Wednesday, March 05, 2014

What the Ring Means

I was checking out a Tumblr post by a web buddy (okay, really we are sisters of the heart) of mine. She was talking about the 10+ club. It's a wife thing for women married 10 years or more. What a bitter-sweet read for me. Matter of fact, I didn't read the post through, because just seeing it literally put an ache in my heart.

One thing I took from the post was thoughts about love, marriage, divorce and life stages; choices, decisions, regrets, and acceptance.

The ring I put on as a first-time newlywed was more a symbol of hope and trust than it was of love. I didn't understand any of those three things. I had no clear plan of hope; trust was a concept I'd only learn by having it broken; and my love was not mature. I think now about the biblical story of Hosea and Gomer.

The ring I put on the second time I married was given all the respect the first ring deserved. That second marriage was penance of a sort. I paid for every childish mistake from before and probably put a down-payment on future mistakes I haven't even considered yet.

There are times now when I wear a cheap band or solitaire on my ring finger. I wear these when I don't want to be "hit on", or when I want to remind myself of what I've cost myself in missed memories and milestones.

Maybe, one day, I will wear another ring that is an echo of the first. If it's true that there really are no mistakes - just learned lessons - then I will be so much wiser. I am wiser anyway.

For women who have made it into the 10+ circle, I want to congratulate you. You hung in there and stayed even when the romance waned and "real life" took over. You can look back with smiles at the photographs of a dress and cake that were only symbols. Your time with the one you bound yourself to, the doubts you endured, the struggles - all those are what count. You chose to grow old with the one special person who also chose you and now, these however many years later, you can say you made it this far. Keep going. I hope all those ladies make the 20-year Club and beyond.

For the other ladies, like me, we've also endured journeys of our own. That we are still able to find happiness of our own is our special testament.


Food Ahh's and Ick's

This food detox I'm enduring (yeah, it's been a whole 15 hours) has me thinking a lot about, well, food.

How much of what we hear about "the latest" berry, oil or seed is hype the greedy? There has to be something good about any natural food, I'm sure. What I wonder about is whether I need a pantry/fridge full of every kind of seed, berry, nut, tree, leaf or twig.

My shopping plan for eating better is real simple: whatever is grown, pure, colorful and on sale.
Problem is, I can be a sometimes picky eater. I have a thing about textures (hate grit, love creamy) and I'm hypersensitive to flavors.

I'm considering adding a couple of new things to my pantry though:

  • Chia seeds - I like the idea (if true) that they hydrate the body. One claim I need to check on is that they promote weight loss by "preventing food absorption". That sounded great when I first read it, but I have to wonder if, by the same process, the seeds will prevent the absorption of nutrients. I get all yin yang in my feelings about stuff like this. I really hate this type of trendy hype. Since chia seeds taste nice (and might actually help the heart),  I don't care if they do anything for weight loss and will probably give them a try.
  • Flax-seed - Even if I don't try chia, I will most definetly be adding some flaxseed to my blended concoctions. Reading about it on WebMD, I was pleased to see the Omega-3 and fiber mentioned, but my beady little peepers lit right up at the note about estrogen. The woman out there will know where I'm coming from with that one. (By the way, I just love that WebMD. Not as much as I love my docs, but they're probably glad I'm not calling them up with my random questions at... 6:15 AM   Pretty sure about that!

I hope flax-seed doesn't tasted disgusting. Already I'm thinking "gritty-grimy" as far as the texture. Maybe all the pulp in my "Veg-oothies"** (I made that up, so don't go stealing it) will protect my taste buds.

Now, getting to the ahh's and ick's I headlined with, here are some of my faves/not-faves as far as food:

  • Liver - I used to hate this so much that I would gag when Mom forced it on me. I'd spit that nastiness right out the second she wasn't looking and actually scrape at my tongue with my dinner napkin. UGH! As I've matured (in all kinds of ways), I find I don't mind eating liver. If I don't have to handle it raw. Is it not the most disgusting common food known to exist? My sister cooks it with onions, with or without gravy, and that is some good eating. Sometimes. I have to be in the mood for it.And I only like beef liver, which is the chewier kind.
  • Gizzards - Love, love, LUV chicken gizzards. I cook them with a little olive oil and some garlic salt. Of course, I look like some kind of crazed freak of nature while I'm gnawing around those tough little ligaments (or whatever) to get at all the meat. Thing is, you have to eat like a pan full of them to satisfy hunger. I have never eaten a gizzard in the company of all but my nearest and dearest. One time I lost my grip while tugging the meat from one and it shot across the table and hit my uncle in the face. So, yeah. My life and times...
  • Cabbage - Never been a fan of cabbage. When I was about fifteen, I brought my mother a head of lettuce from the store because I thought it was a cabbage. (You ever tell anyone about that, I'll hunt you down to laugh with you about it.) My family likes to cook it in water with oil and salt pork. And this is why so many black people have "high blood" and "the sugar diabetes". Help us, Jesus.
  • Beets - Just started eating them without pickling juices. Not crazy about these solo, but like tossing them into blends or drinking the raw juice. Not a bad juice, just don't wear clothes or get near furniture while you guzzle. That vegetable stains air.

My basic plan is simple: getting lots of fresh air and exercise and putting better stuff in my body. I used to think that "eating better" meant choosing making better fast-food choices. I'd get the green tea latte at Starbucks or the McDonald's ranch salad. I thought I was being smart, but I was just spending more money than I needed for stuff that only sounded healthy. Let's take a look at some those choices.
The biggest thing about eating (or drinking) something that sounds healthy is that almost anything can be made to sound healthy.

I'm not saying that I will never go to Starbucks again, but I'm going to go less and go smarter. As this article suggests, I'll use a this-not-that way of choosing my treats.

Like a lot of people, I tend to point out that I only eat fast food occasionally. The thing is, I don't like mystery about what I'm ingesting - ever. While, again, not everything you read is true, this article pretty much put me off McNuggets for life. I used to love McNuggets more than I loved the last man I was with, and now I realize neither of them was any good for me. Ick.

This list of the 18 Most Sickening Food Ingredients gave me dry heaves. I'm going to need a Valium the next time I enter a grocery store. This article was way funnier and had "sex" in the title (even though I'd rather eat beetle ass than condom lubricant). I was only alarmed by a few claims.

All giggling aside, I think that we need to be more aware of what we're putting into our bodies. We've heard so much about what's bad for us, we've gotten tired of listening.