#Reverb10 Day 26: Soul Food

Note: This is the twenty-sixth in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.

Prompt: Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

On some level, food always touches my soul – as well it should. Whether we eat for pleasure or eat for fuel, what we eat is an important part of who we are and how we exist in the world.

In years of dealing with weight issues and depression (interesting to admit both of these things in such a public forum), I’ve spent decades observing my relationship with food. When the depression and stress gets worse, I eat worse – cookies, cake, lots of meat and fatty food. When I’m not eating those things, I don’t feel as depressed. There’s no instant prescription for it; it’s something that I have to manage day to day.

What I can say is that the typical prescriptions – “lean protein, whole grains, fresh veggies” – are actually far too simple and limiting to really work. For one thing, those prescriptions often leave out things like bread and pasta – and life without those things just isn’t happening. For me, it’s more about finding balance. Do I eat chocolate, bread and potatoes? Hell yes. Do I eat lots of fresh veggies, and brown rice and things? Hell yes. It’s about figuring out what works today, and making sure that I’m not falling into bad habits – like eating an entire batch of Christmas cookies in one sitting.

#Reverb10 Day 8: Beautifully different (or, why I rock)

Note: This is the eighth in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.

Further note: this is actually a day late, but I wrote it in my paper journal yesterday. Just sayin.

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

This was a difficult one for me to write. In short bursts, I have no problem coming up with a list of reasons why I rock (because I do!). But to turn that moment of pep talk into an extended blog post for the world to see – well, that’s a bit different. It feels smarmy and wrong, but part of me knows that’s just the “good girls don’t compliment themselves” training kicking in.

To be honest, I usually prefer to let other people tell me what’s good about  me. It’s fair to say that I’m one of a kind, but the whys and hows of that uniqueness are so ingrained in me that often, I fail to notice exactly what they are. They evolved from where I came from, and how I grew up.

From my mom, I got my creativity, and my ability to make it through anything that life throws at me.

Mom was, like me, a singer and an artist starting in high school, who transitioned to a career as an admin assistant – working in HR for over 20 years. Our paths diverged back in 2000, when I decided to stop treating design as something I did after work and make it my full-time career.

I also got a large chunk of my looks from my mother (you should see pictures of her from the 70s), and my tendency to worry far more than I need to. I also may have inherited some of my business savvy from her: my grandmother, I just discovered, taught business for decades before retiring.

My dad was a mechanic and computer hobbyist for most of my childhood – but I never knew him not to have a side business going. For a while, he built custom computer systems. When I was in middle school, I went with him every weekend to the Rocky Point Flea Market to help him sell shareware computer programs that he painstakingly copied onto 5-1/4 floppies every evening. From him, I got my entrepreneurial spirit, a relative comfort with failure, and affinity for computers (yes, I was a DOS baby). I also got, I must say, a boatload of charm. *ahem.*

Among these things – creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a boatload of charm – I’ve also gained over the years an enormous ability to push through the fear that comes along with going after what you want. Years of theatre training and canvassing for an environmental group helped with that. In both, you go out there, day after day, and try to convince strangers that they should support you.

Many won’t, but the people who get it, will – and your job is to move on from the people who won’t so you can find the people who do get it. Of all the things that make me unique, I’d say this is the biggest. It’s not fearlessness per se; it’s the ability to kick fear’s ass so you can get what you want. It’s a willingness to take risks, because you know you’ll always land safely somewhere – even if it’s not where you expected.

Dude. I’m f***ing married.

Wedding was amazing. I wanted karaoke, dancing, and firespinning. We thought that there was no way we could fit it all in. But then, it happened. My officiant (and ex-roommate, and wonderful friend) Joanna’s lovely new Friend that is a Boy came with firespinning equipment, and put on demonstrations on Friday and Saturday night, another friend put together a bunch of songs for us, which still another friend worked into an amazing playlist that had me dancing for hours, and my father brought his crazy collection of karaoke discs, the books and the karaoke system for a rocking karaoke night. Turns out that Nick’s family is very into karaoke – we had about half the family on both sides rocking it out until past midnight.

I could not have asked for anything more perfect. And of course, I was a weeping mess with a shit-eating grin on my face for the vast majority of it. And the couple of things that were a bit baffling, in retrospect, are completely hysterical – and very typical of my life.

All I can say is, I am incredibly blessed.

Spending the next day or so getting ready to fly to Italy (hello, goat cheese workshop!), but will post pictures from our amazing photographer (who’s also a good friend) when they happen.