May 2018 RAW NEWS Update
Some sections of this monthly update post are shorter than usual. That’s because I have been very focused and driven in a couple of areas, and ignored everything else. It’s a good thing there’s research to suggest that an ongoing life balance is highly overrated. (Yes, it’s fair to accuse me of confirmation bias–seeking out the research that supports my opinion and conveniently ignoring the rest.)
I’ve had a ‘blah’ month of reading and a slow one. Instead of my usual dozen books, I’ve read five–four fiction, and one nonfiction. On Goodreads 1-5 scoring system, four of the books scored a measly 2 meaning “it was okay.”
The one standout is Martha Grimes’ novel, Foul Matter. If you’re a writer, and especially if you’re a writer who has dealt with a large traditional publishing house, give this one a read. It’s a funny sendup of writers, editors, agents, publishers, and gangsters.
Nothing, nada, zip. I’ve been out to my studio a number of times with my dogs, but I couldn’t settle enough to create anything. At least not anything visual. I have, however, done lots of writing.
But even so, the writing wasn’t anything sustained. Many journal entries, several blog posts, and a bazillion comments and replies to comments. I’m not complaining! I love the connection.
One noteworthy bit of writing is the work I’m doing using the book One Year of Writing and Healing. I mentioned this book in my post about writing to heal, and ordered it soon after. I expected it to be a book of prompts and it is, but they are unlike any prompts I’ve ever read. Diane Morrow’s book is nothing short of amazing. I’ll say more when I’ve finished it.
This month has been a bust when it comes to eating intuitively. I have been setting myself some small weekly goals, like eating more slowly. Then I forget all about those goals as I’m wolfing down my meals.
I think the problem is that I’m trying to build new habits in a context where it is really difficult to stay hyper-aware, and all too easy to lapse back into old patterns.
I’m going to continue with intuitive eating, but I’m adding in a short-term restriction. From the research I’ve done, boycotting breads and sugars for a few weeks should help me get rid of cravings and some unhealthy belly fat.
This is the area where I’ve put most of my attention this month. We transitioned quickly from winter to late spring/summer, which means the property has been greening up and the grass has been growing. We’ve also had several vicious windstorms that have taken down trees or thrown small branches all over the lawns.
As a result, I’ve been spending oodles of time: chainsawing the downed trees; collecting twigs and branches; cutting the lower part of cedar trees to let the light in; loading all of the above into a trailer and hauling it to the burn pile; burning; cutting invasive grapevines out of trees before they kill them completely and, just recently, mowing the grass.
It’s all very satisfying and very time-consuming. I bought a tractor last summer with a 54″ cutting deck so that helps a lot, but there’s enough grass here that it still takes me seven hours to do a complete cut. And at this time of year, that needs repeating every three or four days.
Toffee, my Sproodle rescue pup, has been another big time commitment this month. She’s incredibly smart and is easily bored. When she’s bored, she’s a pain. So I’m driving an hour each way once a week to take her to obedience classes, and spending 40 minutes every day on our ‘homework’. She’s doing brilliantly.
I had a couple of forestry guys here for a day to cut a new trail through a section of my woods. While I stay out of their way when they’re working, I do learn about trail cutting when I walk the trail after they’ve gone. I think I can do the next section of trail myself. Just as well because hiring this stuff out gets really expensive.
AJ Blythe recently posted a thought-provoking Dove commercial. It’s so thought-provoking, in fact, that I can’t get it out of my mind. If there’s something you don’t like about your appearance, especially your face, please pop over to AJ’s site and take a look.
I’m working hard this month at ridding my vocabulary and my brain of the word ‘should.’ It’s a challenge when I have a multi-page list of outdoor tasks, but I’m learning to: avoid artificial deadlines; work for just a couple of hours before taking a break, and not do the work at all if I really don’t feel like it.
The last point is especially important when using a chainsaw where one minute of inattention can be catastrophic. I bought a small, battery-powered chainsaw so at least I can manage it. However, I still have ghastly visions of those cutting teeth chewing into something other than wood. And I don’t even watch horror movies.
How was your month?