“Woke up. Fell out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head. Found my way downstairs and had a cup…” and that’s where my life stopped being like the rest of the song today. I don’t smoke and I didn’t go into a dream. I did, however, read the news. Oh boy.
Today I’ve spoken aloud three times: to the clerk at the liquor store, the clerk at the grocery store, and a guy standing at the ATM. Our conversation:
Him: “It sometimes does an upgrade thing at 3:00. It usually only takes a few minutes.”
Me: “I’ll come back later.”
My conversations with the clerks were shorter. “Credit, please” “Paper,” and “Thank you.”
I’ve grown accustomed to days like this. Accustomed and desirous. I need days like this – totally disconnected from oral communication and human contact – in order to focus on school and my goals…daily or long-term.
The woman ahead of me in the grocery store checkout bought $194 of groceries. Said she’s feeding two sons and a husband. I used to do that. Feed kids and a husband. My weekly grocery bill was crazy, too. As she paid her bill, I looked in my basket: one nectarine, two plums, one leek, 10 ounces of mushrooms, a package of spinach, a head of red leaf lettuce, two crowns of broccoli, two bananas, a bulb of garlic, one mango, one red pepper, three plum tomatoes, a loaf of light whole wheat bread, a dozen brown eggs and a container of grated parmesan cheese. Total: $27.57.
This morning I took a 102-point exam in Foods and a 30-point quiz in Nutrition (got 29 out of 30!). I printed out all my assignments, wrapped my head around more math, watched another episode of “Mad Men,” and washed the dishes. Oh…and I steamed and ate broccoli with parmesan sprinkled on top; ate a piece of bread with jelly because it just sounded so darn good; sautéed snow peas, carrots, garlic, onion, zucchini and slivered almonds in a little sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes, and served it over quinoa; and I’m thinking a spinach salad is what’s for dinner. Maybe popcorn. I don’t know yet.
Right now I’m drinking a glass of Chardonnay and staring at my Dietetics textbook. Chapters 5, 6 and 8 need to be read by Saturday. Foods, Nutrition, and Assessment need my attention, too. So does my diet. So does exercise. So do my grandkids and my children and Colton and my plants.
You know what I mean. I have no doubt that all of you have similar responsibilities and priorities, all within a household of what seems at times to be a dozen people. You have my infinite respect and awe. I know what that’s like because I was there once myself. And I was rarely my priority.
So I ask you, how do you make yourself a priority amongst the chaos? How and when do you focus on your food plan? It’s not too hard when you’re one person, but when you’re responsible for two or five or more…it’s not just a matter of waking up and having a cup and catching the bus and going home. There are infinite other things tugging at you, wanting your attention. You have many more conversations within the day than simply, “I’ll come back later.”
I look forward to your answers.