How do you eat?

Prompt: Tell us how you eat: do you sit down to three meals, eat several small meals, or grab a granola bar on the run?

This was one of the prompts that caught my attention when I swiftly reviewed the list of daily prompts for May’s NaBloPoMo theme, mostly because it’s something I want to improve in my life.

Looking at my own eating habits, I have to cringe. I eat most of my meals in my car on the way to a job. When I’m sitting down to eat, odds are it’s at my desk and I’m working on the computer while I’m doing it. Even when I’m home to eat (maybe once or twice a week), I’m reading a book or email. The meal doesn’t always include vegetables, unless I’ve done a good job of planning ahead and cut them up the Sunday before or make a smoothie the night before. Sometimes, all it is a fruit and nut bar. Frequently, it’s take-out.

I’ve seen the positive results of actually sitting down for meals without the distractions of electronics. Last Christmas, I visited my parents and expected to gain weight over the week I was there. After all, I didn’t work out at all and I was drinking more than I usually do. But, to my surprise, that wasn’t the case. After looking back on my time there, I had to attribute this to the fact that we sat down to eat and talked to each other instead of watching TV or playing on a phone. It surprised me that such a small thing could make such a big difference. Other than not eating out, the meals weren’t that much different than what I would make for myself were I to make the effort.

Because my eating habits are mostly determined by my schedule, this isn’t something that’s easy to adjust. But it has made me more aware of what I do while I’m eating. It’s such a temptation to turn to a book or my phone because I nearly always eat alone, but I’m making an effort to put these things aside and just pay attention to what I’m eating. I read French Women Don’t Get Fat recently, and the author’s comments about paying attention to what you’re eating tied this all together for me.

This month, I’m not only looking forward to a vacation and seeing my family, but I’m looking forward to meals spent in the company of others, and not electronic gadgets. Hopefully this will help me to develop new habits of enjoying the food I eat and not just inhaling it on the way to the next activity.

What about you? Do you find yourself distracted during meal times?

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Friday Favorites

There are many things on the way to Friday that are worth celebrating – some big, some little – and they deserve their own time. I’m taking some time again this week to highlight some of my favorite things and to be thankful for more than just the fact that it’s Friday.

This week, some of my favorite things were:

  • The way God sometimes hits me upside the head with answers. You asked for guidance and BAM! there it is, so big there is no way you can miss it.
  • The rain, washing away the dirt and salt of winter and making everything lush and green. The fact that rain means it’s too warm to snow is an added bonus. So is the free car wash.
  • Wonderful coworkers who commiserate during hard times and who are excited to share their experience and insight when they hear you’re looking into a new frontier (the transition from a PC to a Mac is a big deal, folks, and it requires a lot of research. At least for this girl).
  • The anticipation of seeing my entire family in one place for the first time in 18 months! Plus the opportunity to spend some quality time with a grandfather I haven’t seen in 2+ years. The next time I post this update, I will be with them in sunny CA!
  • My incredibly giving, unselfish roommate who brought home chocolate and flowers completely out of the blue, just because I had a hard week. Aren’t the beautiful?

Flowers

Friday Favorites

There are many things on the way to Friday that are worth celebrating – some big, some little – and they deserve their own time. I’m taking some time again this week to highlight some of my favorite things and to be thankful for more than just the fact that it’s Friday.

Welcome to 2014! This week, some of my favorite things have been:

  • Extensive shopping with my mom, including the purchase of a Diane Von Furstenberg dress. One more thing to cross off my bucket list!
  • Golfing with my step dad. His patience with my ineptitude was wonderful! We only played nine holes on a par-3 course, but I’m happy with my 41. 🙂
  • A GREAT New Year’s Eve surrounded by wonderful friends!
  • Discovering the Lizzie Bennet Diaries… why didn’t anyone tell me about these sooner??
  • Related to the above: staying out until 4:00am watching nearly all of the LBD episodes with a great friend. Awesome memories!
  • Visiting wedding venues and helping my roommate make a decision on her wedding location. November 2014, here we come!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about the stages we go through in life and how things change. For some of us, that means family growing larger, smaller, or growing apart. Or perhaps it’s the same as always and it’s you who have changed.

Reflecting on the familiar changes in my life today has reminded me that we can choose how we view situations. We can look at them negatively or positively. I can’t lie and say that I consistently view things positive. I don’t. I tend to take the negative view. So today, I’m going to be thankful for the fact that, while I am celebrating alone, I am not far from my family. In fact, they are texting me on the phone that is inches from my hand as I type this. And the alone time isn’t unwanted. Life has been crazy for the last few months and I’m savoring the quiet, the music I’m playing, the wine in my glass, the laundry that’s getting washed, and the pumpkin pie baking in the oven and filling the house with its spicy aroma. I’m thankful that I have a job to have a holiday from, when so many either don’t have jobs or are working today anyway.

And I pray for each of you. That wherever you are, whatever your situation, that you would find joy today. That some little event or blessing would touch you exactly where you need it. That God would speak to you today.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. May the next year be a blessed one!

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Christmas is my favorite, but I like them each for different reasons. I love the magic and the meaning behind Christmas and the time I get to spend with my nuclear family. But what I love about Thanksgiving are the memories of time spent with my extended family.

The memories of Thanksgiving 2007 are my favorite. It was a smaller group of family but the time spent together was filled with laughter and crazy family stories (the best kind!).

We spent the day at my uncle’s home, getting there fairly early in the day. There was much drinking over many hours. My uncle was harassed for putting fruit in the turkey (according to my mom, his little sister, you’re not supposed to do that), my grandparents told never-before-heard stories about smoking marijuana and playing cards with their friends, and we just enjoyed each other. The meal itself doesn’t factor into these memories at all, just the love and the laughter. The pictures my sister and I took that day show the enjoyment.

No other Thanksgiving has been quite as much fun as that one, although they are special for other reasons. This is the one that sets the bar for fun family time for me. The last few years have had considerably fewer people involved as they’ve scattered across the country, but Skype has helped to keep the spirit alive. Technology can be a wonderful thing!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

I hope you have a wonderful and special day with your friends and/or family. Take some time to relax, get away from the stress of work, and laugh with those closest to you. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The One Never Posted

There are many draft posts sitting around on my computer and Dropbox files. Ideas that require research or that would better apply to a future event. But today’s prompt brought one particular post to mind.

It’s not incomplete or waiting for a specific time. It’s finished and ready to be posted and it has been for over a year. It’s me that isn’t ready.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge from September 3, 2012. We were asked to write about our most meaningful possession. It took me a little while to figure out what it was and once I did, the post just came out. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest post I’ve ever written at nearly 1,000 words and every time I read it, I’m proud of how the words capture the events surrounding this item. It’s probably my favorite post.

But I’m not ready to share it with the world. This item and the events that made it significant are hugely personal to me and my family and, while many people already know about the larger event, I can’t bring myself to share this particular story.

I hope I will some day. Reading through the post made me realize that 2014 will be twenty years from the date of this event; maybe I’ll post it then. It was almost possible to imaging hitting the “Publish” button today so there’s hope for me yet.

Celebration!

Celebrating the great moments of this past year!

If today is any indication, this next year will be incredible. Here’s looking forward a great last year of my twenties!