March 2018 RAW NEWS Update

My RAW NEWS framework continues to work its magic, keeping me focused on my priorities. And this end-of-month accounting is wonderful for helping me look at the big picture, assessing where I’ve done well and where I need to tweak a bit for the next month. Here we go.

hand drawn icon of bookRead

There were no standouts in this month’s collection of books. I read twelve –six each of fiction and nonfiction. In fiction, I quite enjoyed The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler. As one reviewer puts it , “It has become almost a cliché to praise Anne Tyler’s writing for its cleverly casual expression of the ordinary.” There are few who write slice of life fiction better than Tyler.

In nonfiction, my favourite this month was the Intuitive Eating Workbook because I learned a lot about my beliefs and habits. However, even though there were plenty of words to read, a workbook doesn’t feel like a real book. So in that case, I didn’t have a favourite nonfiction.

hand drawn icon of painting with brush and pencil on topArt

I’m really enjoying making collages. I made ten collages this month, six of them in a consecutive days collage-making frenzy. Eventually I’ll write a post about why this art form works for me. For now, I’ll just share one collage that I quite like.

This one is called “It’s Too Late.” I like that it’s a shaped collage; that the dinosaur’s tail is off the paper, and that I found that great desert sands image to put on actor Corbin Bernsen’s body. The strip of text that I found in a discarded book reads, “inside, inside, he was gone. Wandering through the punishing straits of his dry, acrid heart.” Just call me Susie Sunshine.

hand drawn icon of book with pencil on topWriting

I did oodles of journalling this month, worked on several lengthy blog posts, and wrote at least a page for every collage that I made. It was a good month for writing, which may explain why I’m comfortable about jumping into the A-Z Blogging Challenge that starts on April 1st. You can read about my challenge theme here.

hand drawn icon of apple with bite out of itNutrition

Two big noticings to report now that I’ve finished working through the Intuitive Eating Workbook and am well into my efforts to eat in this new way.

The first thing I noticed, and this is huge, is that I’ve lost my enthusiasm for Ripples BBQ chips. I’m not saying that I’ll never eat them again. However, I’ve vowed  to snack without distraction and it is absolutely no fun to eat chips mindfully. Chips belong with book reading, movie watching, and writing on my computer. Since I can’t have them in any of those distracting situations, I don’t want them at all.

My second noticing isn’t as positive. It is that changing the beliefs of a lifetime is incredibly difficult. For example, I adore Laura Secord Easter Cream Eggs. I bought lots of them this year because they’re only available at Easter* and I’m eating what I want, when I want, right? Unfortunately, my brain can’t seem to stop seeing these as ‘bad’ foods, which means I’m getting caught in that loop of “I’ll eat these until they’re gone and then will start fresh (at being ‘good’).” I even have a date in my head for my fresh start–April 1st, appropriate because it’s Easter and more appropriate because it is April Fool’s Day. I’m working on trying to change my thinking.

*I did a quick online search to find a good description for Laura Secord Easter Cream Eggs, and found this recipe for making your own.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

To end on a positive note, I woke this morning with a craving for salad. Hallelujah.

hand drawn icon of stylized person in motionEnergy

It has been sunny, but also windy and cold in my part of the world this month. I’ve been walking outside with the dogs, inside on a track, and I’ve gone for my weekly Pilates Reformer workouts. But, like so many, I’ve been dragging a bit and am so looking forward to spring when it finally decides to join us full time.

I’ve noticed that my energy is really affected when I’m out and about too much during a week. I’ve had lots of commitments this month–fun ones as you’ll see in self-care–and I did enjoy them, but I’m a woman who needs big chunks of open time at home. It’s up to me to make sure that my schedule suits my needs. I’ll be working on that in April.

hand drawn icon of open boxWonder

I haven’t been learning much this month. See my reference to the March blahs in Energy above, and the nothing special nonfiction reads in the Reading section.

Next month, though, next month, I’m doing a deep dive into tarot.

hand drawn icon of lotus flowerSelf-Care

I gave blood, celebrated another friend’s 60th birthday, and spent an enjoyable afternoon with Fran and a teacher we used to work with.

I’ve had so many hot baths (see ‘cold and windy’) that my skin is getting itchy.

Scrabble games have been great this month. This year, I’m finally holding my own and winning approximately half the time.

Last week I went to a baby shower for a friend’s daughter. You’d have to have a heart of steel to not swoon over all of the adorable little onesies and perfect miniature sparkly pink baby boots.

Have you seen the movie ‘Now You See Me’? It came out in 2013 but I’d never heard of it. Rotten Tomatoes didn’t love it, but it’s the best thriller I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t watched it, do enjoy, but don’t plan to multitask. It’s about magic; I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

Did you have a good month?

 

 

38 comments

  1. Hi, Karen – I am greatly enjoying your Raw News. Sounds like you had a wonderful month. Although our weather has been ‘okay’ recently, I too am eagerly awaiting Spring to take over FULL TIME! Thank you for the Laura Secord Easter Egg Recipe. It sounds decadent…and absolutely delicious!!

    1. Thanks, Donna. I really enjoy writing the RAW NEWS update and have you to thank as one of the people who encouraged me to be more personal in my writing. Doing so is definitely a lot more fun.
      If you make the Laura Secord Easter Eggs and have tried the ones from the stores, you’ll have to let me know how they compare. I don’t dare try the recipe for myself… at least not this year 🙂

      1. Thanks, Karen – I told Richard about the recipe and he asked me not to make them as they would be too much of a temptation for him. I will need to wait until he is away on a golfing trip!

  2. Hi Karen
    You had an interesting March and I am impressed that you continue to use RAW NEWS as your framework for helping to focus your thoughts and actions.
    A couple of comments about your post. It is great that you no longer have a craving for potato chips (the ripple BBQ variety) and more impressively that you woke up craving salad! I read the recipe for the Easter cream eggs and I honestly can say I now would find them way too sweet to eat! So I won’t be making them.
    I also can hardly wait any longer for spring. But I did take a walk around the yard a few days ago looking for signs. Some trees are sending their buds out, even a few tulip bulbs are starting to emerge from the ground and the tips of the daylilies are starting to show! AND the sap is running again this time a lot more freely. Spring has to be coming!

    1. Hi Fran,
      I feel like we’re the little engine that could when it comes to spring. “We think it can, we think it can.” But I agree – robins have been plentiful for the past few weeks, and now the ice is gone from the pond and Canada geese are nesting in it.
      You’re making great progress if the Easter eggs are too sweet to eat. Way to go!

  3. Love your Raw News, Karen. So honest and relatable in terms of highs and lows in everyday life. I love Anne Tyler and haven’t read anything by her in a long time. I am reading fiction now which is progress for me – having been hung on non-fiction for so long. Midwives by Chris Bohjalian – excellent book. So these Easter eggs sound fantastic. I’ve been eating Klondike bars recently and labeling them as ‘bad.’ Didn’t know I was doing it until I read your post today. Not a good feeling is it? Your collage is extraordinary.

    1. Your comment makes me smile, no, grin.
      I’ve read something else by Chris Bohjalian that I really liked – just looked it up – it was Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. I’ll definitely read Widwives on your recommendation.
      No, not a good feeling at all. Let’s agree to shut down the food police.
      I really appreciate your comment about my collage. Your warm encouragement and support are invaluable to me.

  4. Hi Karen! I’m just back from my trip to Baja Mexico so it’s fun to “catch up with you” and see what you’ve been up to. Glad to hear you are “surviving” the cold. Hopefully that will change in your next report. And now I have to pop over and see your “woo-woo” blog post because I happen to love stuff like that!!! ~Kathy

    1. Welcome back, Kathy. I missed you, but I’m sure you were having too much fun in the warm sunshine to think about anything else 🙂
      I’ll be interested to hear your take on the woo-woo post.

  5. It sounds like you had the March I normally have – a little flat, that feeling of waiting for the main act to begin.

    Your Raw News continues to inspire me and I look forward to these monthly posts. I continue to be amazed at your appetite for reading. Twelve books! I’ve been struggling with the same 2 books for over a month. I’ve seriously toyed with abandoning both of them, but I rarely let a book go unless it’s a real stinker. These aren’t bad – I’m just finding it difficult to engage.

    Nutrition? Let’s just say my kryptonite is Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs. In other words, I understand your Laura Secord problem 😕

    1. That’s the perfect way to describe this March, Joanne. Pull up that curtain and let’s get this show going!

      Please – give yourself permission to abandon the books. If they’re not engaging you right now, you can always return to them at another time.

      Oh, I like Cadbury eggs too, Joanne. I am an equal opportunity easter egg cream aficionado. 🙂

      1. I currently have a large flower vase filled with Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs (it does make for a pretty and unusual centrepiece 😉)
        I expect that by tomorrow night after all my sons – both real and ‘adopted’ – have left, that vase will be considerably emptier 🙂

  6. I love Anne Tyler! I didn’t recognise the title you mention, but when I clicked on the review I remembered it. I’ve recently read Saint Maybe and didn’t realise I had read it before until I came to a particularly shocking incident which I have always remembered but not which Anne Tyler it came from. After The Incident I continued to find the book completely unfamiliar. Strange thing, memory!

    1. Memory is definitely a tricky thing. But you recognize Anne Tyler so I figure you’re ahead of the game! That incident in Saint Maybe sounds noteworthy if it is going to drive the remainder of the book out of your mind. I’ll have to give it read.

  7. I like Anne Tyler too and it’s good to know that you liked The Beginner’s Goodbye… I’ll look for it at the library. I’ve read a few of your recommendations and enjoyed them. I think you made great RAW NEWS progress this month. Once the spring weather hits in your area, I bet you’ll find renewed inspiration.

    1. Thanks, Janis. When you are immersed in beautiful weather year round, do you get complacent about it? Do you have periods of blah time or do you feel inspired all of the time? I’ve often wondered if, when great weather is normal, it becomes just part of the background.
      And you are right. I’m already feeling inspired today and that’s just because it’s teeming rain. I actually love the rain. There’s something about it that just makes me feel so cozy and productive.
      Have a great weekend.
      Karen

      1. Please send some rain our way! We do have lovely weather here, but it’s not picture postcard perfect every day. I don’t think I get complacent, but I’ve never lived anywhere else for any length of time so I’m definitely spoiled. Enjoy your cozy and productive weekend too!

  8. Hi Karen – I enjoyed reading your RAW NEWS. Sounds like you had a full, interesting, and very creative March. I like the desert in your collage, and look forward to reading your A to Z Challenge posts. Have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Karen, I love your RAW NEWS and as you give your recap, I think about my own in each letter. Like the 8 “trash” novels I read (R) in Florida this month – romances and mysteries… the kind you can read in one day! But I also picked up a classic I’ve never read (it was on the book shelf when we moved – hah!) – Lolita. I’m trying to read a couple of the “classics” I never read each year.

    I smoked out the house in my first cooking of the Hello Fresh I ordered (Nutrition). My Tarot cards (Wonder) came in the mail… book is a week away still. BTW – I love scrabble as well. (Self-Care) And crosswords… I do the daily ones in the paper and always feel a sense of accomplishment when I can finish the advance one (about 75% of the time).

    Mid-march to me felt like cocooning… and now I am so ready to burst out into spring! Our mulch got delivered today (new planting beds at new house planned)… in the cold and rain. Yard work is still a future concept, even if April is in 2 days.

    And as I’ve mentioned to a few folks… I’m a bit worried at keeping up reading everyone’s A to Z postings! Still cannot grasp the idea of almost 26 postings “ready to go” . I’m playing with one A to Z post. Yeah one – Hah!

    1. Hi Pat,
      I’m delighted that you can connect to so many of the elements of RAW NEWS.

      Books you can read in a day are awesome. I wrote a whole post some months ago with titles of 100 books you could read in a day – all of them books that I’ve read. I love romances and mysteries.

      I have read lots of classics, but not Lolita. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.

      Of course you love Scrabble as well. We’ll have to have a few games when we finally get to meet each other.

      Please don’t worry about the A-Z posts, Pat. I’ll love to have you reading mine and know that some of them will really resonate (I was thinking of you on a few of them so far), but I also appreciate that you have a life to live and gardens to plan, and that you’ll get to the reading as you are able. The posts will be there for you whenever you’re ready for them.

      1. Hi, gardening yesterday. Finally had a nice day…back to cold today. So reading posts & doing the daily meditation catch up. Hah. I seem to get to it every other day.

        Lolita….it was interesting. The style of writing was different than I’m used to. It’s written as a memoir, although fictional. Found that a bit ironic as I have read memoir(s) on my yearly action plan. It’s also much more about the psychosis, not the act. I think like most classics, for me, it’s a sense of accomplishment for completing…not necessarily enjoyment that I get from romances/mysteries!

        I am planning on reading folks A to Z…I know at least 4 favorite writers doing it, but expect I’m missing 1-2 others!

        1. We’re going in and out of the cold too, Pat. February actually had some downright balmy days, but March was cold and windy. Today there were a few snow flurries first thing this morning, but I’m writing that off as Mother Nature’s bad April fool’s joke. Fortunately, they didn’t stick around.

          I’ll borrow Lolita from the library based on your experience with it, but I won’t be in a rush to do so. I’m in the mood right now for enjoyment, not achievement.

  10. Hi Karen,
    Wow, I am late to this party. 🙁 Life here has been frantic (who am I kidding – that is becoming the usual) and I am starting to gap it on things. My tea will go cold because I am too busy at the computer or nodding off on the couch. I totally forgot to get some paperwork together that I normally would have ready and sitting by my purse to take into town with me when I went but, oops, already in town and realized I gapped it. 🙁 That is SO not like me. I still have taxes to do and thankfully the website going LIVE was pushed back by a week and a half or so no April 1st deadline to worry about there. I have more paperwork to do yet and videos to make for my YouTube channel so I can get ahead of the game again and have videos scheduled for every other day. I have had a couple of larger gaps in timing lately. That being said I feel like I am paddling like crazy and not getting anywhere. Boo! That is what my March has been like so I look forward to April and spring is right around the corner.

    Yay, that you have lost your craving for BBQ Ripple chips and woken up to a new one for salad. I must admit during spring, summer months we like to live on salads around here – probably because they are cool and fresh and very customizable in regards to ingredients and dressings. I love your collage – shaped collages are different and stand out because you are not constrained to the confines of paper size. LOL, I like the dinosaur’s tail hanging off the paper too (he’s a little rebel I can tell 😉 ).

    As for the Laura Secord eggs – I have the same addiction. I keep them in the fridge and only slice off a thin piece at a time since they are extremely rich. Darn Laura Secord for only putting them out at Easter. Thanks for the recipe – I have bookmarked it and will let you know if I give it a go as to how they compare to Laura’s.

    Congratulations on all the journaling and collage making you have been able to accomplish. I hope to one day have enough free time to do a lot more reading and relaxing…maybe I will get my brain back if I do. Looking forward to your April posts for the A-Z Challenge. Snack size sounds like my speed right now. LOL 🙂 Happy Easter Karen!

    1. I’m concerned, Susan. Your days are so busy, I hope you’ll put Profound Journey aside. It is super-dedicated of you to always make these herculean efforts to write comments, and lengthy comments at that! And I so appreciate it. The Profound Journey tribe is the online community I’d been hoping for, and that means the world.

      However, and this is a big however. However, the purpose of the site is to support women in areas of creativity, change and self-care. You have plenty of creativity happening, and there are certainly lots of changes afoot. What’s missing for you is self-care. Not to be alarmist, but the gapping you are describing was a big problem for me in the early stages of my burnout. Please don’t let yourself go there. You’ll remember the video where I describe it as “joining the club of the living dead.”

      Profound Journey will be here when you have time to read and enjoy. Now is the time to remove commitments from your to-do list. I encourage you to remove this one for now. Take care of you. Please.

  11. These monthly posts sure make you accountable, Karen! I’m glad about your emerging disinterest in your favorite chips. Funny how the munching was only attractive when you did other activities. With this mind-trick, your body will be happier. In my situation, because I enjoy eating and food, I have never been able to do two things at once when food is involved, like watching TV and eating, for example. And, it has even gotten to the extreme that I don’t like talking while I eat. So, when my husband asks a question, I give the shortest answer possible and elaborate once my sandwich has been eaten or my meal consumed. And, I try to have other people do the talking. The result of that is that my plate is always empty in no time, while others are still working on it… 🙂

    1. I wish I were more like you when it comes to food, Liesbet. I finish quickly too but just because I eat fast, not because I’m focusing on enjoying what I eat.

  12. I am amazed by how much you read each month, Karen, along with doing so many other things. That is really outstanding.

    Although there was a time that I read a book a day when I was much younger, I cannot read that much now. My eyes get tired. Until recently, I wore progressive lenses for everything, including reading. Now I need to switch to reading glasses for reading, whether on the screen or printed texts. I avoid books with small fonts, and expand the font on all my devices. I also find that reading blogs cuts into my book reading time.

    Jude

    1. I hear you, Jude. Reading two dozen blogs for the A-Z challenge is definitely cutting into my book reading time! I wouldn’t want to try to keep up with dozens on an ongoing basis, although if those bloggers return the favour and read and comment on mine, I certainly will. Remains to be seen…

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