St. Anthony's Stories

Robin

            Roxy determinedly yanked Robin a few steps into the lawn in her quest to find the perfect spot to move her bowels. She arched her back and pulled her rear end beneath her. Her thin front legs quivered with the effort. Robin couldn’t look at her, it felt distasteful, embarrassing even. She cast her eyes over her shoulder and her gaze settled on the small, rectangular brick house to whom the lawn belonged. There, between the drapes—and these were most certainly drapes and not curtains—sat a woman at a table holding a fork halfway to her mouth while she watched something intently. Robin’s eyes followed the woman’s own across the room, along the wall that was covered with wooden framed photos tinted beige, past the buffet lined with ceramic figurines and macramé, to a man standing in an undershirt, his brown tinted glasses obscuring his eyes, his bushy moustache concealing his expression. He stood looking uncomfortably motionless, holding a mustard colored telephone receiver. The receiver was attached to the base on the wall by a long, curly, tangled cord.

Robin was amazed. The left side of her jacket was heaver with the weight of her own phone—or device as they were often called now—and her ears delicately cradled little plastic orbs attached to the device so that a conversation could travel directly into her head while she was walking the dog if she so chose. She couldn’t even remember the last time she had a phone number to write on the “home phone” line of a form. She certainly couldn’t remember the last time she had used a phone with a cord.

She stopped. Of course you can. She’d stretched the cord as far as it could go, out of the kitchen and into the bathroom, her whole body taut with the effort. It was like all those evenings during her junior year in high school when she’d done everything she could to find some privacy to talk on the phone with Brandon Snelling. She’d even bought the extra long phone cord with her own money so she could pull the receiver with her into the hall bathroom (the only bathroom).

Oh, the pains she’d taken to talk to Brandon Snelling. She wondered where he was now—probably an insurance salesman in Eden Prairie. Calling anyone was not for the faint of heart in her house. Whether it was her father bellowing “Robin, get your dirty underwear off the floor!” or her brother whose favorite joke was to pick up the extension in the living room and crow “Robin, I have to use the toilet—now!” a simple ten minute conversation could go horribly wrong. Her mother was always impatiently waiting outside the door “we only have one commode, Robin, you can’t keep making the bathroom your own personal office.”

She’d been so jealous of Debbie Masterson who had her own extension in her bedroom and she could barely look at Jennifer Soren when she bragged about her father paying for her to have her very own phone line. Jennifer gave her phone number out on little peach cards to anyone who asked. Probably just practice for what she’d turn into when she landed on campus, before she got herself knocked up and married.

No, the last time she’d used that phone it wasn’t to mumble words of affection to a boy who’d break her heart just weeks later. The last time she’d held that phone to her ear she’d been stretching across the kitchen and out into the hall and into the bathroom, as was her habit all those years ago. She was contorted again, this time with a dishtowel over her nose and mouth to keep the foul smell at bay, trying to talk to her mother, all three hundred pounds of her, nude, splayed on the bathroom floor in a position that wasn’t natural. Robin remembered reaching to try to take her pulse, to check beneath her nose for a breath, and then, simply to hold her hand while saying over and over into the receiver “please hurry, please” while she held it between her jaw and her shoulder until her neck cramped.

It had taken a hundreds of dollars of massages to work out the kinks.

She’d finally just dropped the receiver and held her mother as best she could, all covered in piss and shit, trying to remember when she’d been there last to check on her, was it last week maybe? Damn Kevin for going to school in Chicago, damn him for finding a way to escape.

They’d sold the house, telephone and all, three months later.

The mustachioed man was grinning now and speaking both into the phone and to the woman with the feathered hair who now was gesturing with her fork, bits of potato falling into her lap. They were joking, she could tell by their smiles.

It was raining a cold nearly frozen rain in Minneapolis and the woman looked over, startled to see Robin standing on her front lawn. Robin held up the plastic baggie as if to say “don’t worry, I’m scooping.” And she did. Roxy was now standing alert, watching something Robin couldn’t see a few yards away. She pulled her leash, tucked her head against the wind and they walked on.

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Happy Little Writer Sarah, Journey

Beahans on a Journey Home

Team Beahan is taking a grand leap this summer. We are selling Casa Beahan in Seattle, putting all our worldly possessions in storage and going on the road for the foreseeable future. We are on a creative quest to find our new home. IMG_1156

Why? Why would we leave a house we love, a neighborhood we totally jive with, a community of friends that are our family in a part of the country that could simply not be more beautiful? That’s crazy.

Well, no one said we weren’t a little crazy.

We have been digging in and re-evaluating our philosophy on living and working for many months. We want, more than anything, for our life and our work to be fused, to achieve the ultimate work/life balance. I grew up watching my dad work day and night at his craft. I believe he did it because a) he is a hard worker by nature b) he had a family to support but more importantly, c) because he loved it and he couldn’t not do it. It was so integral to his life that while it was grueling and wore him down, it also fed his soul. And, frankly, he was really successful–a nationally known furniture maker. 

Mr. B and I want that too. I have gotten a big, beautiful taste of that in the last few months. I left my career in the nonprofit world to pursue writing, and it is similarly something I feel like I never stop doing. I never stop writing. I wake up and read to push my writing further. I write all day–sometimes it’s all day in my head, working out a scene or motivation. Sometimes I get out of bed to put the ideas that were churning through my head as I drift off to sleep on paper. My vocation is my avocation.

Anyone who knows us at all knows that we have been dreaming of opening up our own business. Mr. B has been day-dreaming about this since I’ve known him, and I’ve just gotten in on the action. The idea has morphed through the years, but the plan is pretty simple to start: a community arts center, a place where people gather to do, learn, show and see creative work. A place where we can write and paint and support others to do the same.

As all this discussion simmered and the creative energy burbled we began to see this plan emerge–sell our house, pay off everything we owe, minimize our expenses, nest-egg some away and invest in a trip across the continent to find our next home. I can feel all of our collective creative energy burbling to the top. It’s like in the process of searching, we are creating something as well. I am going to write this into a book. What makes all these places different? Similar? How do we react, both individually and as a couple? How does our art change?

Our quest over the next six months is actually quite simple. It’s a quest to find the place where we can build this life. Our criteria is pretty basic:

  1. Low cost of living–the less we spend on housing and transportation the less revenue we have to generate for ourselves.
  2. Community of creatives. It does’t have to be big, but one that we can contribute too and build our own life within.
  3. I want something smaller. I miss the quietness of the Ireland country roads, the simplicity of not having so much to choose from (I realize this is decidedly NOT the American way), wide open spaces and a community where people know each other.
  4. We love to be outside. When I am outside I do not want to sweat profusely all the time. I did my time in the Missouri humid summers, it’s miserable and I am not interested.
  5. Mr. B must be close to a movie theatre–not just the big box flicks, but the indies as well.

It’s a journey to find our place. It’s a game changer. It might lead us right back where we started here in the PNW, and that wouldn’t shock me. I’ve certainly returned before. But the decision to create a new life in the process, that feels big. To have a chance to soar above the mundane, to take a risk to live our life differently–that feels huge.

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Happy Little Writer Sarah, Words for Food

War of Words

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Rainier Valley Lit Crawl at Flying Lion Brewery–community and words in action!

I started a whole bucketload of new stuff in the last 90 days, because why change one thing when you can change EVERYTHING? In January I started wrangling the marketing and social media for my terrific friends at Team Diva Real Estate–I thought I was pretty hip to the social media but WHOA. Much to learn. On the opposite end of the writing spectrum, I also started an MFA program in Creative Writing. Talk about two very different types of writing–but the awesome, stupendous, high-fiving, ass-slapping amazing thing about it is that I am writing all. the. damn. time. Words are coming out of my ears and I could not be happier about that.

Getting adjusted to letting go of the non-profit world was both as easy as breathing and complicated. I have a bit of a save-the-world complex, so I’m still working on how to save the world from where I now sit. After a few months of letting the dust settle, I’m realizing this–the intersection of words and community and learning and social change is where I find fulfillment. The power of language to impact and change the status quo in our neighborhoods, our communities and beyond is magnificent.

Which brings me to this little article that’s made a lot of noise lately. A writer in Seattle wrote an article that essentially shames MFA programs and the participants in them and read sort of like a two-year-old in the grocery aisle throwing a tantrum that you can’t look away from. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes:

  • If you didn’t decide to take writing seriously by the time you were a teenager, you’re not a real writer and will probably fail.
  • If you complain about not having time to write, please do us both a favor and drop out.
  • If you aren’t a serious reader (and this is qualified by those who have read The Great Gatsby and those who haven’t), don’t expect anyone to read what you write.
  • Memoirists are narcissists who are simply using writing as therapy.
  • Stop trying to sound smart.
  • It’s important to woodshed.

There were a whole bunch of responses posted. I’m linking the ones I think are worth reading herehere, here and here. This guy, Ryan Boudinot, is also the Executive Director of the Seattle City of Literature, and since his article stirred the pot so much, he’s been asked to step down from his post, which he declined to do (does anyone else think that this on it’s own is indicative of something about his character?), stating that the organization’s Board of Directors and the community as a whole was imposing a dangerous censorship upon his opinion and writing.

I have thought a great deal about this article and the subsequent responses over the last few weeks. I agree with a lot of what he said. I also roll my eyes at self-absorbed narcissistic memoirs that seem to be a dime a dozen these days. I also want to shake anyone that complains about “too much reading” or “not having time to write.” It is absolutely true that something like 1% of us will actually be remembered as writers fifty years from now. (Incidentally, that’s not why I’m in an MFA program or why I write. I am there because I can’t NOT write and I want to do it better, be around more people that are better than me and soak up as much concentrated writing knowledge as I possibly can. Will I be paying off my student loans until I die? Yes. The investment is worth it). All that said, I still ultimately think he’s both a pretentious asshole and not very good at being the leader of an organization that is supposed to represent a major metropolitan area.

But here’s why I ultimately feel compelled to comment.

I am a self-described rabble-rouser. To not address this would be shirking my obligation as such. I believe in the power of language to both divide and unite. This a call to action for myself.

Writing, like so many of the arts, has long been an elite activity reserved for those who had enough money and power and leisure to enjoy it. And yet, when the arts–writing, music, storytelling–was/is engaged in by those who are disempowered, it is incredibly, deliciously world-changing.

Ryan Boudinot’s article smacks of that elitism. IMG_3313

I want to be the kind of writer, educator and community member who does not put up walls, but breaks them down. I want my community to be conducive to all the writers. I want my little blocks of Hillman City, my beloved Seattle, and the rest of the world to lift up the use of words to tell a killer story, to have the openness to forever learning how to do it better, and that will bit by bit change the world.

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Home Sweet Missouri, St. Louis

Home Not So Sweet

I think about place a lot. I write about it a lot. I studied it a bit in my sociology grad program. Specifically the idea of the third place, or a place that people find comfort  and connection that is not home or work. See, we know that humans are really attached to their environment, it’s a very particular need. And it is one of those things that is so subject to socio-economic class, it’s so ultimately out of our control from the get-go and that conflict between the importance and utter lack of control is fascinating. north city church

We don’t get to pick what or where we are born into. And yet it is so critical in how we develop as people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the only thing, but it’s big. Place impacts how we acclimate to climate, what we are exposed to politically, culturally and socially, what sports teams we root for. Would I be a Seahawks fan if I hadn’t moved to Seattle? Highly unlikely. And sometimes this can be a cause of real pain.

I was brought up in a rural community in the middle of Missouri. It was small, pretty white, agricultural, conservative. My parents were liberal artists (though my dad would balk at that term–he’d say craftsperson) from St. Louis. They raised me in a very liberal home, made diversity (race, culture and otherwise) a priority to teach. My hometown’s second religion was football, high school and college. My parents could give two shits about the MU Tigers or how the team fared.

I acclimated. I grew up a pretty well-adjusted kid. I didn’t cause too much trouble (read: I didn’t get pregnant or thrown in rehab before I was of age. Or ever, actually.). I am an arguably well-adjusted adult. But I would say that the conflict between how my parents raised me and how my town raised me was challenging at best. As a result, I both have warm, comforting memories of my hometown and often a visceral negative reaction to it.

When my dad got diagnosed with cancer, I’d just moved back to the area from the West Coast to help out. He’d been through a round of radiation, a round of chemo, two surgeries and was on his second round of chemo when I dragged my mom out for the evening for a drink. We went to a historic hotel in town and had a glass of wine. We knew almost everyone in the bar. My boss from the video store AND the copy shop I worked at in high school were both there. And they remembered me, more than ten years (and several pounds and hairstyles) later. I was overwhelmed by the kind words, and that was just one night.

A few years ago, my dad’s best friend passed away. It was tragic and unexpected. It wrecked my parents, but my dad especially. Just finally recovered from a brutal illness, everyone worried the news of Marty’s death would quite literally take him out at the knees. The way the community took care of each other, like family–it chokes me up a little even now.

And I remember going to a party in high school at an older kid’s house. It was a drunken pool party. Country music blaring, lots of booze. Probably not a lot of clothes (I don’t remember). This kid was a pretty good kid–football player, honor roll, you know the type. Posted to the fence was a sign scrawled: “No drugs, no whores, no niggers.” Everyone thought it was hilarious.

At thirty-five I have made peace with the fact that those memories can exist in the same place and not necessarily be entirely contradictory. I’m getting more comfortable with the dichotomy and the fact that it isn’t resolvable. It just is. But damn, it is hard. And it doesn’t get easier the older I get and the more I see the consequences of both sides of those memories.

I just read this incredible article about St. Louis written by a successful black man who grew up there. He has written extensively about Ferguson and it’s impact on the national stage, but has been less inclined to write about his own experience growing up there. I totally understand.

Ultimately, I think McKissack writes really honestly and vulnerably (which is arguably more challenging) about place and our human connection to place. His depiction of St. Louis is incredibly visual and I can picture this kid running around Union Market or listening to his folks talk about the Cards football (yes, football) team. And I can imagine what it would be like to hear your parents crying about a neighbor kid getting soaked in urine by a bunch of white rednecks (this really broke my heart).

I don’t necessarily think this is a grand political statement–he isn’t saying anything groundbreaking here or anything we haven’t heard a hundred times from various pundits, writers, protesters, etc. I put myself in this guy’s shoes–a successful, black writer from St. Louis, MO. Everyone’s asking you to write about Ferguson and what’s happening with race relations around the country. And so you write your story…I can only imagine this might be one of the hardest things for him to write.

Please read it. It’s important writing, it’s real and authentic. It’s important in the context of the racial issues permeating urban centers across the country. But it’s also echoes so many of our own experiences–and isn’t that what makes writing and art so incredibly important? Because it strikes a chord and links us.

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Home Sweet Missouri, St. Louis

I Heart St. Louis: Nostalgia

I grew up in mid-Missouri, exactly halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City on Interstate 70. I am at heart, though, a St. Louis girl. I’m a Cards fan, I prefer Schlafly to Boulevard, Forest Park to Loose Park. Both sides of my family are from St. Louis, my dad’s from the far north ‘burbs (you know, up there by the infamous Ferguson?), my mother from the south. So many of my childhood memories are of St. Louis. I went to college there, became an adult there. It’s so deep in my DNA that I often feel more connected to it than I do to my own hometown.

"New" Busch Stadium

“New” Busch Stadium

There are things that are so quintessentially St. Louis that stick in my memories: the particular smell of the tar used on the roads in my grandparent’s cul-de-sac, the sound of Jack Buck’s voice on KMOX on my grandpa’s radio while he tinkered away on some car or another, the curvy neon signs that lined the roads advertising motels or car dealerships. My mom’s parents lived a few blocks away from the stables where the Clydesdales resided, I loved peeking though the back fence and watching those mammoth animals graze. (Incidentally, my hometown is now where the babies grow up.)

My grandpa's fave, Donut Drive-In.  http://hellostl.com/?p=228

My grandpa’s fave, Donut Drive-In.
http://hellostl.com/?p=228

My grandma worked as an admin for years (I don’t knowhow many, but my entire life until she retired) for Anheuser-Busch. I remember this because A) there was AB shit all over their house (notepads, notebooks, beer cozies, beach towels, jackets, t-shirts, glasses, playing cards, stuffed Spuds McKenzie’s and they crown jewel was this Clydesdale lamp thing that I loved) and B) their refrigerator was always chock-full of beer. Every time we visited they sent us home with some until my dad finally admitted that he didn’t like Busch or Budweiser or Michelob.

Actually, now that I think about it, I can count at least half a dozen family members that worked at AB in some capacity—brewers, janitors, electricians, chemists, IT guys.

I started writing reviews of undiscovered places to get cheap drinks in St. Louis when I was in my twenties.

Me, Red Bones, Allison. Red Bones Den. circa 2006 Code Red Blog Days

Me, Red Bones, Allison. Red Bones Den. circa 2006 Code Red Blog Days

I went into a lot of dive bars. These are not the dive bars that hipster Seattleites talk about, these dive bars were not cultivated by a restaurateur or guitarist-cum-bartender. These were authentic, hole in the wall places that did not cultivate anything except intoxication. Most of them served beer in a can (and you would be glared out of the bar if you asked for a Miller), liquor straight, allowed smoking anywhere on the premises and would sell you a pickled egg for a buck. And I swear I saw that Clydesdale lamp EVERYWHERE.

It was a sad day for St. Louis when InBev bought AB. It was like losing a piece of the city’s heritage. I didn’t live in St. Louis anymore when this occurred but I remember a lot of worry about layoffs, etc. For good reason.

My mom told me a story over the holidays about a cousin who’d worked at AB for forty years as a chemist. One day recently an executive showed up and escorted their entire department out. That was it, after forty years. You show up for work and you’re done.

I just heard that AB/InBev bought the Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle, a long-standing microbrewery that’s been around for nearly 20 years. Twenty years! Twenty years ago no one knew what microbrews were. And now they’re selling to the behemoth that is slowly gutting a St. Louis institution.

Let me be clear. I am not particularly attached to Anheuser Busch. I don’t necessarily feel nostalgic or warm fuzzies when I think about the brewery or the memorabilia. It’s like anything else you grow up with—you just know it’s going to be there, you don’t miss it or even notice it, it’s just a constant.lemp brewery

I never really drank their beer—for many reasons, but mainly because I don’t like it. More recently, I refused because it felt traitorous.

I am not a business analyst; I do not profess to give a shit how much money anyone makes on any particular acquisition. If it hadn’t been InBev, Elysian would have sold to someone else and I probably would have shaken my head and forgotten it.

This is an emotional reaction. It’s like that feeling you get when you catch your parent or teacher doing something shitty—that profound, foundation-rocking disappointment and disillusionment. You knew Mr. Sanders could be an asshole, sometimes he could fly off the handle, but this—it was beyond comprehension. Suddenly you question everything you remember…

That’s a bit dramatic. But you know what I mean? When an institution suddenly crumbles, it shakes things up.

Emotionally, I refuse to drink anything InBev produces because they are assholes. Not that the brewers of Pabst or Miller or Rainier are any better. But this feels personal.

They better not fuck with my Clydesdales.

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Happy Little Writer Sarah, Journey, menagerie, Uncategorized, Words for Food

Culture Shock.  

It’s taken me two weeks to really get readjusted. Yet another thing I’ve never done before, this adjustment back–like grieving where you’ve been, its uniqueness and how impossible it is to both explain and replicate.

I returned from my month-long writing retreat in Ireland to a whole new ballgame. Really, it’s like I was playing golf and now I’m playing cricket.

I left my nonprofit work with a hard stop, spent four quiet weeks hibernating in the hills with the cows and kitties and fairies. And then I returned and within a week had a new gig as a social media/marketing wrangler, a new professional identity as a freelance writer, said the words “I’m working on my novel” out loud, put finishing touches on MFA applications, re-budgeted, reassessed, reconsidered…recovered from a kick ass headcold…

Here’s what I miss about my Ireland adventure:

Peppers--the writing annex, where everyone knew my name and what I was working on.

Peppers–the writing annex, where everyone knew my name and what I was working on.

  •  Druid Cottage
  • Brown bread
  • 2 hour-long walks in the country
  • Peat fires, specifically mine.
  • Silence
  • Simplicity—from food to routine, everything was barebones, accoutrement free
  • Walking into Peppers and feeling like I belong
  • Wind howling around the eves of my cottage making me feel strangely secure and cozy inside.
  • Not ever knowing what day it was or what time it was.

Here’s what I am so glad to come home to:

Here goes...

Here goes…

  • My menagerie
  • My new (fully functioning!) oven and it’s various culinary adventures (which may or may n to include baking brown bread).
  • OAK! The best burgers in Seattle. The best cozy winter bar. Happiness abounds.
  • Public transit (yes, really—it’s nice to not have to drive everywhere)
  • The right side of the road.
  • My new gig with these fun, creative, shit-kicking folks, Team Diva Real Estate. Taking buying, selling and renting to a whole new level. I love their commitment to relationships, neighborhoods, to knowing the quirkiest spots, to snark and pink.
  • IPA’s, especially this one. Guinness is oh, so good, but I’m a Northwesterner at heart.
  • Esquin and the Saturday wine tasting—what you’ve never been to Esquin? Best wine shop in Seattle. Nicest staff. Best back room with phenomenal deals.
  • A new adventure as a freelance writer (stay tuned)

 

 

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Happy Little Writer Sarah, Journey

Bringing it Home

When I work with young people, I talk about integration–it’s not a Sarah tool, it’s a learning tool, but I think it’s often overlooked. But critical. How can you take the experience you’ve just had–good or bad–and integrate what you’ve learned into your life? For example:

I was [bad at math]. Then I [asked for help from my teacher and worked with a tutor]. Because of this I [got a higher grade on my test]. I feel [proud, confident and less tense in math class].

The next step: how do you keep those feelings you have right now?

I am in the last few days of my writing retreat. I woke up with the sun (which is NOT early, trust me), ate bread slathered in butter and jam, took a long walk through the “neighborhood” in the pouring rain, took a quick hot shower (quick because the hot water lasts about 5 minutes), ate an egg and cheese and fruit. Now I’m curled on my cushiony daybed with hot tea next to the fire. I feel peaceful and inspired, ready to crank out the last few pages to complete one project.

I was worn out and worried all the time. I worried about my finances, my students, my career, my weight, my family. I worried that I didn’t have enough time to write and time was slipping away from me. I decided I couldn’t do that anymore, so I let it go.

Mr. B and I have long talks about how to live more simply so we can slowly start to spend more time doing what soothes and inspires. We want to spend less time chasing the bus to commute to jobs to take care of the customer or push for the outcome to show that we are competent and worthy of our paycheck. That is incredibly hard to change, it’s the way we’ve been taught to operate. It’s the way our culture works–we spend so much time chasing someone else’s permission or approval to validate our own happiness. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I’m cutting out the middle man.

The trick, of course, is that in making that decision, I am faced with figuring out just what it takes to make me happy. And, it seems to me, this is not a one time project, but constant reassessment and adjustment.

This trip was my exercise in just that. In some ways, it been as much about establishing what is essential and what I can let go as it is about the writing. Because letting go of something will make room for better writing.

Here’s what I think I need more of in my life:

  1. Silence. It’s okay if there’s no one talking or music playing.
  2. Bread. I’ve eaten nothing but bread and butter for the last 25 days. I do not feel bad, I feel healthier than I’ve ever felt. Screw this low carb bullshit.
  3. Butter. See above.
  4. Liquor. I’m not a liquor drinker, but there is liquor on/in/around every dish I’ve eaten outside my cottage, I swear. It’s time to bring that back, ’cause it’s totally worth it.
  5. Walks. Long ones.
  6. Listening. All the writing I planned to do went back burner because in listening to people talk, the stories came. We don’t listen, really listen, enough.
  7. Laughing. I miss my chats and laughs with my great old friends, my wild wine Wednesdays and League nights. You shouldn’t ever be too tired to have a bit of that.
  8. Brian. That probably goes without saying, but I feel like my other arm is missing. You know you’ve got it bad when you talk to him and he’s not even there (see #1).

Here’s what I could let go:

  1. Coffee. I know, it’s PNW sacrilege. My insides don’t feel like they are boiling when I’m not drinking six cups a day.
  2. Wine. Not totally, but maybe less. See above…less on the boiling insides and more on the fuzzy head.
  3. Make up. Totally overrated. Stop putting on mascara to go to the grocery store.
  4. Running. When running starts to feel obligatory (read; I should go for a run–the should meaning, I’ll get fat if I don’t or I have to because I’m training or because I might want to train for something soon) it’s not fun anymore.
  5. Leaving the house everyday. I’m pretty sure there is enough food in my house at any given time that I don’t ever NEED to go to the store. Just stay home.
  6. Planning–Mr. B is saying his hallelujahs right now. I’ll never be able to totally give it up, but my anxiety levels would drop considerably if I just decided each day what I wanted instead of days or weeks out.
  7. Meat–I’ve probably had meat twice a week since I’ve been here. I don’t have a big fridge, so nowhere to store it or leftovers, so I only eat it out. I haven’t missed it.

Some of this is tongue in cheek, but really, I think the moral of the story is that all the things I do because I feel like I should are just cluttering out the things I do because they make me so very happy. Less is  more they say…

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