Monday, June 21, 2010

Deliciously Dull & Temporarily Chaste, or Fun with Homonyms

I promised the other day a deliciously dull update. In fact, I’ve never been so excited about having ‘nots’ in my life. Instead of feeling like these spaces are emptiness, all I see is freedom and choice and the ability to create what I REALLY want: Being Healthy, Wealthy & Wise.

So here are my THREE FREE’s for the rest of 2010:

Sugar Free
So far so good. It’s day three and my only symptom of withdrawl was actually because I wasn’t drinking coffee, which was an oversight, and not part of the overall Freedom plan. And, to be honest, my version of sugar-free and yours may be vastly different. I am eating as much fruit as I can – much more than I normally do. That’s because fruit has enough sugar to satisfy my cravings, but also a whole lot of other benefits I need that Dairy Milk bars – no matter which variety - simply don’t deliver. Fibre, vitamins, texture, flavour, fun. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, fruit smoothies. Yes, overall this likely doesn’t impact my blood sugars (which are just fine, thank you very much), but it does impact my overall feeling of health and vitality. And for a girl to go from 2-4 sugary snacks a day to fruit is a pretty big move. Especially when it just occurred to me, once the drama queen was adequately silenced on Friday night, that I don’t need sugar. I just don’t. All done. As my body uses up the sugar I've already over-loaded it with (something like a year's supply for a smaller nation, in the last 4 months) I'm sure I'll ease back on the fruit as well. But for now it's a good start. A balanced start. [committed sugar-free until July 18; will re-assess then]
Over-Draft Free
I have an overdraft on my chequing account. And it has been at least 10 years since I considered that over-draft anything other than ‘my money.’ Yes, I get charged both fees and interested when I use ‘my money’ to that extent, but it seems like my money none-the-less. Well, not anymore. For the first time ever, I’m excited about my budget. I’m excited about figuring out what it will take to replace the furniture I want to replace, how much I’ll have to save and by when to take myself to Paris, if there’s room for a family trip at Christmas. I have a fancy spreadsheet on my laptop that tracks actual spending v. Budgeted amounts and calculates both bar graphs and pie charts (I am such a sucker for colour coded charts!). And I have a simple, fun & always accessible app on my iPhone (based on the book & program Wealth Watchers that calculates my daily disposable income based on my fixed expenses, then tells me each day if I’m over or under that day’s allotment. Over time it averages, gives monthly totals, etc. And it too is colour coded (colour coding is clearly the secret to financial freedom). So really this promise is to track my spending every day and live to my budget; but I needed it to be 'free' and one benfit will definitely be losing the over-draft habit.

Man Free
Which, as we learned on Friday, goes hand-in-hand with my commitment to being drama free (or at least forcing the drama queen back into exile when she tries to regain her throne). And while I’d been toying with this idea, or resisting this idea, or wondering why on earth someone would want to do this since I ended my relationship with Cowboy in February, I made the decision over a week ago. And then I waffled. And then I thought that if I didn’t say anything to anyone I could just pretend I’d never made the promise to myself. And then I faltered and life got messy. And then I realised that the promises I make to myself are the ones that matter most. So, for the next 6 months and 9 days I am going to be dateless-by-choice & temporarily chaste. And no, those two things don’t necessarily go together (if you are a parent or son of mine, I’m sorry – this paragraph should have had a warning).

I have been discovering about myself and observing some behaviours I am not all that fond or proud of. And I don’t mean to sound like I’m judging myself, but, well, I haven’t yet learned how to respect myself and request the respect of others when all I want is for them to love me, to really really love me. Or how to show up as just me in a relationship instead of trying to gain information and evidence for who you would like me to be. Miss Lady suggested it long ago, but she's young - what does she know. And I could never quite get the idea out of my mind. And then last week while perusing the blog of a co-21.5.800-er I found a kindred spirit who'd been there, done that, an reaped the benefits

So for 6 months and 9 days I’m going to learn. Not through more trial and error, but through treating myself with respect and re-learning (maybe for the first time?) what I offer in a relationship. It’s already making a difference – last week I had dinner with a friend I’ve had a crush on for years, and instead of wondering what he was thinking ABOUT ME, and if I laughed too loudly or not enough, and if I’d made all the foods he likes, and ME ME ME ME ME I could just be with him and chat and laugh and get to know him as a person instead of wondering which trap is best to catch this particular prey. It’s oh so freeing not to have that in the space!
I thought of all these things choices while laying in my bed Friday. And then I slept through the night for the first time in months. I woke up Saturday full of energy and ready to focus on other people. And I spent the weekend mostly off-line and doing things I love. And I slept all night Saturday. And all night Sunday.

This low-drama life is something I could get used to. Who knows, if this keeps up I may even stop over-filling my schedule!


  1. Ya, YAY, Yowza, yea!
    You've come into it slowly, reluctantly, but I think you've finally come into the "this is the freedom of turning 40" phase. I'm so excited for you. I can just feel your expectant openness in your words. Keep it up.

  2. Oh my gosh - I just realised I went 2 days past my sugar-free commitment. Granted I cheated about 5 times, but still - that's pretty cool!


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