The Rest of the Story…

IMG_1222 I never colored my hair to make me look younger and I always thought it was so funny when people implied that I did. I colored my hair everything from crayon red to peacock blue and various shades of yellow and red. Oh, and one time I went so far as to color my hair black – not a good look for me! Today I walked over to Studio-L-Salon and had my hair cut by Lisa. This was my third visit there and my second cut by Lisa. Its an Aveda salon with a cheery and relaxed vibe. I like my hair short and Lisa’s not afraid to give me what I ask for. She is the owner and has a great massage room upstairs. We talked about me using the room to offer Sound Massage and Reiki – I think it’s a great idea! I love Spa de la Paz for friends, family, and friends of friends and family. But I think it’s time to expand my client base and Studio L Salon offers a nice atmosphere and great location for people I don’t yet know personally. I’m excited about it and told Lisa I’d be back to talk specifics.

In my previous post I shared that Lynn and I returned to the Inner Harbor for lunch. I like the Inner Harbor for walking around the water and I’ve had a decent meal or two there but generally speaking, the restaurants are mostly large chains and cater to the average, mainstream American palate. We had spent so much time looking for a place to eat in Fells Point that I was tired and just wanted to sit down and eat. So we made the mistake of having lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

My expectations weren’t high. I know the Cheesecake Factory isn’t really my kind of place. But I thought I’d at least get a decent veggie burger. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case! The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon I was intrigued by a veggie burger made with beets and thought it would be tasty and healthier than most. I really didn’t like it at all. I was looking at what was called the Skinnie Menu but when I said I wanted fries instead of a salad, I got the regular burger that was too large and covered in cheese. It just didn’t taste good. And while our server was very sweet with a great smile, service was very slow and our bread was delivered cold. I won’t make the mistake of returning to any Cheesecake Factory – even and especially when I’m super hungry!

We both were a little tired and cranky from the heat and the bad meal. We went to my favorite Barnes-&-Noble so Lynn could do a little book shopping. If you are a fan of bookstores and find yourself at the Harbor, do yourself a favor and check out B&N. There’s nothing like a small privately owned bookstore but as far as corporate bookstores go, there’s nothing like this one. Built within an old power plant and complete with Starbucks, it’s a great place to find practically anything you’re looking for to read and there’s always a spot outside on the balcony for reading and sipping a latte or tea.

By the time we got home, I was exhausted again. I really had pushed myself. For over a week I was sick with a cold. I spent that time giving in to every possible sugar craving. Knowing that dairy is just about the worse thing to feed a body fighting a cold, I had a pint (okay yes, or two!) of Haagen Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip ice cream! And during Lynn’s visit we ate every meal, usually whatever comfort-laden food that was available. By this time I had two work days ahead of me and hadn’t bothered to cook anything appropriate to take for lunch. On Wednesday I met Kellee in the cafeteria with frozen yogurt in front of me.

This was not at all how my summer was supposed to look. This was not how my journey to Ayurveda was supposed to look. This was not how my body was supposed to look as I approached the last few days of August!

I grew up the baby of seven and when I got sick, it seemed to me that the entire world stopped and catered to my every need. Mother would get Daddy to put a TV in my room. She would make me grilled Velveeta cheese sandwiches and serve it on a tray with a Coke. That made me feel special! And I can remember several times when I was sick that Daddy brought home presents. One time it was a box of tissues, cold medicine, and Archie comic books, another time it was a plastic blow-up punching bag. And one time it was a kitten! Even my sister Mary would lay gifts at my sick feet. One day she came home from her job at Underground Atlanta with a goodie bag filled with fun stuff just for me. Oh yes I’m telling you I loved being sick when I was a child! And that’s probably why it’s so easy for me to crawl into bed (or onto a couch) at the first sign of illness. It’s why, when I had my wisdom teeth pulled I bought a beautiful set of sheets for the bed and why, when I had a tubal ligation, I asked Susie to come stay with me. I am not one of those, “I’m so tough I don’t need you” kind of sick people. Yes, I can absolutely take care of myself but really, isn’t it obvious that I don’t have to?

I know lots of people who go to work no matter how sick they are. They hack and sneeze and spread their goobers and germs all over for everyone to catch. Some do it because they don’t have enough sick leave, others because they think the office can’t function without them, and some because they fear any sign of weakness, even when surrendering to weak will make them strong. I know there are times when it seems like the only choice is to warrior our way through it. I wanted that certification that required me to sit in a room full of sick people and meant that I was spreading my goobers and germs to others. As with everything, it all comes down to choices. But having stretched this typical 4-5 day cold into ten days (so far,) I’m committed to giving myself much more loving care in September.

I am done with the crappy food! I have eaten out almost every day for two months. Much of the food has been healthy, local, and organic. But some of it has not.

I am done with dairy! I have some cream for my tea but I’m done with the cheese and ice cream. All that nose-blowing has proven that dairy does NOT do a body good. I’m done.

I am done with excuses to sit – whether it’s TV, reading a book, checking out Facebook, or writing a blog. I’m not done doing all those things; I’m done doing JUST those things! I was enjoying all those long walks, with and without Paz, and I’m ready to get back in the saddle again. I’m hoping the weather will start to cool and this month’s work schedule will support more walking than usual.

Tomorrow is the last day of August. I’m picking Lynn up from the bus stop tonight and then going to Andrea’s Deep-Resonance at Breathe Bookstore Cafe. Tomorrow we’re walking to The Avenue to enjoy one last day together. After I take her to the airport, I’m getting a massage at Metta Integrative Wellness. I’ve never been there but I’ve heard great things and they are running a special on my favorite type of Ayurvedic massage – This service combines full body warm herbalized oil massage (Abhyanga) with Shirodhara, a deeply relaxing treatment in which warm herbalized oil is poured in a gentle stream over the ‘third eye’ chakra of the forehead.

On Sunday, September 1st, I’m going back to the kitchen to make my own kitchari, hummus, and soups. I’ve already started by cooking the chickpeas today. I’m planning a walk over to the reservoir and several walks with Paz this holiday weekend. While it’s not yet Autumn, it’s Labor Day weekend and in my book, the lazy hazy days of summer 2013 are gone. I’ve still got signs of cold and toxins escaping my body but I’m completely done with the Nyquil and dare I say, the ice cream!  The good news is, I don’t even desire any of that crappy food. Tomorrow we’ll walk to the Avenue and probably eat a healthy meal at Breathe. And I’ll walk later that day to my massage. I’m not beating myself up – stuff happens – I’ve learned a lot about how I respond when stuff happens and what I might do differently next time. And isn’t that what all our lessons are for?


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