Goodbye 2020 Dumpsterfire! Hello, 2021!
It's like Dante's Beatrice ushered us in, and we all popped pomegranate seeds.
I won't recap the terrifying goings-on in DC. But I will say that Nick's office is near the White House, and I was super twitchy about him biking to work because roads were closed and we'd all been asked to stay out of downtown.
And he was all, "Lisa. I look like one of them."
In angry moments I sometimes remind him that he's part of the patriarchy.
Sometime in December, I read this article, and I decided that it was time for me to get my nutritional house in order.
My sleep is never restful, and much of this, I am afraid, is age and hormone related. But I was also eating like a kid in a candy store.
When I tell you that all through December I had peppermint bark with breakfast, and cookies and pastries all day long, and more treats well into the evening, I'm not exaggerating. Sugar and sugar and sugar.
So I decided that in January I would limit myself to sugar in my morning tea.
Nick decided to do dry January, and I've since learned there's a term: Dryuary. Apparently scads of people do this after the excesses of the holidays. So I figured I'd join for support.
Alcohol, fortunately, is not one of my problems. It easily could be, as we have alcoholism on both sides of the family.
I think if they'd been medicated--or properly medicated, or willing to stay on meds--it could have been different. There was a lot of self-medication going on.
But I don't need to get all heavy here.
I had a tiny glass of prosecco on the first, really a few sips, to usher in what I believed would be a good year. I had a hard kombucha on the sixth, to celebrate the wins in Georgia and to recognize the terrifying nature of the attempted coup.
I haven't yet turned to sugar, my preferred comfort, my snuggle friend, my favorite nighttime dance partner.
Honestly, I'm not looking for perfection; I'm looking to break habits and head toward healthier eating.
This is happening. We are having more vegetables--although let me be honest, anything is more, because many days in December we had zero, much to my shame. But we're again having vegetables at dinner, sometimes with lunch, sometimes as snack.
Friends suggested monk fruit and allulose as sugar substitutes. So far I've only tried the monk fruit, and it is the best not-sugar I've tasted. If allulose is even better, I'll be delighted. It's very very close to sugar and almost not at all weird.
I've kept to sugar in my tea, because milky sugary tea is a pleasure. I'm just lessening the amount of sugar in a teaspoon. Friends had warned that this would be a gateway to sugar cravings, and maybe it has, but I've satisfied them with fruit or dried fruit.
And maybe it's the dried fruit, or the upped vegetables, but something has been seriously giving me crazy gas. I told Nick that fortunately all these farts aren't all that stinky, and he was like, uh, yes, they are.
I guess this means I could live up to my imagined porn star name.
My sleep is still fairly fractured. So far I haven't started sleeping solidly and waking refreshed and ready to charge into the day.
But it's like Nick says: "You never wake up and regret not drinking."
This is how I feel about sugar.
And I had an appointment with my psychiatrist last week. A check-in, since he'd upped my medication dose in the fall, after a long struggle with insurance to allow it.
(Can we get rid of for-profit healthcare already?)
Shortly beforehand, I asked Nick if he had anything he wanted me to tell my shrink. He and my mom keep an eye on me, as I recognize I'm not always a good judge of the state of my mental health. I know this, even though I forget sometimes.
And I still have to really think about how I'm doing instead of just automatically saying, "fine" when talking to a mental health professional. I believe I no longer have the urge to lie, but that could be because I haven't ditched my meds lately.
Which I hopefully will not do again.
So Nick, my beloved, said, "I think you're doing better."
I'm well acquainted with The Better. The Better annoys me. He'll say better as a compliment, which, I mean, it's preferable to worse. But it's something I don't know what to do with.
Now, the man was not raised with compliments or praise. It was more like criticism to motivate improvement.
As such, he's pretty reserved with praise. And I love to dollop compliments on people. Sincere ones. It just feels good to me.
So knowing our differences, and wanting to report accurately about the state of my mental health, I said, "Do you think I'm doing WELL? Or just BETTER? Because better than terrible might be better, but still is not so good."
He said, "You're definitely doing better. You can still be pretty sardonic sometimes."
I said I didn't really know what sardonic meant, and he said extremely sarcastic. And I was like, well, yeah.
So I said, "OK. I'm going to tell him I think I'm doing pretty well and you said I'm doing better but still a little too sarcastic for your taste."
At which point India piped in with, "Mama. You're getting so much better at driving! I'm very proud of you! You're less anxious about parking!"
I laughed and thanked her. Sincerely. I have tremendous anxiety parking our new car in the garage and I do think I've gotten better.
She added, "And you're very good at sarcasm, Mama! I'm working on it, too!"
May 2021 get so much better for all of us!