Yes. I’ve decided to reopen the box of boundless goodies that is “Life Without A Meal Plan.”
I suppose I should have started a new blog with a new title, but I liked this one so much that I couldn’t bear to part with it. AND, while I’m now several years out of college, I still feel that the title is applicable… although Blog 2.0 intends to function with a little more focus. Not much more. Don’t get too excited. But after an unwieldy couple of years, I’m determined to just, ya know... focus. Point my life in the right direction.
Because the last year has indeed been a tad directionless. A little background, just for some context:
Just about this time a year ago, I was finally beginning to feel put together. I’d quit the Border Cafe (glory hallelujah) and gotten a job as a singing waitress on the Spirit of Boston, my mom and I had our jazz blog going strong and garnering interest, I had just gotten a job writing for a lifestyle blog, and, if all went according to plan, I was going to help write website copy for my dad’s burgeoning company. In January I headed to London, where I was to meet my dad and spend the week. I had a grand old time exploring the city, spending one-on-one time with my dad for the first time in years (in his favorite city in the world, no less), and getting to learn about this company that he was building. He was, in his own very understated way, bubbling with excitement about it, as it all seemed to be falling into place.
On January 28, we parted ways as he headed back to California and I took off to visit a friend in Kenya. I hugged him goodbye at Heathrow Airport, he told me to have fun and be careful, and off we went.
That was the last time I saw him. He died less than three weeks later.
To be clear - I don’t mean to sound dramatic and I’m certainly not trying to inspire sympathy. Just trying to explain why it was a rather rocky, disorienting 2011, and why now it’s time for a reboot. In many ways I think I handled the situation well, and in many ways I feel that I crashed and burned - to be expected, I suppose. In any case, the feeling of finally having my life put together promptly shattered, and I have spent the last many months trying to make everything fit again.
So, this incarnation of my ramblings intends to focus on how I attempt to accomplish this. I made a list (oh, how I love lists...) entitled “Things I Want to Work On / Challenges.” Not the pithiest title, but whatever. It included many of your classic New Year’s Resolutions such as exercise more regularly and eat healthier (classics for a reason), but I also threw in things like... oh, I don’t know... get a full-time job. Learn to quiet my anxiety. Read and write more, watch less TV. Listen to more jazz. Try yoga (and I hate yoga).
In terms of literal "challenges"... yet to be determined, but some preliminary thoughts are:
- A month of no restaurant food, no exceptions - learn to cook, damn it.
- Go unplugged for a week - no internet or TV. NO. STOP IT. You do not need to watch How I Met Your Mother in its entirety AGAIN.
- Read ___ books a month.
- A few weeks of pushing the bedtime and wake-up time back a few hours... starting the day at 8:00 am? Novel idea.
- Try every class at my gym (ugh, I'm sore just thinking about it... okay, maybe MOST classes at my gym).
- Experiment with what helps ease stress - yoga? Meditation? Better diet? Writing it all down in a blog for the world to see?
Essentially, doing things that will enhance my life - physically, emotionally, intellectually - and learning how to kick some bad habits. Seeing if immersion in these things for a week or a month will teach me that all of my "resolutions" are also doable in a long-term, less immersion-y way. And yes. I am aware that everyone and their mom is blogging about “healthy living” and “wellness” and yada yada. That, of course, turned me off to the idea at first. And then I remembered that one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to just say... F*** it. I DO WHAT I WANT.
Okay, fine. Honestly, I just wanted a project. And you're looking at it.