Behind every lofty goal is a bowl of beef stew


It's nothing I'm proud to admit, but the glorious accomplishments of the past fortnight, and if the emails coming in ain't lying, they were pretty danged glorious, were launched with takeout pizza, candy and fumes.

By which I mean in order to get from the past two Sunday nights to the past two Monday nights, I literally ordered multiple large pizzas, chased them with bagsful of Jelly Belly candies, and did more on less sleep than I have since before my Crohn's onset back in 2002.

By which I mean I pushed what luck I was graced with to the limit each Sunday and Monday, and required a good hunk of Tuesday, okay, all of Tuesday and part of Wednesday, to recover. 47-year-old bodies, especially beat-up, immuno-compromised ones, don't roll with it the way 27- or even 37-year-old ones do. And my friends in their 50s are warning me of adrenal burnout and other joys that lay just ahead. Frankly, my insurance just isn't good enough to cover the kinds of problems I'm likely to start having if I don't straighten up and fly right.

I know this, of course. Troll the archives and you'll find me rebooting as often as my gal, Oprah. I can't even be too hard on myself. It's easy to get off track, times are hard, which spurs a lot of us on to work harder, but also, I have BIG things I want to do, and the sense of urgency that comes from...well, from being on the downward side of 47. My legacy is my intellectual capital, and I'm in heavy funding mode right now. But all that has to be fueled by something, and Thin-'n'-Crispy Veggie Lovers' ain't it.

Careful readers will note that I've already implemented a few practices to start turning things around. They range from daily guitar practice (good for the brain and the soul) to Hulu Hoopingâ„¢ (good for the core and, thanks to the addition of seasons 3 and 4 of Dragnet, the soul), but they all have one thing in common: they are incremental. Tiny, ten-minute (at least, to start) changes to build a new, more responsible, healthier kind of life from.

I have some ideas on rejiggering my workload that I think will help, too. It's time for me to finally embrace batching and self-imposed cones of silence and a few other hacks. I may even put myself back on the Covey calendar leash: I loathed having my days mapped out to the minute, scheduling in laundry and reading and playtime, but I have to admit, it produced results and helped keep me sane.

And Sunday morning, on my way back home (to work) from The BF's, I bought all the necessary stuff for SCD-compliant beef stew, along with various and sundry other healthful but boring snacks. The psychological hurdle of walking away from my Very Important Work for the eleventy-seven hours required to actually prepare the beef stew was perilous high, but I scaled it with more Dragnet* and the knowledge that I'd have to report back to you this morning.

Of course, the stew did not take eleventy-seven hours to prepare, and barely that to cook, which it did all by itself. Now I have a big pot of goodness to get my week off to a good start instead of a few large cardboard boxes of badness. I am still a tired, disheveled mess with a long way to go, but I have hearty and delicious beef stew to escort my weak ass through the next incremental steps of my Very Important Work, and that is something more than I had before.

This is how I get back on the horse. This is how a lofty goal becomes a reality. Not by making sweeping, glamorous plans on December 31st, but by chopping some carrots and onions in the middle of a dreary February Sunday.

A bit of a change; a bit of beef stew.

And before the blog post, the dishes. Well, okay, maybe after.

Or...maybe Tuesday...


Image by lc347 via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

*Jack Webb: responsible for my being here today; responsible for getting me through to a brighter tomorrow. I really need to write a post on Uncle Jack sometime. I do.