Winter keeps climbing along, my maternity leave is ticking past, and we find ourselves midway through January. We weathered the storm well last week. With the Christmas holiday, then New Year’s, the snow day, and now day care off for MLK, it seems like it’s been ages since we’ve had a week in our usual routine.
The other news is that, as with Charlotte, Will is experiencing a dairy and soy protein intolerance, which means that both of us are off milk products and soy for the foreseeable future. This is typically something infants outgrow (Charlotte was back on both around her first birthday), but in the short-term, it’s a frustrating development for me both because I’m now planning all our meals without these foods and because I miss the foods I really enjoy.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
Weekly Menu Plan (DFSF means dairy-free and soy-free)
Sunday: Sauerkraut, potatoes, and sausage (starting the new year with a favorite of David’s)
Monday: Broccoli green curry pesto Buddha bowl (from 101cookbooks.com)
Tuesday: Homemade smashed patty melts
Wednesday: Caramelized onion and chicken pasta (DFSF)
Thursday: Chicken paprikash with buttered egg noodles (DFSF if using butter substitute) from Bon Appetit
Saturday: Cheesy penne bake
Sunday: Leftover penne
Monday: Out with friends at Red Lentil
Tuesday: Lemony Brussels sprouts pasta with roasted broccoli (DFSF)
Wednesday: Pan-seared shrimp, parslied brown rice, side salad from Cooking Light
Thursday: Peanut dressing grain bowl (Bon Appetit magazine)
Friday: Pan-seared steak, braised cabbage, roasted sweet potatoes
Saturday: Turkey and bean tacos, side salad
What I’m reading and enjoying this week:
Bodies of all shapes and sizes.
What’s our plan for retirement?
Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Author: Mark Manson
I don’t know what it says about me or about 2018 that this is the first book I’m reading in the new year, but here we are. This isn’t a book that I was clamoring to read but put it on my hold list at the library to stay on top of what’s popular and what some of my patients and colleagues are undoubtedly reading (eBook format, so I can read on my phone while feeding the baby). While I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone super sensitive about language (and I think the book takes care of this itself with its cover), it wasn’t altogether a bad book.
It’s a little gross at times hearing about the author’s own mistakes from his teens and 20s (told with the full advantage of hindsight and the ability to polish the finish upon presentation). We get it, he was an explorer and liked to sleep around because he was afraid of commitment (giving so many f*cks about everything that he was unable to give a f*ck about a really important one thing). #humblebrag. #boring. But not all of it was hum-drum. Some of it was entertaining and some of it rang true.
Basically, his premise is that it’s not about being indifferent to it all, it’s about digging deep and finding out what you care about, going after it, and not getting bogged down in everything else that’s out there. There’s a strong background of mindfulness and not avoiding pain or discomfort, too.
Here are some of my favorite passages:
“Self-improvement and success often occur together, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing.”
“When you stop and think about it, conventional life advice — all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time — is actually fixating on what you lack. It lasers in on what you perceive your personal shortcomings and failures to already be, and then emphasizes them for you.”
“If you’re dreaming something all the time, then you’re reinforcing the same unconscious reality over and over: that you are not that.”
“Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle…” and later… “Happiness comes from solving problems.”
“When we believe it’s not okay for things to suck sometimes, we unconsciously start blaming ourselves. We start to feel as though something is inherently wrong with us, which drives us to all sorts of overcompensation.”
“There’s a kind of self-absorption that comes with fear based on an irrational certainty. When you assume that your plan is the one that’s going to crash, or that your project idea is the stupid one everyone is going to laugh at, or that you’re the one everyone is going to choose to mock or ignore, your implicitly telling yourself, ‘I’m unlike everybody else; I’m different and special.'”
“Don’t just sit there. Do something… action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it… If we follow the ‘do something’ principle, failure feels unimportant. When the standard of success becomes merely acting — when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite — we propel ourselves ahead.”