2013 – It’s All About Me


Or as much as it can be.

2012 was about Minurism – minimal consumerism – and we did pretty well with it.  I did not buy any new yarn until December and then only that yarn necessary to make Xmas presents that needed yarns I did not have – Cindy’s hat which had to match the scarf I made her last year, and the colors I needed for Chris’s Star Wars Hat.  We cut way back on eating out – though there were the few important occasions that still warranted a trek to our favorite mexican restaurant.  I even managed to pay off a bill early that had been hanging over my head for a couple of years.  We did splurge on a new light for the livingroom and I did go a little crazy buying rovings at the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival in October (more on that later), but overall we cut way back on our spending and made alot more of our gifts and things we needed.

But each new year brings the thought of what can I do for this year that I was not able to do before.  I spent alot of time thinking about this because the list is kinda long – but I kept getting back to the thought that I was losing part of myself in this long process – that all this focus on the kids and the bills and providing for others was resulting in a shell of a Shel.  Does that make sense?

See, when it was just Chris and I, there was time to spend in reflection.  Time to spend reading the writings Joseph Campbell, to ponder my place on the Tarot path and to balance a spiritual and earth centered life with our family life.  Chris and I were a team – we grew together and worked at a mutual pace.

When Chip entered my life, as Chris was going off into his own life, the flow was still there.  But there was a certain jarring of the flow when we became parents suddenly – and I found myself at a much older age re-entering  the busy life of parents of elementary school children – and this time with 3 of them and no family nearby to fall back upon.  As I changed my life to meet those challenges and hectic schedules and greater stresses and increased financial needs, I let go of those basic parts of me that I no longer had time to nurture.

As we gained more of a rhythm with the new family, parts of it came back in.  Truly, Ravelry and my sister’s entry into the craft world and then my re-entry into the craft world brought me back to a more centered place.  It made me slow down the pace while I took care of basic needs – like making things to keep my family warm and fed.  Moving into the world of natural dyes reconnected me to the earth based spirituality which is my center as it is the essence of druidry – bringing forth into manifestation something of artistic beauty from the spirit – here the spirit of the earth.

But I am getting older.  Now I see my grandmother in my face when I look in the mirror.  And I worry.  I have to be around alot longer to raise this young family I have – and I don’t feel healthy – not like I did when I was raising Chris.

So 2013 is all about me.

I am going to focus on my diet.  I need to lose 20 pounds to be able to wear the clothes that I wore through much of my life.  I am not obese, but I am overweight for my bodyframe.  I need to take control of my diet – to eat more vegetarian meals and to focus on vegetables and proteins over carbs.  I am hoping to show some of that in the Food on Friday posts. I also plan on spending alot more time on Amanda’s Happy Hearth blog making more and more of her wonderful recipes this year.

I am going to focus on my health.  Chip has come on board as my personal trainer and I have agreed that I will do whatever he tells me I have to do to get healthier in terms of an exercise program.  We are starting out slow.  20 minutes on the elliptical to get my cardio going.   I hate that I am so out of breath lately when I used to hike mountains when we met.  Maybe we can work in some hikes by the summer.

I am going to focus on my center.  I have been caught in the test which is the Wheel of Fortune Card in the Tarot Path for awhile now.  I need to move on to the point of balance which is the Justice Card.  That card is also obviously grounded in my work – which will also need attention this year as I look for new work opportunities.  A depressed economy brings more people to seek work in my field, and that means less work for all of us individually.

In some ways this feels very narcissitic of me to do this – but I know that I need to be whole and healthy for me to be able to be there completely for my family.  A healthier me will be able to do more with them and to provide more for them.

So folks, you are all coming along with me as this blog is, and has been, my way of motivating me to stay on task, to meet my goals and to celebrate the little triumphs in life.  I want to get back to regular posts in all those areas that make this blog about a family life – not just a knitting blog or a food blog.  It probably hurts the blog in the long run – knitting folks don’t necessarily care about my Food on Fridays posts, and vice versa, but Gram didn’t just teach me about knitting.   She taught me about how to live a life.

And for 2013, I am going to get healthy enough to enjoy mine.

Lets hope I do as well with this as we did with minurism.

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About Shelly R.

I am a Mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, an attorney, a crafter and the granddaughter of an amazing woman - my Polish Grandmother. My Grandmother gave me so much, through her love and her patience, her sayings and her time teaching me how to craft and to give to others, that it seemed fitting to share some of that wisdom, to tell some of her story, and to chat about life and crafts in a way that would be a testament to what she gave me.
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13 Responses to 2013 – It’s All About Me

  1. amanda says:

    Bravo for you!!! I need to focus more on my physical health this year, also. (Giving up sugar, backing off on grain flours, and getting regular exercise–argh.)

    Here’s a word of warning for the recipes on my blog: they are not low-calorie foods. Since Hubbie and I have fairly high metabolisms and are vegetarian, we go pretty heavy on fats like nuts, dairy, etc., just to keep our energy levels up.

    Last year we discovered Joel Fuhrman’s way of eating, which is amazingly healthy. Check out his book, “Eat to Live,” or maybe you’ve seen him on PBS. This is a wonderful way to jerk yourself into top health and lose weight if you need to. You don’t have to be really extreme about it–basically we have a cooked vegetarian main meal once a day, and a big-salad meal once a day. Fresh foods make ALL the difference in how your body works. Everyone knows that, but you don’t really get it until you try something like this.

    I will try to post some of my salad recipes in the next few months for you.

    • Shelly R. says:

      Thank you Amanda. I love you!
      I have an advantage of sorts going into this in that I have years of managing health food stores under my belt – and I started out as the person who ordered the books so I read alot about nutrition and diet so I could recommend books to customers. I think the first book of that type I ever read was The Nutrition Almanac. When I lived in South Dakota with a group of families we were all vegetarian and were real conscious of our dietary intakes too. We were big Diet for a Small Planet folks. So I get what you are saying. I kinda thought that the holiday nut loaf was probably something I could not gorge on (as much as I would like to) but I know that I feel healthier the more I can focus on a vegetarian diet. It is not feasible for the entire family (though I think Vash would be on board more than the other boys) but they have loved everything I have made from your recipes so I am using that to sneak in more and more wonderful vegetarian foods. Moosewood helps alot too. 😀
      I have been working on incorporating more fiber into my diet with oatmeal and barley but fresh local vegys are harder this time of year. I am going to try to really work on creating a better canning garden this year to have foods for the winter. I think the boys would love pickling and I like to can green beans and sauce. Now to find my beat up copy of Putting Foods By.
      Plus gardening burns off calories. 🙂
      As for the book, I found it on Amazon and am putting it on my wish list so I can order it if I can’t find it in our bookstore. It had 685 reviews with a 4 1/2 star rating, so lots of people are loving it too.
      And I envy your high metabolisms. Chip has one too. Me, not so much. I used to. My uncle called me “string bean” growing up. Then middle age, then menopause, and then Gram’s pot belly showed up on my middle!! I just need to see me again in the mirror – and wear some of these clothes as I can’t afford to just replace everything in my closet.
      Thank you so much for being such a supportive friend.

  2. amanda says:

    Ah, I have “Recipes for a Small Planet,” 3 Moosewoods, and of course, “Laurel’s Kitchen” on my cookbook shelf, plus a bunch more. Some of my fondest memories from 30 years in Austin, were watching Whole Foods Market grow into a big kid, as well as shopping at an indie food co-op, Wheatsville, which was around before I even arrived in Austin. And you managed health food stores!!

    I’m beginning to think that most of us really need to be growing our own veggies, to have a chance of eating enough… unless there’s a great farmer’s market that operates year-round. Here in south Texas, our local grocery stores have phenomenal produce any time of the year. I just have to suck it up and pay the prices.

    There is a book by Eliot Coleman, “Four-Season Harvest,” which I love. He lives in Maine, and he tells how to grow great veggies all year. This is the best way to get kids hooked on eating them… as I’m sure you know. As for me, I have tried a few times to get going on this, but my outdoor allergies have always shut me down. Maybe another try in a year or two.

    BTW, my grandmother had a health food store back in the 1950s… before I was born.

    • Shelly R. says:

      I started out working at a store called “Here’s Health” in Chicago. I lived with three other families in South Dakota during my hippie youth on 10 acres of land where we had 2 acres of organic farm that we worked and put up our own food from. We were mostly self-sufficient – using wind and wood power, we had bees for honey and wax, chickens, geese and a composting privy with a big picture window (we lived mainly on a wooded hillside). That is where I started learning midwifery, (and at one point I was training with a lay midwife in Dallas, Texas). We had friends that kept part of their orchards organic so we could get the apples and press cider. Other friends had goats and cows which provided the milk that we bartered our eggs for. I lived the highest up the hillside because I did not need to have water running up to my tent and I would do tarot readings there on Sundays. Other friends had swimming holes on their land where we would go swim and there were just lots of other families around us that worked with us. We did two trips a year to Boulder to buy huge bags of bulk grains that we ground into our own flour and our kids had great names like Snowflake, Athena and Pewaubik. That is still the life that I strive to have. Someday. . . . . .
      If I can find my recipe book box (we put it in storage when we thought we were going to be selling our house) I have Laurel’s Kitchen too, as well as the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. One of my favorites is The Farm Cookbook. We used to make our Tofu and Soysage out of that. Yes – I can curd soy milk. Some of my friends went down there to stay at different times and Ina May Gaskin and her book, Spiritual Midwifery, was a huge inspiration. We put on a big outdoor festival in the Hills (we were in the Black Hills of South Dakota) where we had her give a workshop. Soooooo cool!!
      Wow – thank you for bringing all of those memories to the forefront. I am starting to see more where I need to move toward this year.
      I just have to remember how good life felt everyday when I was there – that is the feeling I want to get back to.
      Did I tell you Chris lived in Austin for a year? He loved it. If you are going to be in Texas, they tell me Austin is the place to be. I have a good friend who lives in Baytown. I was there once but I could not handle the humidity. I liked Dallas – but I was a midwife driving around the highways in the middle of the night in a yellow mustang going to catch babies. Who wouldn’t love that!!
      Thank you again for pulling up the memories. I have to think on them a little more . . . .

      • amanda says:

        OMG, you have lived the life I have dreamed about! Yup, Austin is wonderful, as cities go, unless you are allergic to juniper. We loved it, but had to move finally, because of my allergies. I grew up in Houston, very close to Baytown, and yes, the humidity actually takes a few years to become acclimatized to. Where we live now, farther south along the Gulf Coast, it’s not as bad.

      • That is fantastic. All of it—from the Black Hills and tarot readings in your tent to Ina May as an inspiration (for us all!). Right on! May this year bring you the focus and grounding you need, much health and happiness, and every good thing! I look forward to reading more about the whole journey. Good for you! (and what is good for you IS good for your family). 😀

        • Shelly R. says:

          Well, reading your blog about how good you felt on the Paleo diet and how you maintained a focus on your health and all you were able to do with and for your family was my inspiration to get back to that point too. I started to see where I was letting so much of that go in just trying to keep up, and forgetting to give those areas of my life attention was what was holding me back. So know you are part of my journey. You and Amanda and Ashling and Danielle – all of you are part of this journey and my motivation and inspiration to keep moving forward. Onward and Upward.

  3. danihinde says:

    I am going to try to go on my elliptical more too. I feel like you…out of breath over doing the littlest things. It’s pathetic. I need to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without becoming winded. Lets try to exercise more together.

    • Shelly R. says:

      You got it. We just have to get the Xmas tree out so we can free the elliptical again. 😀

      Almost there – the presents have moved off the floor and into piles (on the couch, the sofa, the end table . . . . ), next is up to their room. I think that the tree moves out to the front porch tomorrow. If I could only knit and walk the elliptical at the same time . . .

      Emmet’s box is almost ready. It is just waiting for me to finish the Toothless hat, which is waiting for me to finish Chip’s hat which I am knitting now. I hope to send it within the week.

      I set up the spinning wheel in my room tonight – I am going to try to start spinning this month too. At least now I have a place cleared for it.

      I’m tired of being tired! We can do this.

  4. Ashling says:

    Exactly as it should be! This is great news….if you don’t care for yourself on all levels, you simply won’t have it for anyone else. They and you will all be happier & healthier for it. Looking forward to reading (and hopefully hearing) about this next part of the journey…a toast to balance, and wishes for a wonderful and blessed new year!

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