"Don't look for a partner who is eye candy. Look for a partner who is soul food." -Karen SalmansohnJuly is always a month of introspection for me–primarily because my birthday is in the middle of it. And this year, it marks the 20th anniversary of when hubs proposed to me. So there were things to celebrate and remember this week. There was also the reminder of our recent losses. Next week marks the one-year anniversary of hubs’ mother’s passing. And would have been our unborn baby’s birthday. There’s been enough spiritual and literal soul food for us this year to make us unhealthy. We’d slid into bad habits, which accelerated while we babied Tashie through her injuries.

We had been considering meal basket plans for some time, but I’d heard from a friend that the amount of food in the Blue Apron plan was more than two people could manage, and had made the logical leap that the others would have similar challenges. Somehow, two weeks ago, I stumbled onto Sun Basket. (That link gets you a $35 coupon and me $25 off my next order.) It’s all organic, non-GMO, sustainably farmed and shipped–and every single one of the ten or so reviews I read about it commented on how very flavorful the meals were. On a lark, we decided to try it. Last week was our first delivery. We’re now total converts and so excited to cook together and enjoy healthy meals (they offer paleo and vegetarian options) that really are gourmet quality at a fraction of the cost of all the various to-go meals we’ve been buying from local restaurants. No more excuses about being tired and not having a taste for what we have at home, this is really a thrilling change for us–and because ingredients and meals are so well portion controlled, there’s no waste, and we’re both starting to drop some of the extra pounds of Kummerspeck we’d packed on.

As for the passage of time itself, I read an interesting article that outlined some of the theories of why time slows down when we’re afraid, speeds up as we age, and gets warped while we’re on vacation. The other interesting element of the passage of time relates to being in the flow of creativity. An article from 2011 sums up research into “creative flow” and notes that people struggling with neurotic tendencies have the hardest time achieving it.

Not that grief leads directly to neuroticism, but that sense of ultimate disruption could explain why it’s been so hard for me to get into the work I need to do to achieve my three-fold goals for the Red Slaves series. On top of that, there was birthday celebration and other social obligations this week, so I only ended up looking at my MS once. And really only revisited pages I’d already been through. So I can’t say anything good about progress on that front.

On the other hand, hubs took me out for a date night to celebrate my birthday, and we got to see Spiderman: Homecoming. The Marvel team has really found its stride with this expanded universe of stories, each tying in to the others in a way that is so rich and satisfying it ups the ante for the viewer with every film. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Word today that the new Doctor on Dr. Who will be Jodie Whittaker means I’ll likely return to that series for future stay-at-home date nights, since even though Capaldi is excellent… his story has been too much of the same of what we’d seen with Tennant and Smith–engaging as each of them had been. It will be interesting to watch how fresh blood and a new direction revive what had been becoming staid, insofar as a scifi show can do so.

And my phone says I averaged 5,481 steps each day this week–a slight drop-off from last week, but still above the 2-mile mark on a daily basis. Yesterday we even went the long way around on the W&OD trail, down Gallows Rd, and into the local park to return… and were treated to another unusual sight (for our area anyway, given the article about cost of living in the DC area that came out this week): A white man in handcuffs in the park’s parking lot, while police walked the woods with flashlights. No idea what was going on there, and nobody questioned us walking our huskies, but it added to the mystery of walking through the night.

Whether I catch up with myself this week remains to be seen, too. We have a test event at work and we’re kicking off several new contracts’ worth of work, so there’s more than plenty to keep me late. With the spur of having to cook at home, though, maybe my work-life balance will shift, too. We’ll see. Either way, I’ll be back with all the rest of my ROW80 buddies to report on my progress next week.

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One thought on “Soul Food

  1. What is it about birthday-months and intense life-loss experiences? You, Shan… me, in December.

    I do hope you ride the wave as well as can be expected, Tonya. And much love. And as always, thank you for the yummy links.

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