Monday, January 8, 2018

Back to the Ordinary and How Not to Die

It feels like we have all had a month off from regular life.  With our Christmas break from school/work, then one day back at school, then the rest of the week off for the snow storm, it's hard to believe we are already in the second week of January.  The break was so good, especially the peaceful reprieve from all the sports practices and games.  We were able to get a lot of cleaning and organizing completed in the house (well the cleaning is a neverendingstory) but it feels so good to walk upstairs knowing the kids bedrooms are dusted and vacuumed and drawers all cleared out.  The boys were pulling out lost clothes from under their beds that still had cat hair on them!  The cat has been gone since November!  Eeewww.  I know if I was a stay at home mom everyday, each day wouldn't be so productive, but I really do try and make good use of wintery snow days when they pop up.  I have to!  Our regular lives are just too busy.

And that's where we are now, back to regular life, back to Ordinary Time.  After all the Christmas feasting, we are happy to start some healthy meal plans again (read: no excuse for desserts and treats 24/7).  I am reading How Not to Die and while the first half of the book is a little TMI (not in an inappropriate way, just literally Too Much Info on medical studies) the second half of the book is great on explaining how we should be eating and why.  My brother, who is a doctor, heard I was reading the book and said the author is just trying to convert everyone to veganism.  I can totally see that when I read, but I also truly believe eating a more plant-based diet can't be anything but GOOD for anyone.  I'm certainly not giving up animal products (I'm not sure how to get enough protein without them) but I want to move towards more plant-based meals. 

{Funny story: Phil and I were at a wedding where they served prime rib, and it came out pretty rare.  I had ordered the chicken but Phil had ordered the prime rib.  I looked at his meal and was disgusted by it as I'm not one who likes to eat a big piece of meat, and certainly not a bloody one.  Phil always gets nervous that with all the health books/research I read, I will end up banning meats from the house.  I was assuring him I wouldn't (I love me a good burger!) and he jokingly said that if I became a vegan, it would be grounds for annulment.  I asked the young priest at our table (who was enjoying his prime rib) to help me out and set my husband straight, and he said "I just studied canon law not too long ago, and he's right.  A marriage can be annulled if one spouse becomes a vegan."  All the meat-loving men at the table cheered.}

One good tip I've learned from the book is to look at each meal and think "How can I make this more healthy?"  What can I add to make a nutritious meal even more nutritious?  Things like flax seed, beans, spices, and more fruits/veggies can be added to foods I'm already eating to increase my health.  Oatmeal is good, but topped with flax seed, blueberries and cinnamon, it's way better.  It's kind of a fun, new way to look at food for me.

It's funny how much I crave a routine, even when it means jumping right back into work and sports schedules.  There's something soothing about knowing your place in the world and getting things accomplished.   Idle hands really do make me restless and uneasy.  The cool thing is that the Catholic Church gives us a routine for life in her liturgical year.  It teaches us how to relax and enjoy, work and sacrifice, feast and fast.  I'm trying to live more mindfully about this heavenly guide, but also not give myself more than I can handle.  So while I'm not baking special deserts for every saintly feast day (though love moms who can do that!), I am trying to feast when appropriate, fast when appropriate, and live ordinarily when appropriate.  Like, if it's a Christmas party, enjoy!  But if it's Monday, January 8th, then no need for special treats and snacks.  It's freeing to stop trying to set my own timeline when the perfect one has already been created.  In working on my physical health by following the guidelines in How Not to Die, I can also be working on my spiritual health by following the guidelines of the Church.  What can I do today to be holier?  What can I add to my life to make me a better person?  Even though the book's title says otherwise, our bodies will indeed die one day, but our soul lives forever, and as St. Augustine said:


  1. Happy New Year, Colleen! Yes...snow days are a blessing! *grin* Wishing you all the best for 2018.

  2. Deep cleans are so satisfying!!

  3. I love this!! I’m with you on being so excited for Ordinary Time this year! Though I’ll welcome spring and Easter season ;)


Talk to me...