Adventures of the charmingly odd

“And so, life in the Shire goes on, very much as it has this past Age…

There’s currently a snowstorm bustling outside here in Asbury Park, NJ. My cafe is closed and Steve is working from home so we are bundled up by the fireplace with our dog Barney. Four days into 2018 and already things are perking up from last year! I’m cuddled on the couch with some tea and will finally get around to taking down our Christmas decorations today. Here are a few things going on in my part of the world:

Wellness

I’m currently doing the Whole 30 challenge after starting on 1/2/18. Here’s a link to the official website but in short I’m not eating any processed food or bread/dairy/legumes/sugar for 30 days. I did this for 3 weeks back in July before my brother’s wedding and so many people complimented how healthy I looked. But since taking over the cafe in August, I’ve had unlimited access to bread, gourmet cheese, gelato, and lattes everyday and while I enjoyed every second of it – it really caught up with me.

This time around, I prepared like mad. I bought every single Whole 30 book, including the daily journal, and for Christmas we asked our families to give us cooking supplies. Cookbooks, a spice rack subscription, a KitchenAid mixer, and KitchenAid utensils – Steve and I have been cooking WAY more than we ever did before. One of our goals for 2018 was to cook and Whole 30 has motivated us to conquer that one. Steve isn’t doing the program with me because it would be cruel to subject him to a month without bourbon, where as I don’t drink alcohol at all. (Not because I’m against it – I run a cafe with a full liquor license! – but booze mixed with my anxiety meds makes me puke hardcore.) Steve is being VERY supportive. He used to be a CrossFit junkie and I’m grateful for his experience on living a healthier lifestyle.

Whole 30 isn’t hard if you prepare and give yourself the right tools. Am I having fun? No. I would kill to be able to put Splenda and milk in my coffee right now or have pizza delivered. But cravings are fleeting.

Mental Health

I’ve mentioned it briefly on Instagram & Twitter that depression has been keeping me feeling “bummed out” as I have been known to describe it. There are different kinds of clinical depression of various levels but I’m still hesitant to call it that. The first time I was diagnosed with depression was because I was living with an abusive ex boyfriend. All I did was go to work and sleep. My life right now is worlds away from that time in my life but somehow that nagging, heavy weight on my chest won’t go away. I can’t seem to get out of bed until the very last minute before I have to leave for work, and when I get home I just want to stay on the couch and read. At work I’m unmotivated and I’m becoming a pro at fake enthusiasm.

It’s probably a mixture of my anxiety, seasonal depression, and nerve pain flaring up because the temperature is so low. Whatever it is, I’m acknowledging it and doing everything I can to push through it – like Whole 30.

Watching

The best house rule we have in our home is no TV. Theres a television in the guest room that has hardly been used (except for random football games and a Stranger Things binge) and I love it! Steve and I come home after work and want to spend time with each other that doesn’t involve mindless shows. He is on his guitar for hours every night. I’m reading or watching Netflix on my phone, which I don’t count as television because it’s a conscious choice to watch a specific thing.

Currently I’m almost done with “The Last Post” on Amazon Prime. It’s about a British post in 1965 in Aden, Yemen and the families that live there. It has the same aesthetic as ‘The Crown’, which I loved, but ‘The Last Post’ is more gritty and intense. It’s one of the better historical fiction type shows on a streaming service and if that’s your thing, check it out for sure.

Reading

I want to scream it off my roof top: YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK ASAP. “The Enchanting Life of Adam Hope” by Rhonda Riley set the bar pretty fucking high for 2018. It’s a historical fiction novel set during WWII about a young woman, Evelyn, who falls in love with someone quite different from us. It might be considered science fiction, but only in the way “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is scifi. “Adam Hope” has beautiful prose that pulled me into the story immediately and left me in a fog thinking about the characters when I wasn’t reading.

The passionate love story between the asexual character A and Evelyn had my heart aching to be near the person I  love most. Everything was well written, from the character development to the scenic landscapes, to the sex scenes. I bought the Kindle edition after reading the description in my daily BookBub newsletter (seriously, if you own a Kindle and on the hunt for a good deal, BookBub changed my life. 90% of the books I read last year were recommended by them). Right now it’s only $10 for the paperback and $7 for the eBook on Amazon.

I finished it last night and I’m still in a haze over it. I’ve tried picking up half a dozen books to read today but none of them fulfill the void “Adam Hope” has left me in so I should wait another day or so.

That’s all for now. I really want to blog again this year. The last two years I haven’t had the motivation to do so because I felt like my life wasn’t as exciting to other people as it once was. But I 

still have words & ideas dying to pour out of me. Plus I now live in the best little city by the sea and I can’t wait to tell you all more about Asbury Park.

Happy New Year and stay warm!

 

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