Eighteen days seemed enough time for my latest Whole30. There’s something about having done the exercise once that’s left me feeling emboldened to bend or break the rules each subsequent time.

Is it bad to say I just really, really badly wanted some pizza and a glass of wine?

After the week I had last week, it felt indulgent and almost like self-care not to care.

It’s alright to give ourselves a break when something becomes too much work, I think. Willpower is a limited resource much like time and energy. I don’t fault myself for throwing my hands up when I was running empty on all three.

Over the weekend, to help fix my life and attitude and lack of inertia, I took some time for myself, wrapping up a few wedding details and getting a few good workouts in and letting myself sprawl out on the couch for hours with my full attention plugged into the mindless escape of beautiful ideas on Pinterest. Different cures for the same thing, but they work (especially in concert).

I started off this week with sore legs, abs, arms, and back, the classic sign of a job well done and a feeling I miss when I’m in an exercise slump. Few things make me feel more like myself.

Getting to work in the kitchen also helped. Last night I whipped up a variation of chicken marbella, accompanied by roasted Yukon gold potatoes and Brussels sprouts with bacon and a hint of bite from red wine vinegar.

I want to cook even more this week to keep the momentum going. This energy and great food just feels good. In the spirit of the abundance of summer, I want to grill a whole host of things and slather them with chimichurri, the perfect herbal salsa to pair with char and simple flavors.

More on those endeavors later this week.

The end of July, a Monday

My nails are white. A good idea for a fresh summer manicure, I’d thought to myself yesterday afternoon, then took the better part of an hour to swipe the thick paint across the round of my nails and correct it with a brush until it looked just so. Today I’m pleased with the result but am already thinking about the bold orange-red I’ll go for next.

I’m eating cold cherries at my desk, one by one, and slowly. Only a few of them are sweet and what I would classify as “good” — a disappointment in one of my favorite summer fruits, to say the least. Maybe the trees got too much rain this year. Maybe we’ve all gotten too much rain this year. As I pull cherry pits out of my mouth, they layer a crimson stain on my fingertips.

My mind is stuck on the fact that it’s almost August. Normally, I find ways to savor the early months of summer, an effort to be present in my favorite season and bottle the feeling of sunlight on my skin for the wet cold of December and beyond.

The ease and seemingly limitless time of summer come to life in things like abundant sprigs of basil, Creole tomatoes, white nectarines so ripe they could burst in your hand. And cherries, too. Taking walks with Pearl and noticing how the sun seems to hold in place just above the horizon well beyond dinnertime.

All that seems to have passed, even though I realize we’re only technically a month or so into Actual Summer and that there will be plenty more balmy mornings and flame-like sunsets through October or so.

I’m making a note to treat August as I would have June and July this year. With the wedding seemingly just around the corner, it’s been easy for me to get more wrapped up in the future than I typically would.

Slow. Down.

I drop the last cherry pit into the bowl in front of me.

Hello again

For a long time, I hadn’t been feeling the need to share.

My voice didn’t feel important, given other things far more pressing in our world (especially since last November). Why stick to a personal blog in a time that seems less than ideal for introspection? 

But the longing to write and share again swelled over time and I think it’s finally right.

And I finally settled on a font combination I like after several months, which we all know is critical. 

This blog is a project for me to chronicle my life, particularly this chapter right before I get married, a time I know I’ll want to remember. It’s also a place to share things I love and what I’m doing in hopes that it brings some joy to you.

Like you, I’m well aware that we’re literally surrounded by bad, and my words aren’t meant to diminish the seriousness of what’s happening in our world. The internet and social media have a tendency to drag us underwater, the amplified waves of others’ anguish and anger knocking the wind out of us, grabbing us by the hair and holding our faces under the surface so we can’t breathe.

But each day, I wake up and I choose to see and feel the warmth of light on my face. I think we could all use a little more of that.

Let’s enjoy some good things together, friends.