Fall is in the air

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Can you believe it’s already September? Kids are back in school. The leaves on the trees are slowly starting to change color. The autumn equinox is only a couple weeks away and fall will be here before you know it. We took advantage of everyone else going back to work and school and headed off to the beach. Despite last week’s rainy weather here in Portland, the weekend at the coast couldn’t have been prettier. Getting away felt so good. I’m trying to be better about taking time to go do stuff like that. Getting out in nature is usually just the ticket to revive a weary spirit.

The distance from regular life can offer so much clarity. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. One of our dogs needs surgery (expensive surgery), if I don’t want her to go blind (and, of course, I don’t).  Normally, even despite the price, it would be a no brainer. I’m not wealthy, but would figure it out somehow. It’s just that there are some potentially serious side effects to consider. In addition to that, my mom is getting older and showing it, it’s a stressful time of year at work, and I am feeling over committed outside of it. And, finally, I’m also feeling a bit spiritually adrift lately, wanting to make some changes in that area and not knowing where to begin.

All of these things make for a kind of restless discontent, but getting away has helped as has spending some time with friends. There is still a lot to work out, but I’m pleased that there is at least a little light where it not so long ago was dark. I am also happy to say that I haven’t tried to work it out with food. Maybe it’s because it is the one area where I do feel like I have some control right now, but I am feeling good about the dietary changes I have been making. My cupboards are pretty well scrubbed of preservatives and chemicals. Yesterday I started what I anticipate will be the most difficult part of this project – weaning myself off the diet coke. I don’t know why is it so difficult. I know it contains neurotoxins. I know it’s horrifically unhealthy. I know my consumption of it needs to change. It’s really a lot like my struggle with other areas of diet. I’ve tried this any times before and fallen off the wagon, but maybe in the context of the bigger project of getting back to eating things with ingredients I can actually pronounce I will have more success.

I have a big pot of strong peppermint tea (my favorite!) sweetened with a tiny bit of agave nectar in the refrigerator. So far, it’s going well, but that’s always easy to say on day one. The reality is that, even if I wanted it, there is no diet soda in the house and I haven’t been out today. The real test will be out in the world, but (at least for now), even just not having that garbage in the house is a huge leap forward. I was drinking an embarassing quantity day and am curious to see if I feel a difference in my body once I get past the withdrawal phase.

Wish me luck!

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