The Divine Contract

I talked to Jennifer, my Naturopath today.

We talk about everything, not just my eczemic ears. After I confessed that my “no coffee” streak is over, and that I like my “Kathinated” self SO MUCH BETTER, we got into the issue of my stuckness about my project and how I can’t seem to push “Send.”

She said I needed to establish a deadline and hold myself to it. I told her I am an Obliger (in Gretchen Rubin’s system) and tend to only honor commitments I make to others, and rarely ones I make to myself.

I have already set a million deadlines for this thing.  She then said, “I am going to give you some homework.” I thought for sure she was going to make me promise HER to be finished by a deadline, but no. She wants me to make a “Divine Contract.”

Here’s how this works. I am to get into a meditative state. She said, “Go to your happy place.” (I am not really sure I have such a place, but it will be interesting to try to find out.)

Once I am there, I am to call in my “spiritual guides” for support and guidance. (This won’t be difficult.)

Then I am to call in all of the people who would benefit from this project and allow them to speak and tell me why they need it and what value it would add to their lives.

These are the people I need to make my contract with, she said. These are the people I must make my promises to. I am also to ask them: When do you need this by? And let them set the deadline.

I’m thinking this could work. I am going to do it.

Stay tuned.

Who Would Know?

Today I walked into Wegmans and the first thing I smelled was the coffee. It was a cold, raw day. I was tired. On the drive over I thought about stopping at The Soulful Cup for a latte.

In my mind I saw myself standing at the counter, ordering a latte, not to go, but in a big cup with a saucer.

Hot espresso

In my mind I took my cup to the back room, settled into a comfy chair among the books and the people working on their laptops.

And then taking a sip.

Mindfully.

Reverently.

Savoring the flavor, the aroma, the warmth of this heavenly elixir cradled in my cupped hands.

My naturopath Jennifer said last week: “Go 2 more weeks.” (without coffee)

This has been really hard. It has now been 32 days since I’ve had a cup. After the first 10 days, I thought I was through the worst of it.

And I am, really. On most days, I am really, totally O-Kay.

But not today. Today I felt like an addict.

I really needed something to perk me up and comfort me.

I told myself I was ridiculous. This was not cocaine, after all;  this was a freaking cup of coffee. Innocuous. Legal. And according to some research, really good for you. A health food, almost. Practically medicine.

I wanted a milky cup of warmth that would boost my energy and my mood. Hell, I would have settled for a nice Americano, I didn’t need the milk. But in my coffee fantasy, I saw the latte art, and it had me craving.

Who would know if I snuck into Soulful for a cup? I didn’t have to tell G or Jennifer. What would be so bad about having  a cup of coffee on a shitty cold day in April?

I did not make the right onto Market St and go to Soulful,  but went straight to Wegmans.

The coffee kiosk is right inside the front doors. And even though the coffee there is far inferior to Soulful, and the barista is a complete nitwit, and slow, and there is no inviting place to sit, so I would end up sipping as I shopped, still, I was sorely tempted.

As I tooled around the Nature’s Marketplace section picking up my spelt bread and my wild caught tuna fish, I almost cart crashed a couple holding big coffee cups.

Really. Who would know?

On my way out, I thought of the 30 minute ride home, the boring chore of unloading groceries, and felt no energy. I could get a cup to go and sip it as I drove home listening to my James Altucher podcast. By the time I pulled into my driveway I would be all perked up and ready for the tasks ahead.

Who would know?

Me. I would know.

2 more weeks. Good god. How am I ever going to make it?

*whimper*

Tooth of Doom

My tooth of doom. Number 15. Upper left, all the way in the back. My periodontist has been “worried” about this tooth for years. Every time I go he says, “I’m worried about this tooth.”

Every time he says that I think to myself: “I’m gonna die with this goddamn tooth, Buster.” He’s cute, but a little bit of an Eeyore, my periodontist. When he talks to me with his dental loupes on, I can’t figure out where to look.

Too many eyes to worry about.

Dentist wearing loupes

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t stay up at night worried about my tooth number 15.

But last night I was up worried about tooth number 15. In the last week or so I have been feeling a little, what? Nudgie back there? I opened my mouth to eat one day and there was some TMJ-ish kinda ouchy. But it went away. Then last night I woke up with a mean headache behind my left eye. Tooth of Doom acting up?

Dr. Eeyore  found a little inflammation in tooth 15, and also in my fang (tooth 11) so he squirted some antibiotic in both of those gum areas and I’m to call him in a week with a report. We shall see.

On the food front, I am still craving coffee, and especially so this morning when I woke tired from fractured sleep. I eyed my Verismo with longing and could practically smell the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

*meep*

I am going to have to talk to Jennifer about this.

I then drove to Culligan to pick up water for home and the studio. The spunky dude who loaded my car with the water read my bumper sticker and said, “I don’t get it.”

I said, “It’s sarcastic.”

My bumper sticker says: “At least the war on the environment is going well.”

I thought of trying to explain it to him. But no.

Today was Day 2 of my attempted yoga streak. I practiced with my late class and that totally counts, even though I feel guilty practicing with them. Better that than letting my practice die.

So I’m all set in my Fundies today.

Another day.

Namaste.

Getting Tired of This Detox Life

So it is 3 weeks today of this austerity diet and I am getting tired. Literally tired. I want one cup of coffee. That’s all. One cup of coffee in the morning.

But then last night, I also wanted one glass of wine. One glass of wine. In the evening. Is that so bad? But I know what that will lead to. I do. It will lead to gelato, and gin and tonics on the deck, and beer, and then I will be back to my old ways.

But I ask myself: what is so bad about those old ways? And my answer is: crummy sleep, a black tongue, some flab around the middle.

And I think I just talked myself out of wanting my coffee in the morning.

But this is what I wonder: could I just have the coffee and not the other stuff? Just the coffee? Make that my only bad habit? Stay away from alcohol and sweet things? Could I adjust my streak? Let the coffee streak die, but keep the alcohol and sugar streak going a bit longer?

I don’t know. I think Gretchen Rubin is right about abstaining. Sometimes abstaining is easier than moderating.

Is coffee my gateway drug? I really don’t think so. I think alcohol is my gateway drug.

Alcohol leads me into sweets and other food temptations, like cheese and chips and other kinds of happy hour food, and it lowers my resistance to sugar. For some reason I always want something sweet when I am drinking wine. I don’t seek sugar as much if at all when I am drinking gin. But I do when I drink beer.

I think alcohol is the stupidest drug of all. I wish cannabis would hurry up and be legalized already. It is such a better high, though there IS the problem of munchies, which is not to be discounted.

So did I just talk myself out of breaking my streak? I think so. What I have been thinking is that I will break it when we go to Sanibel at the end of May.

I don’t really think I can last that long, but I am going to try. I am at least going to keep going until the end of April. These austerities are my own little “April Challenge.”

I’m A Good Detoxer (thanks to Streaking)

This is my 51st post in a row. I started posting daily on Ash Wednesday (February 18th) and I’m still going, even though my stated commitment for this streak was only until Easter, which was 5 days ago.

What can I say? I love streaking. Once I get a little streak going, it kills me to break it.

The big problem with blogging every day is not so much coming up with things to write about, I can write about anything. It’s coming up with things to write  that both interest me, and interest others.

Today  I was telling Kate, my hair stylist about my current detox. This detox is another thing I am streaking at the moment: I haven’t had sugar, caffeine or alcohol since March 24th (17 days).

As I was telling Kate about how I sip hot water all day to flush my lymphatic system, and dry brush before my shower, her assistant and other people who work there began walking within earshot of me, and then started asking me a million questions about why, and how do I do it, and how do I keep motivated, etc.  So I basically did a mini-Health Coaching session as I was getting my hair foiled.

I think people love to learn about eating and detoxing strategies, and they are especially impressed when you tell them that you have been able to sustain what they see as an act of extreme austerity for 17 days. Everyone, it seems, wants to give up these things for at least a little while, but nobody knows how to actually DO it.

So maybe I should be writing here about how I manage to stay the course when so many people can’t even get on the course?

I think my wonky eyelid problem incentivized me this time. Nothing like having your eye suddenly look like you’ve been punched to scare you off sugar, etc.

But now that I have figured out the eyelid problem and eliminated the offending culprit, I could, feasibly, go back to drinking my blessed morning coffee, and having a nice glass of wine on Friday night. But I can’t bring myself to do it, at least not yet, because, you see,

I have this little streak going and I want to see how long I can keep it going.

I want to see how much better I can get myself to feel. I feel really good right now, but I am still craving coffee, and also to some extent, sugar.

I want to get to the point where I don’t crave anything, and then keep going past that to the point where I plateau. Right now I am trending “up” in a pretty steep line in terms of energy and getting quality sleep. What I am really curious about now is: Where am I going to peak, and how long is it going to take me to get there?  How many more days of this before the “up” trend starts to flatten out?

Is this kind of thing of any interest to anyone else?

Is this worth documenting here? Or is it profoundly boring? I’d love it if you’d let me know in the comments.

Thanks.

 

No Coffee, No Prana

I love coffee so much. I have an Verismo espresso machine, a milk frother to make lattes, , a pour-over thing if I want a one cup of perfectly brewed coffee, and a hot water kettle with a goose-neck spout for directing the hot water precisely over the grounds. I also have a  french press for when I want 2 cups.

My daughter manages a Starbucks in Portland, and she has educated me on so many aspects of coffee and coffee culture and I love that we both share this hobby, this love of the bean.

My favorite coffees tend to come from Africa. I love Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee the most. The thought of the taste of that coffee is the only thing that has gotten me out of bed this winter, which is now in day 857.

One cup of perfectly brewed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, sipped in reverential silence, is my drug of choice.

Today was Day 1 of trying to get rid of coffee to see if it helps my eczemic eye.

Without coffee I feel dumb. Without coffee I do not sparkle. Without coffee I have no motivation to do anything except nap. All day I walked around in a funk.

Thank god it wasn’t my night to teach, but I did go to class. It was the perfect class, too: a meditative flow. Anything more vigorous and I wouldn’t have made it. At the start of class we were asked, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being extremely high energy, what our energy number was. I held up 1 finger, and I thought of making it my middle one.

Patabhi Jois, the father of Ashtanga Yoga, is reputed  to have said, “No coffee, no prana.”

He got that right.

 

Drinks and 6 o’clock

I missed yesterday’s posting of the photo of the day, the theme of which was “Drink.”

It was an early morning. We had to be up in Ithaca for G’s surgery by 9 AM. I got up and had coffee. She got up and swallowed one pill with half a dixie cup of water. The next time she had something to drink it looked like this:

G Drinks

I remember working in a coffee place once and asking customers if they would like their coffee in an IV drip. Hah. Hah.

Trust me. There was no coffee in that bag. There was “fluid,” yes, but only the kind that keeps the vital organs…well…vital.

I, on the other hand had this:

Drink

So my vital organs were doing the Macarena.

That made me the driver by default because only humans with lively vital fluids in their veins are allowed to drive cars, not dehydrated zombie surgical patients who are only permitted to swallow their own saliva.

The day had its moments. Surgery was delayed by 3 hours. But on the up-side, the surgery was a success.

On the down-side, there was wooziness and lots of projectile vomiting.

On the up-side, it held off for the drive home which took almost 2 hours.

On the down-side, there is now a timed regimen of pills and a cast and an arm in a sling.

On the up-side, there is coffee and food and DVRed episodes of Cake Boss.

For me, there is also this:

6 o’clock

Which is nice to have at 6 o’clock on a beautiful night in June, after a day of bagged fluids and barf bags.

Cheers.