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Happy New Year

My friend, Jenni, used to say that whatever you do on New Year's Day sets the tone for your whole year. One New Year's Day, she binge watched 24, and we wondered what this meant for her new year; perhaps she would pack a lot of action into every hour, watch someone named Kim make a lot of questionable choices, and her heart would race the entire time.

But her saying always made me thoughtful about how I spent this first day of the new year.

Here's the breakdown for January 1, 2019:

Woke up excruciatingly early. Well, technically, no. But after a week on Christmas break and a night staying up past midnight, 7:45 felt the tiniest bit unholy. I know, next week when I go back to school, I will be dressed and on the road with a son by that late morning hour. Anyway, Older went to a super fun church New Year's Eve party that went all night at this Palladium, which I think is the term for Movies/Arcade/Bowling/All the Slurpees You Can Slurp under one roof. I picked him up just after 8:00 a.m. at church. We walked in the house, and he said to me, "I'm getting a drink of water and then collapsing." Should I tell him what Jenni says?

Next, I picked up Brene Brown's Rising Strong. This was my Christmas Eve/Jolabokaflod * book from my husband.

So, if you don't know Brene, she is the Shame and Vulnerability guru. Actually, that's not accurate; she is a researcher who has studied these issues intensely. Seriously, if you've never heard of her, or watched her TED talk, do so (right after reading this post).

This book talks about the times of failure. We've all had, and we're all going to have times of failure. How do we handle these times?

I put down the book to check my email and came across this blogger, Emily P. Freeman. Every New Year (hang with me; I swear this is germane) Emily makes two lists: What Didn't Work This Past Year and What Worked This Past Year.

My top two Didn'ts are remarkably similar to Emily's: Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling on Facebook is the first one. Followed closely by Stewing on Worst Case Scenarios When Something Has Gone Wrong.

So, now I'm reading about failure, or when something has gone wrong. Guess what?!?! Never mind, I'll tell you. According to Dr. Brene, Stewing is NOT the best method for dealing with failure. This is based on real data. We are one day into 2019, and I'm already learning so much!

Moving right along, I did not eat breakfast this morning. On purpose. This is a new thing I'm trying, and it's called Intermittent Fasting. A few weeks ago, some of the Original Kindergarten Mommies** came over for brunch. Since we are all 10 years older than when we first met, naturally conversation flowed to How Our Bodies Are No Longer Working Like They Used To. But then, one of the mommies, Tawnya, told us that she had been doing Intermittent Fasting since October, and it had made a huge difference in how she felt and how she looked. Let me confess to you now that whenever I hear the words "weight loss" my senses immediately perk up and set to Laser Focus. I despair that will never change. However, recently, due to growing older, whatever, I am also now listening to whenever anyone says their body feels better because of some new thing they're doing. So, I listen very intently to Tawnya tell us about this book and Facebook group called Delay, Don't Deny. This book talks more about insulin and its effect on weight loss and less about calories or kinds of food.

See? I'm delaying. How long, O Lord, how long?

I'm going to try it out. Maybe I'll become a believer like Tawnya, and then I'll post a picture of us waiting together to eat something.

My pastor spoke on Sunday about the importance of having meaningful work. This is something I'm going to ponder this year. AND, along those lines, I think it's good, if not important, to have a quest! And biscotti has been this side, albeit inactive, quest of mine for a couple of years now. A long time ago, I found this homemade biscotti that was unlike any other, it was not stale bread-hard, but more chewy than any cookie. A few years later, I met up with the lady who made this wondrous concoction and asked her about it. She told me SHE LOST THE RECIPE! Like, in this really breezy, off-hand manner; I think she may have even flipped her hair, "Oh, that old recipe? I'm sure I've lost it." I'm certain I don't believe her. Anyway, it created this kind of quest. And today I got one step closer with my Aunt Robin's recipe.

This is a really, really good recipe. I think my issue might be that I don't like biscotti in its true form; I'm wanting something that is the same shape, but with a different texture. Later this year, when I fulfill my quest, successfully yank out this biscotti sword, I'll publish both recipes for you.

So, 2019: I'll be dealing with failure in a more productive manner. There's a good chance I will be looking thinner and feeling better. Also, checking the clock more. And there will be baking. Consumption of baked goods in the non-fasting window of time, of course. Jenni, this bodes well for my new year!

Happy 2019 to you!

*Jolabokaflod: this Icelandic tradition of reading new books and eating chocolate on Christmas Eve. I'm sure Facebook has not interpreted this custom completely correctly, but I thought it sounded like a terrific idea. So instead of new pajamas this Christmas Eve, we all opened new books and chocolate. Yes, it was delightful.

**Original Kindergarten Mommies: So, our first born children all started Kindergarten together in the same class, and we try to have dinner or brunch together at least once a year. I feel like it needs to be more often. Every year of elementary school there would be a flurry of emails - "Is this happening to your child?" "What are you doing about this?" Now, graduation from high school and college are on the horizon. My Nana used to say, "Little Children, Little Problems, Big Children, Big Problems." I used to think that was total bull. Clearly, my Nana had no idea what I was facing. But it makes more and more sense to me.

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