premium right now. I am in a clear space where I can see the joy that things offer and freely release the baggage and emotional charge that things hold. Simplicity, organization and white dishes keep me sane and each item I pack up is a deliberate decision to keep this in mind. In this move, I choose joy.

These last months have been stressful for all the reasons listed above. It’s clear chocolate and gluten held together with butter, sugar and caramel are my go-tos when the waters get rough. I’m bloated. I feel like shit. My energy is somewhere near ground zero. It is time to reset this body, clean it out and get back on the track where I/we am/are driving instead of life’s circumstances moving us along.

I am glad to be back here. I am relaxed as the fingertips click on the keyboard and am at peace seeing my words on the screen. It feels good.

Blessings for an upcoming year of peace, comfort, sustainability, growth, health and incredible joy.

 

 

siblings forever

I vividly remember the choice to have a second child. Thor and I were almost three years from Pepper’s babyhood and ready to brave it again.

When I had learned that Pepper was a girl, my first reaction was fear. I fell back into the dark hole of my experiences with girls as an pre-teen and the monumental challenges I faced at the hands of bullies. I had seen first hand the cruelty of girls. I understood all too well the games that women can play. I did not want my child to endure that pain. I was scared of what the world would hold for her and the hurdles she’d face.

But, as the baby grew in my belly, I began to embrace this “girl”. This divine feminine spirit and the awesome power and beauty of the female. She would rise to greatness and cast a brighter light in this world than even the darkest of days. And, I came to realize and embrace that me, as a woman, a grown-up “girl”, am so much more than three defining years of struggle.

When baby V was in the belly and the ultrasound tech gave us the assurance it was a girl, my heart leapt with joy. I was thrilled. My girls would not just be siblings, they would be sisters.

Sisters.

A pact. A partnership. And, unending love and deep understanding.

They would fight like no other. Bicker like no other. Love with an intensity and assuredness that would stand the test of time.

Thor and I have much younger siblings – ranging between 9 years and 13 years our juniors. When we were young, it seemed to be a lifetime of difference in age. Almost unrelatable. But, as we have grown older, the age difference seems to shrink. I am also blessed with two older step-brothers. Our ages are closer, but our distance much farther and harder to reach across as the years go by. We were raised together, on the weekends, during holiday breaks and over summer vacation. They are the siblings who teased me, gave me the official ticket (a true badge with my name, photo and a safety pin on the back) into their club of boys, showed me how to climb the roof of the garage and holed up in the cool basement with me on endlessly hot summer days in California.

There is a bond. Always.

When you have known someone since they were four years old or watched them start elementary school, it seems like they have been a part of your life forever. Every memory, Every milestone.

I am enjoying watching this sibling relationship – my two girls – play out and grow. It is different than what I experienced. Pepper has no memories of her own that don’t include V. They are growing up together. And, their bond is unbelievably strong.

Pepper will be the first one to pick on V, but rage with a fierce protectiveness if anybody takes aim at her sister.

They will fight with the uproaring velocity of a volcano, but calm down and connect after as a quickly as a wave recedes back into the ocean.

Their laughter and joy with each other in contagious. The sound, the feeling. It burrows into my heart and glows down my limbs and into my smile.

Their bond is unmeasurable and strong.

On the hardest of days with the greatest struggles for Pepper, she will always find love and support in V. Always.

On the days when friendships seem like unattainable goals, Pepper will find a true friend in V. And vice versa.

My mom is one of three girls. Three sisters bonded for a lifetime. As the youngest, she was doted on and protected. Three song birds who were as close as the bedrooms they shared as children despite the miles that separated them as they grew older. Over twenty years ago, both of her sisters lost their battles with cancer. They were too young. There were too many years left to raise young children There were too many years left to celebrate holidays together, laugh together and sing together. Losing a sibling is the loss of a friend of your lifetime. A fellow memory maker, storyteller and keeper of the keys. The solid rock of reliance that will never budge or waiver. The fiercest protector, truth deliverer and wisest friend you will ever have.

I am grateful for our choice to have another child and the partnership we created. All my hopes for their relationship and the future I see take work. It takes endless navigating by Thor and I. Support and love and figuring that strategical medium of loving both equally, differently and individually.

We gave our children a treasured gift when we made the choice to become four instead of three.

failing in the face of temptation

Our first Whole30 was completed in May of this year.  It was good.  Really good.  Eye opening.  Body rejuvenating.  Priority making.  We bumped and whined our way through the first 15 days and then hit smoooooth sailing.  So smooth we opted for 45 days.  45 became 60. And, 60 became 75.

Day 76 was Mother’s Day.  My day.  A serendipitous trip up Mount Baker and a stop at the never-to-disappoint Wake N’ Bakery was in order. I settled myself down with a snickerdoodle cookie. I savored every bite. I felt the change in taste shift and when it had lost its luster I pushed it away.  My sugar dragon was right where it needed to be: in my control.

In hindsight, we failed at completing the given task.  We pulled the training wheels and said goodbye to our Whole30 on a whim.  We committed to 30 days and did that. We committed to 60 and did that.  But then we just sort of rode the waves and kept following the rules until the temptation was there. The snickerdoodle.  On day 75, we didn’t say “we are done! We did it!”. But on day 76, we said “In this place at this time with these treats, we are now done.”

Shoot.

Four months later and we are bloated. We are lethargic.  Our bodies clearly scream in rebellion when fueled with grains of any kind. We feel like crap.

It was time for Round 2.

Our confidence was bulging.

We have done 75 days. We have been through the highs and lows.  We know what sugar withdrawals feel like.  We know how good we can feel.

Ten days in and we made the massively erroneous assumption that ten days is as good as thirty.  It’s not.  Not in anyway.

It all fell apart with a moo wich.  A treat so awesome you can only get it one week a year at our county fair.  A lopsided scoop of rich vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two homemade soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies.  They are epic.  They are a once a year treat.

Except when there are leftover moo wiches being sold at the local dairy in September.

I ordered the girls’ ice cream.  I hesitated.  I waited.  I looked to Thor for confirmation and tempted the sugar dragon.  I made the conscious choice to purchase the moo wich.  And, I made the second fully conscious decision to eat the moo wich.

I was aware in the moment and still chose temptation.

Ten days is not nearly enough to be ready to play with fire.

Oh, how the dragon came raging back.  I have fallen hard.  Pizza?  Yes, I’ll have some.  Pumpkin Jo Jo’s from Trader Joes? I’ve got my 1/4 of the box eaten.  Maybe more.  But who’s counting?  Fruit roll ups made of chemical concoctions? You betcha!  Gut ache enough to say no?  Obviously not.

Blech.

I feel like crap.  Mentally my game is weak and my body is not physically happy.

The emotional turmoil of the last week is screaming to be packed, hugged and held with sugar, chocolate, butter and pie crust.  Carrots and broccoli don’t offer me the same solace.

I will never again doubt the mind game food plays.  The triggers that pull and push.  The chemicals that set the reaction in motion.

It’s not a fool’s game for the faint of heart.

I’m won’t lose the war but I lost this battle in a ball of flames.  All for the love of a moo wich.