Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 63, America is nuts (is it just America, or are humans nuts?)

Ooof. I am wiped! But, in a good way.
Had a great morning today - dr.'s appt later in the AM, so I got a little extra time in "Chez Paradise", and I spent that time cooking up a storm, sipping copious amounts of coffee, and enjoying all this SPACE and SUNLIGHT! (i swear i'll post pictures soon.) I made shrimp in a spicy white wine broth (not much wine - 1 swig!) and stuffed summer squash with onions, sourdough breadcrumbs, fresh thyme from the garden, other spices and teense amt of grated gruyere on top. BEST. LUNCH. EVER.

I wish every weekday could start with 3 or 4 hours of nice, relaxing down time at home. One of the things I've learned during this project is that I love cooking in the morning, though I don't like to feel rushed while doing so. The schedule works for me, since I have many meetings in the evenings, all over the city, and inevitably there is only 1 weeknight a week when I get home before 9pm. Unfortunately, The American Way of Life does not really support this schedule. I'm coming to see that The American Way of Life does not really support health, in a general more broad view. Yes, I have a classically intense non-profit advocacy job where I work like mad for not much dough, but it's a lot less soul-crushing than the 9-5 jobs I had in my previous career. The problem? Let's do a breakdown of time, as an exercise.

Here are the things I need to incorporate into my day to live a healthy life (and the general amt of time they take):
Sleep (8 hours)
Exercise (1 hour)
Commute by bike (1.5 - 2 hours total depending on meetings)
Making & enjoying breakfast (20 minutes)
Preparing & packing my lunch and any snacks (20 minutes if i have to make food, this kind of overlaps with breakfast but they still wind up taking about 40 min total)
Showering/ablutions (15 minutes)
Washing dishes (10 minutes)
Working (let's say I work an average of 9.5 hours/day. this is a conservative approximation!)

that's 21.5 hours!!!
and I didn't include any time for socializing of any sort, reading (my most favorite thing), any hobbies (i am a novice knitter, looking to improve), grocery shopping, any kind of chore/errand-running, or --god forbid-- any spontaneous activity. Any combo of these additions would be at least 3 or 4 more hours per day, especially when you incorporate travel time! And there we go, we've exceeded the # of hours in the day.

I mean, NO WONDER THERE ARE SO FEW HEALTHY PEOPLE OUT THERE! Both mind and body get the short end of the stick here, or at best one of those gets taken care of and the other has to be sacrificed (which really means they're both sub-par). With this kind of schedule challenge it's not surprising that fewer and fewer people cook for themselves, that more and more people gravitate to the numbing escape of the television, that people are overweight and exhausted and floating thru life, unsure of when to throw the anchor and declare, ENOUGH ALREADY!

I have no big conclusion to this, unfortunately. And to add to the conundrum I'm starting grad school part-time in the fall while still working like this (!!?@!@#$#@). I'm pretty good at organizing and maximizing my time, and I'm hoping that the school thing will just force me to continue to be productive, but this is a tough equation and I'm still looking at how to elegantly solve this proof. Some days I entertain thoughts of becoming a cheese-maker (long-time fantasy), some days I think about going back to the boring 9-5 nonsense paycheck while I finish school. But I try to balance out all the craziness with the importance of my commitment to the work I'm doing, and the movement I give so much of myself to ( Any suggestions on how to reconcile a meaningful life with a healthy one?
Maybe we can all start a PCP ashram and throw it all to the wind! It can be called PCP Camp and each group name will be a different cabin! I call top bunk by a window in TEAM SEXAAAY!

Ooof. I'm going to go wash the dishes and eat a fresh fig. There are so many great things in this life, can't get too bogged down about how overwhelming it can seem sometimes.

p.s. people keep asking me if i got a haircut. i laugh and just say no, but offer up that I might be more tan from summer bike commuting. as much as I like it when people blatantly compliment the bod, it's kind of nice to know that some are just getting this general sense of wellness from me, and not seeing the weight loss or the muscles right away - they're seeing something else. That je ne sais quoi that Patrick says comes from having zero dissonance between what you think you look like and what you actually look like. cool stuff.

p.p.s. I had an unlawful treat today but i enjoyed it so much i feel zero guilt (sorry, Patrick). it was pretty unlawful though, on the ingredient side... it was one of those awful fake low-fat frozen yogurts! but it was so ice-y and cold and supremely wonderful. It was peanut butter flavored. I know, should just have regular peanut butter if want peanut butter. But I wanted the texture and the coldness moreso than the flavor. YUM. On the plus side, I didn't have too much, and I wasn't even remotely tempted to follow it up with loads of other unlawful things (that's what I would've done BEFORE). so anyway, moving on. eye on the prize for the next few weeks!


  1. This is why I don't have a job.

  2. your a busy bird! i know, theres not enough time in the day! but you manage so well, im sure youl work it all out when school stuff starts. on a jamie oliver show - it shows how the american kids at school get given the choice for chips and burgers etc for lunch! holey crap.

  3. I felt dizzy just reading your post !

    You're a very energetic and efficient person ! Good luck with Graduate School!

    To confess now that I had a frozen yogurt when I was in NY. I had watermelon with topping of raspberry, mango, kiwi, blueberry @ Pink berry. Yum !

  4. Yes, you're absolutely right -- the American way of life is not set up to support health. It often feels like we're swimming against the stream.

    How to reconcile a meaningful life with a healthy one? Oooh, it's a constant balancing and re-balancing. Sometimes one thing has to take priority over another for a while. I've done a lot less work in the past couple of months and have actually turned down some opportunities because I wanted to focus on my health. But now that we've learned so much, I think it'll be easier to maintain the progress we've made and it won't be such a full-time effort, then there'll be time to turn up the heat on something else, like work or school. I don't think every day can be perfectly balanced. Maybe a better way is to look at 3 months at a time, or something like that.

    And hey, if you're on the UWS now, see if you can tune in my former employer, WFUV at 90.7 FM. On the weekdays the music is fantastic -- that's how I first heard Florence and the Machine! Reception's not so good in Bklyn but you should be able to hear it where you are. :)