Refuse to be Passive

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Off for the Holidays

In Life in General on December 21, 2011 at 7:41 am

It’s been a busy week with lots of food. First Chef of the Day, then a community Christmas Party, then out with friends to the pub after going to the Nutcracker for my first time. Then it’s my birthday, and then it’s my post-birthday, birthday dinner. Oh, and did I mention my other evening out at the pub? Sadly, when I get busy, my eating gets sloppy and healthier things get punted from my schedule, such as going to the gym. Sadly, I’ve missed going to the gym for an entire week now, and this afternoon I’m heading out to my Aunt’s for for the next two weeks, including Christmas a New Year’s which also means more food and no gym. It’s making me slightly nervous. I know that the holidays are pretty much bad news as far as a the scale goes, but there’s no point in adding insult to injury. I need to come up with a game plan to keep my weight in check while enjoying the holidays. My birthday marked my one year anniversary at goal weight with Weight Watchers, and I certainly don’t want to screw it up now! As weight maintenance is such a mental game, I’m more than a littler nervous that at some point I’ll just justify all the food and the entire holiday will go to pot. Goodness I hope not. Maybe I’ll call my mother and ask her to be my accountability partner. Daily check-ins would certainly be helpful! A short blog post, to be sure, but now is time to get all the little things done that need to be prior to taking off for two weeks. Laundry here I come, as well as returning movies, packing, and figuring out which Christmas presents need to come along.


Beer and Broken Heat Registers

In Life in General on December 20, 2011 at 7:55 am

Day one of any resolution is doable. You’re still excited over the concept of your resolutions, and find ways to distract yourself. TV was easy enough to avoid yesterday.

Last night I went out to The Rhino for drinks with people from the community to celebrate my birthday. After perusing over an intense beer listing I decided on a Mocha Porter, which was quite nice, but not as nice as the Great Lakes Brewery Winter Ale that my friend opted for. It was, however infinitely better than the Heineken that another friend ordered. Why order such an ordinary beer with such an extraordinary beer list set in front of you? All these beer offerings made me slightly homesick, as I thought back to my brother-in-law’s home brews which rival the quality of any microbrewery I’ve seen, and the intense social get-togethers that go with each brew. And then there are my memories of The Sugar Bowl and their whopping 40+ beer list. There’s never a dull moments with those many types of beer to try. Although, the truth is that I’m not much of a drinker. One drink I a night is more than enough for me.

Then I went home and went to bed. Beer makes me rather drowsy, as does intense theological discussions on the role of women and apostleship. I wasn’t in on the discussion, but I witnessed it. Sadly, I opted to sleep with only one comforter as my second one was in the laundry. Now, for many people that seems to be a non-issue. They only ever sleep with one comforter, however, there seems to be something wrong with the heat in my room– there is no heat. Honestly, the register in that room doesn’t seem to work, so I either need to use a space heater or leave my door open. Both of those options come with drawbacks in my opinion. The space heater is a disadvantage because it is rather noisy and wastes a considerable amount of energy. Leaving the door open, however is not a good option either, as I’m right at the top of the stairs that people walk in the night to get midnight snacks, and walk in the morning to get downstairs. The kids also make more than enough noise to wake me in the morning without me leaving the door open. And then there is the dog. While she’s a lovely dog, I don’t like having her sleep in my room. She makes a lot of odd noises, and sheds like nobody’s business. I often find her hair in my morning oatmeal or sticking to the bottom of my socks. So, leaving the door open is a resoundingly bad idea. Ah well, at least tonight I will be warm. Two comforters! Delight.

As for my resolution? On to day 2!

Brithday Resolutions

In Life in General on December 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

Strangely enough, New Year’s resolutions rarely coincide with New Year’s. Usually it comes a couple of weeks earlier on my birthday, which happens to be today. And although it’s only 10:43, my resolutions are already popping into my head.

This past year I haven’t been reading as much as I have in the past, and I miss it. So, my first resolution is to read more. But how does one read more without withdrawing from something else? As such, I have decided to make a drastic change in my life. I am withdrawing from watching TV. Granted, I haven’t owned a TV for quite a while– a number of years, actually. But what with online episodes, I definitely watch more TV than is healthy. Watching all that TV has also lead to some unhealthy snacking habits. So, in the name of health and books, I am going to launch into an experiment. Are you ready for it?

A year without TV and movies.

That’s right. One year. Movies will only be watched in theatre or at another person’s home, and in groups. TV is out. I don’t need to live vicariously through TV characters. Firstly, all that down time makes me lethargic. Secondly, the exciting lives of TV characters also makes me disenchanted with my own life. And you want to know something? There is absolutely nothing wrong with my life or who I am. And my life could be so much more than it already is without TV sapping away my time.

This is a big decision and there is lots of room for failure. But even more than the potential for failure comes the potential for success. What will life look like if I stop watching TV? Let’s assume that I currently watch one, 45 minute episode of TV per day. For most people, that would be a fairly limited amount. That’s roughly 5.5 per week, which works out to 21 hours per month. That’s almost one day! Turn that into a year, and that’s 273 hours, which is 11.3 days.

That number totals a week and a half. What could I do with an extra week and a half? Even if it’s just reading books, that’s a goodly number of books. What would you do with an extra week and a half?

Feel free to support me on this year long endeavor. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s something I want to do. Goodbye Castle, goodbye Rookie Blue, goodbye The Listener, goodbye Drop Dead Diva. I’ll miss you all terribly– for about a week. Then I’ll forget you ever existed, kind of like Bones.

Day One starts right now!

A Pensive Birthday

In Life in General on December 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

It’s my Birthday. I turn 27 today. While I was in a happy positive mood yesterday, today I’m not at that point. Birthdays always make me pensive. I think about where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished in the past year. I think about the joys and struggles of the past, and then think towards future hopes. Maybe it’s a slightly pessimistic attitude, but it often seems that the struggles are perpetual. Granted, they’re not struggles that make life unbearable, but things like weight maintenance and emotional eating are a constant battle for me– one I’ve been losing the past few days. But that being said, in the past year I’ve managed to keep off the weight I lost, which is a victory in and of itself. Now, I need to focus on creating a balanced lifestyle that won’t lead to gaining the weight back. Therein lies the challenge.


And then there are hopes for the future. Some of them are just fun thoughts– like working as a chef on a vacation ranch during the summer, or taking a trip back to England. Others of them are a little more normal. For example, getting married and having a family. I’ve really never minded being single. In fact, being single has given me the opportunity to do crazy things like spending a semester abroad in Oxford, quitting my job to go to culinary school, and buying seasons tickets to the theatre with my friend Kara. It’s nice to have that freedom. Since moving into my current household, I’ve gone from being driven completely bonkers by kids to loving having them around (most of the time).


This morning I had a one month old infant sleeping on my chest for an hour while his father tried to get the other two kids ready for school and out the door. And then there is the six year old who is often the one who wakes me up in the morning with his laughing. It’s a much happier sound to wake up to than the beeping of my alarm clock. And let me tell you, he is one cute kid, even if I occasionally have to get after him to finish his breakfast or to wash his hands after using the washroom. Then there is the 8 year old girl. She is a lovely girl and completely adorable when dressed in her turquoise dress coat and fuzzy toque. She hates the coat, but wears it because she has to. I love the fact that she’s in to baking and is so inquisitive and always wants to help out in the kitchen. I need to plan another baking date with her. Or maybe I’ll invite her to help make dinner tomorrow evening. She’s a pretty great kitchen helper, and I’ve trained her that before you start cooking you make sure the kitchen is neat. It’s great because that means I get help while washing the dishes that the household has let pile up. She reminds me of myself a bit. She can throw a fit with the best of them and hates having her hair brushed. Granted, that’s about where the similarity ends as she is a complete girly girl.  But with these kids around all the time, it kind of makes me hope for my own someday. If you would have asked me at 18, I would have told you I thought I’d be married by 23. So much for that one!


And other hopes for the future also include a bit of trepidation. What kind of job will I land once I get out of culinary school. Do I stay in Toronto or move back to Edmonton? Or do I move somewhere else completely? Right now I’m saying Edmonton, but I know that God has a tendency to take you places you never expected.


Then there are hope for simple things, like friendship. I have very few friends in Toronto and am hoping that the next few months might be filled with developing more Christian friends. I’m making a bit of progress on that front, as I did go to the Nutcracker with an acquaintance on Saturday– a birthday gift to myself– and then went to a movie yesterday with someone else. The Nutcracker was rather fantastical. I loved the costumes as much as the dancing. It was truly spectacular. Plus, it gave me a chance to wear my new cocktail dress out on the town, which was great. It’s a fantastic dress, although I was as wee bit chilly.

So, after a long break in my blogging, here is a long post to get back on track. It may be a while before I post again, as I’m heading out for vacation in a couple of days to my aunt’s house and their internet is dial-up, so I avoid it when possible. Ah well, it’s good to be back!