I Knew This Day Would Come

IMG_0640For the first couple of weeks on keto, I felt like a pile of dirty clothes, left on the floor to fester and rot. Well, maybe that’s a little exaggeration. I just remember the transition from being a carb-burner to a fat-burner was not without its struggles.

For the next couple of months, I started feeling better and better, and I knew I was feeling on top of the world (cue Karen Carpenter’s voice here). I also knew that no one ever stays feeling that way forever. Gradually, though, I have become a little less ecstatic and a little more realistic.

I’ve been cheating on myself a little bit lately with food. Still no carbs, but a little bit extra here and there. I managed to keep this fact from myself as I simply didn’t write down all the transgressions on my food tracking app. For all intents and purposes, if you looked at my food diary, I was rocking this diet!

Hi my name is Siouxsie and I’m an alcoholic. That’s what they say at AA meetings, even if your drug of choice is something else. I’m far, far from an alcoholic, laughably so, but I still possess addictive thinking and behaviors. And what I’m addicted to is anything (legal) that I think will make me feel better. My drug of choice used to be carbs. How often I turned to junk food and sugar when I sensed dissatisfaction within. And, just like any addict (I think), when you get rid of the main source of feeling “good,” a bunch of feelings you have been avoiding rush in and vie for attention. Surely these feelings contribute to relapses.

And for an addict, occasionally there will be some other substance which will quell that dissatisfaction and those uncomfortable feelings. Which brings me to today.

I turn to social media now hoping it will make me feel better. More connected, heard, witnessed. I turn to meaningless television shows I can binge on Hulu and Netflix and Amazon prime. I turn to the carb equivalent of literature — easy to take in, non-nutritious, digested quickly and I am left wanting more.

So what if there is a “keto equivalent” for information? What if there is a portion that is similar to these good fats I am eating every day? Well, if you have read anything I have written you may know I love a good analogy. Therefore, for me there is definitely a keto equivalent.

The good “fats” are writing, creating, reading non-fiction, drawing, reading classical or deeper literature, listening to podcasts with some depth and meaning. 75% of the time I am using my brain these are the activities I want to be doing. The protein is connecting with people in real life.  (In some cases, that may mean FaceTime if the person lives in California.) 20% of the time I am using my brain, I will be nourished by connecting with people in real life. The “carbs” could be empty or near-empty like scrolling through Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, or slightly more nutritious like (TBD – to be determined – any ideas?) and I would allot 3% of my brain space to these activities.

I drew the onion illustration for my post. Normally, I just google an image, which is fine, but I like drawing, even though I’m a primitive beginner. Actual food was the outer layer of my onion. I see that information processing is the next layer. The parable of the two wolves has caught my attention today. I want to feed my good wolf so I’m taking in more goodness, kindness, compassion, truth, beauty.

I still have to work out what going “keto” on information looks like. I know a few things it doesn’t look like. I have a hunch that shifting my information “macros” will lead to a more satisfying, meaningful experience. What about you? How do you find a good balance in how you take in information and create things? What tips do you have for managing the information that is available and coming at us full speed ahead 24/7/365? What are your good “fats” relating to information?


Because I Want to Remember This Day

Grumpy Moody Boy.

Yesterday, I picked Kepler up from school as I do each day. He walks down the hall into the lobby where I wait and he hides under his hood, tricking me into thinking that I’m not going to be able to find him. We play our little game where I finally find him and we start to walk to the car.

Some days he’s relaxed and happy, and some days he comes out of school with some unresolved feelings. Maybe he’s tired, or had words with a friend, or is hungry. When he comes out this way, no matter what I say, it’s the wrong thing. Usually, that’s no big deal. Yesterday, I was at the end of a relatively stressful week, and I wanted not to engage in a conversation which was going nowhere fast. So, I stayed quiet.

When we got home, instead of coming around to his side of the car and opening his door, I went on into the house and let him come in in his own time. He was quite offended that I had gone in and closed the door, even though it’s unlocked, easy to open, and I’m right inside.

It had been about 10 minutes since I had picked him up and he was still expressing his displeasure with everything. So I asked him if I could give him a hug. He folded himself into me and just rested. He said, “Thanks, Mom.” He asked me to sing the Ho’o Pono Pono song that I sing to him every night at bedtime.

Ho’o Pono Pono, Ho’o Pono Pono

I’m so sorry; I love you.

Please forgive me; I thank you.

This song can be repeated over and over and is lovely to sing in a group. I felt him relax. He had a way to deal with the feelings. He felt heard. He felt loved.


I could see visible changes in his body as he processed his feelings. And when we finished the song, he said, “lovely Mom.”

There was a time in my life when I would have doubled down on insisting that he not be grumpy, which would of course have just exacerbated the problem. And all I can say is I am grateful that in this case, I recognized that he needed kindness and gentleness.

Here is a recording I made on Noteflight, as well as the music with lyrics below. Try singing it a few times. Let it heal you.. (First time I’ve ever used Noteflight, so it’s a bit rough, but it does get the melody and harmonies across.)

Screen Shot 2018-02-24 at 2.33.41 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-24 at 2.33.53 PM



I had the quote in mind, but didn’t know who had said it. Anaïs Nin said this:


“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”

The Soundtrack of my Youth

Keith Green was a Christian musician who enjoyed a brief, intense life before perishing with two of his young children (ages 3 and 2) in a plane crash at the age of 28. I remember exactly where and when I found out he had died. I was at Honey Rock Camp and had just finished my 18-day wilderness trip. On the bulletin board was a short article about Keith and his death. I did not know at that time that also on the plane were a married couple with their six children. All were killed.

Keith’s music reflected his intensity. I loved his music. His music became the soundtrack of my life from 1977-1982. Today, even though I no longer believe in God and am no longer a Christian, I still love “Until Your Love Broke Through.”

The chorus:

Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love broke through

I loved that song when he sang it, and later when Phil Keaggy covered it. But “we don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” I think Keith couldn’t not sing. He had been making music since he was a tiny boy, and Jesus made a lot of sense to him. Indeed, he felt like everything made sense now because Jesus’ love had broken through his blindness.

Life is Difficult

Being in a post-Christian state, I find interesting the stories of others who have left the faith they grew up in. Plenty of people seem to leave because they were hurt by Christians and/or disappointed by God. The teachings I received as a child and young person indicated that being disappointed by God was antithetical to actually trusting him. That if you really trusted, you would believe that “all things work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” The sense of letting God down can be strong in someone who struggles with their life.

As these concepts are inculcated into small children, they are quite often toxic. Children have strong abilities to perceive, without the matching strength of ability to interpret. A child may detect tension between her parents, but will very often interpret the tension to be something that is due to the child’s failure in some way. Sadly, I saw the world and the things I heard at church as evidence for my defective nature. And every time I heard anything related to the idea that we are capable of no good things on our own, that reinforced my belief.

I place no blame on the adults in my life who taught me that I should be a good girl or I would go to hell. I truly believe they believed what they were saying. That man who stood on the platform, striding back and forth in the little Baptist church, bellowing about hellfire and damnation — I figure he really did believe that. And I suppose there was less understanding 50 years ago about how children thrive and how they suffer. So, hindsight is 20-20 as we know, but that’s also why I do not point fingers at them in a judging kind of way.

Every day with Jesus

When I got my “fire insurance” at that little Baptist church, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn’t going to have to go to hell because I had finally put together the right combination of words and “asked jesus into my heart.” But nobody’s love broke through to me. I “came to Jesus” completely out of terror. Madeline L’Engle said, “Begin as you mean to continue.” In my childish way, I meant to continue to be good, to do whatever it took to keep myself out of that lake of fire, where I would be burning eternally with no relief.

As a child, I couldn’t distinguish between concrete and abstract. To me, it was a literal lake of fire — I can still remember the mental picture I had of it — people writhing, burning, agonizing, and shit out of luck because they had their chance on earth and they had missed it.

Soon after I got fire insured, I was introduced to the lovely “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” To wit:

Life was filled with guns and war
And all of us got trampled on the floor
I wish wed all been ready
The children died, the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we’d all been ready
There’s no time to change your mind
The son has come and you’ve been left behind

For an anxious child, this terrified me further.

The father spoke, the demons dined
How could you have been so blind?
There’s no time to change your mind
The son has come and you’ve been left behind

Well, I thought, I’ll just have to make sure I’m ready because I sure as HELL do not want to get left behind. I memorized bible verses, learned the books of the Bible for a crisp $1 bill, sang the “hymns and songs and spiritual songs,” and generally had a lot of fun with our friends from church. Then we moved on to a different church where exciting things were happening but where we didn’t have nearly as much fun with our friends.

Anaïs Nin was onto something

Fast forward a lot of years and experiences later, and I saw more and more how the truth of “we see the world as we are, not as it is” meant we do christianity in the subjective world of our own experiences, assigned meanings, wounds, and temperaments. Just like we do everything else, we assign meaning to the story of our lives.

I had long ago internalized the belief that I was defective, unable to do good, unworthy of anything, unrighteous, unclean, un, un, un. Not enough. Never ever enough. The years of pain from feelings like I wasn’t a good enough daughter, sister, cousin, friend, student, wife, mother, and of course, Christian. When I first was introduced to the idea that I might actually be ok just the way I am, I rejected the idea. But there came a day when I heard the right person at the right time talk about it in a way that made sense to me. It was possible, it is possible, to see myself as something other than a broken thing that doesn’t deserve to take up space.

And that’s when I started to understand forgiveness. When I forgave myself. I started to understand love, when I began to love myself. I became compassionate when I gave compassion to myself. Grace made sense when I was able to extend it to myself.

All the years of praying. All the years of bargaining. All the years of trying, trying, trying to believe that God loved me were fruitless, as in, literally devoid of fruit.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

And speaking of prayer, I heard many sermons, read books, had discussions, read articles, journaled, and listened to teaching about what prayer was, what it was for. I believed the lyrics, “Sometimes He calms the storm; sometimes He calms the child.” That meant to me that sometimes God would answer the prayer about stopping the unpleasant thing with a yes and it would stop, and sometimes he would answer the prayer with a no, but would be kind enough to comfort me in the midst of it. But, the only way we feel calm is if we believe that we can.

I’m sure (if anyone is still reading at this point) plenty of people have experiences that seem to be supernatural. That they have experiences where they can’t explain why they were able to be ok in the midst of a loved one dying, or losing a beloved pet, or facing devastating news. Everybody is I, and we all have our own experience. To me, it makes the utmost sense that my experience of religion was simply one more facet of my experience of life.

So, yeah, I too woke up from the longest dream. I was lost in this belief system that started in my first minutes of life. And what broke through to me was true love. Or should I say, what broke through in me was true love.

Until Love Broke Through

I’m a much more loving person now because I love myself. My shackles are gone. As I often say, I think the “fruit of the spirit” is da bomb. I say yes to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. And there is no law against any of those things. But I don’t have to worry about The Law anymore. Because I don’t have to do things in light of eternity. I get to live now. I get to love now.

It’s a big world out there and a really, really big universe. Religion makes sense as a way we try to explain the fundamental questions we have about how we got here, where we’re going, and what to do along the way. But what if, just what if, there are other options? What if we can love others? What if we do deserve to forgive ourselves? What if we love be present to others with nothing other than being human?

Can you imagine a world where there’s no promise of heaven, nor threat of hell? Can you imagine what might happen if people could love each other because we are all one unified whole? Can you imagine?




“10% off your Record Purchase at Swallen’s”

One of the staple Cincinnati department stores, Swallen’s opened in 1948 and finally closed for good in 1995. Each store had multiple departments and one of their most popular merchandise lines was stereo components and speakers. As such, their record department was extensive and well-stocked.

Today I’ve been listening to the record collection of a friend of mine. She is selling her albums, like so many these days, who may even have a turntable and speakers, but just don’t get around to doing what it takes to hear the vinyl playing.

And then I came across this album.

As I listened to this gorgeous music, images came into my mind of my friend shopping for this album.

She has a rare moment alone to duck into Swallen’s to pick up light bulbs or spray starch or new measuring cups since hers melted on the stove last weekend when she was momentarily distracted.

She usually just grabs what she needs in the store and leaves, but today the record department is playing music she loves and she steps into her own magical mystery tour just waiting to take her away.

She flips through albums, pausing at Hendrix, Dylan, the Stones — the soundtrack of this generation who dreams of freedom and equality. But these artists aren’t what her soul is longing for today.

She looks around with a small sigh and spies the end cap where Glenn Gould’s Well-Tempered Clavier albums are waiting. She remembers author Madeleine L’Engle and her love for Bach, remembers that L’Engle loved all types of classical music but was particularly fond of Johann Sebastian and the intricacies of his preludes and fugues, very like musical weavings.

She notices the “10% off” sticker, which appeals to her love of a good bargain. She hesitates just for a moment, then makes a decision and places the album in her shopping cart.

That evening, when the children are quiet in their beds and the sounds of the day have faded, she slits open the plastic covering and places the vinyl disc on her Philco record player.

She closes her eyes as the first notes ring into the room. The notes become more complex and the motifs repeat and overlap, weaving the sounds together in harmony. She knows this purchase was right.

As the music fills the room, she reflects that even in this world that has way too much pain and betrayal and Vietnam and patriarchy and inequality, there is also beauty. Here. Bach wrote music that is lasting and enduring and beautiful.

She switches off the lamp and lets this music take her away to her nirvana.

Going Keto in a non-Keto World


Last night, Greg and Kepler and I saw the Cincinnati Cyclones take on the Ft. Wayne Komets. What a whirlwind of sights and sounds! Watching a hockey game in person is a way cooler experience than watching it on the television. Also louder.

Get Your High-Cal Snacks Here!

Also. Snacks at the arena are not keto-friendly, or even keto-tolerable. I walked by counters where they were serving Graeter’s ice cream (simply the best), giant soft pretzels (umm, not low carb), popcorn or super large refillable popcorn (approximately 40 carbs in a small, which is twice my daily limit), brats and metts served on buns with copious amounts of ketchup available, and much more. Six kinds of soda in industrial size cups. Beer and mixed drinks for sale over here. I’ve had all those snacks and more many times at concerts, sporting events, conferences, and movie theaters.

Water?! Of all the Nerve!

What *really* got me is they cannot/do not sell water. They looked alarmed when I asked if I could get water. After a little shocked pow-wow, they were able to give me a 12-oz cup of ice with no lid and I could fill it up at the drinking fountain. Not such a terrible thing, but the water was for Kepler, and he strongly prefers a lid and a straw. I mean, he adjusted, as did I, but the truth is, I wanted to be able to take care of my self regarding food and water, but I had to leave my water bottle in the car because you can’t take such items into the arena.

The overall impact of this “deprivation” is that I felt my energy flagging and I knew that the things that would help were in the car and in my kitchen. The pleasures of going to games as a kid with my dad and having chips and hotdogs and pepsi and doughnuts are still right there in my memories. I’m grateful for the memories and the experiences and also for the opportunity last night to evaluate the choices and be able to choose not to eat just a little popcorn or ice cream, just this once.

The Road Less Traveled

I have chosen to indulge more times than I can count on all my fingers and toes and yours as well. Last night, I chose to continue on the path that has brought some incredible benefits to me. Robert Frost said it well, “Two roads diverged in [an arena] and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

I’m 9 1/2 weeks into my keto life and I love it. People ask me if I’m going to do this forever. So far in my life, no healthier eating plan has lasted forever, but right now, the benefits of this way of eating are extremely desirable and so I’m just taking it one day at a time. Next time I go to a hockey game though, I’m going to sneak in a soft-side water bottle under my shirt. Maybe something like this:


I’ll look at little fatter, but I’ll fit in ok. The metal detector won’t detect my secret stash and maybe I’ll make it all the way through the game!

Your Turn

I really like to respect the rules establishments have, and I also like to be as healthy as possible, so you do the math. I have found that movie theaters don’t have any problem with me bringing my water bottle in, so I’m a little more comfortable taking it past the sign on the door that says “no food and drink.”

Do you have any tips or tricks for taking healthy snacks into places that do not sell them or allow them?


Grieving the Desperation of Addiction

Grief has always seemed inaccessible to me. I haven’t wanted to feel the feelings of loss, desperation, helplessness, anger and shame. I’m not sure I’ve had much to grieve in my life. I’m pretty blessed. But, drug addiction in someone I love? That’s something worth grieving.

I think the chart sums up pretty well how I’ve gone about grieving. Depression, then the anger peeks out, then I decide the anger isn’t appropriate and I sink back into depression, then that pesky anger arises, and I tamp it down and find equilibrium in depression. The addiction issues arose even before my loved one actually started using drugs. And the denial was strong with me.

I grew up believing there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. I had dreams of going to the Olympics for track and field. I thought I was going to be a psychologist who would pretty much cure my patients with a wise look. I believed my life would and should be smooth. I had an illusion of being in control of everything. HA.

When I had to face the fact of NOT being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, that. rocked. my. world. Talk about building your house on a foundation of sand. I had looked that sand over, proclaimed it solid as anything you’d ever want, and proudly built my entire edifice stone by stone, belief by belief, on that shifting, undependable base.

Apparently I didn’t get the memo that other people were not going to follow my prescribed plan for them. And by other people, I of course mean our children. Nope. They have their own dreams, their own plans, their own illusions of control. Who knew? Not I. And when my house started to crumble, I ran around shoring up this corner, applying useless repairs to that loadbearing wall, and imagining that my fixes were helping something.

But as time went on, I didn’t have enough hands to fix all the leaks and shore up all the crumbling parts. When the concept of illegal drug usage by my child came into my awareness, I simply could not comprehend what I was hearing. Surely it was a passing phase. Surely this child would be like me as a child and reject these illegal substances and activities. Surely this child would find his way in just a matter of minutes to a more wholesome, life-affirming way.

Instead, he found his way to addiction, arrest, jail, court, rehab, and lied about it all.

Along the way, I learned that me continually trying to fix this edifice I had erected was actually called “enabling.” Enabling is when you engage in behaviors that you think are going to help resolve a problem, and instead they exacerbate the problem. I think mothers are particularly susceptible to this. After all, we had this grown up addict in our wombs. We nursed them as babies. We held them and sang to them and walked slowly, seeing the world through their eyes.

Since his rehab days, two mothers I met there are grieving the permanent loss of their sons. Heroin is a horrible, horrible drug. Probably the rest of them are, too, but that heroin is the spectre of death disguised as a good time. I’ve been thrilled with every positive step our son has made toward recovery, toward sobriety, toward wholeness.

This is a child who loves his mama. He hates to see me sad. He grieves when he feels he has disappointed me. But no matter, NO MATTER, what I have ever said or done, it has not been enough to puncture the impenetrable wall of his grief and pain. Drugs have been enough, at least for short periods, but they of course have their problems as well.

To my utter bemusement, I have continued to speak affirmation, love, acceptance, and life, and he has continued to reject them for the short-term solace of an artificial high. Perhaps if I had ever been addicted, I would understand. I think I have a tiny window into the concept in how I have dealt with food at times. Someone thinks eating this food will eventually kill me? I don’t care! I want it now! Addiction is a liar and a thief and will not hesitate to take everything from you and those you love. Addiction also makes you a liar and a thief which then just perpetuates the problems. You get deeper and deeper into owing others for their attempts at mercy and grace. And while you’re getting deeper, you make choices that get you in even deeper.

We were under the impression that drug use was in the past. Denial is so easy to embrace. You want so badly to believe that the things you are seeing mean something other than that drugs are back in the picture. With our rosy glasses on, we chose to provide something to him, but this time, we said, would be the last. We wrote up a contract for repayment and behavioral expectations and consequences that would be real if he did not follow through on what he signed on for.

About a month after we all signed the agreement, at the end of December, I was presented with incontrovertible evidence that the agreement had been broken, that the lying was going on regularly, and that nothing we had said or done was enough to beat the lure of the drugs.

To his credit, he fulfilled his end of the agreement by moving out immediately. And this time, I knew that he had burned some serious bridges. I still love him and I always will. I no longer see it as my job to convince him that life without drugs is better than life with drugs. Nor am I trying to convince him of how valuable he is, how brilliant, how talented, how gifted, how beautiful, and how loved.

I’ve given up the last vestiges of imagining I have any control in the situation. So after years of the depression/anger/depression cycle, I have found some sort of acceptance. IT’S SO HARD THOUGH. I know that some addicts find their way out, and some do not. I long for him to find his way out of addiction permanently, to find a way of life that is fulfilling and brings his brilliance and his gifts to the world. And I’m at a place where I realize that HE is going to have to drive the vehicle of his own autonomy and agency on his own path.

The resources are there. He’s smart and has the capacity to be resourceful and creative. But those first steps of humbling himself, acknowledging the stumbling, coming to the end of his illusion of control, finding and celebrating the things he actually can control and then controlling them, taking responsibility, beginning to make amends for the damage he has caused to himself and others; the resources are there. He has what it takes, but he will have to be the one to discover that for himself.

The portrayal of the stages of grief here are misleading in their symmetry and equal length, but accurate in the content of each of the phases. I’m at the junction of dialogue/bargaining and acceptance and I’m experiencing empowerment, security, self-esteem and meaning more and more. I wish the same for my beautiful boy. ♥

Art Appreciation with Kepler

No school or work yesterday for us. I recently saw the Swoon exhibit with my friend and I was eager to share it with Greg and Kepler. Seizing the day, we ventured downtown to the Contemporary Arts Center.


(Just as an aside, first of all, the sky did not look like this since it was snowing! Secondly, as I have only approached the museum from the north, on the ground, I didn’t even know how cool the exterior is until I searched for images!)

We’ve been places with Kepler. He likes to rush on to the next thing. In an art museum, that can make it a little challenging to just … let … art … flow over you. (H/T to the character of Nick from the Big Chill for that phrase.) After a little flitting about, I noticed he settled down and started responding to the emotion of the pieces.

I loved seeing his response to the different displays. He had Greg’s iphone to carry around and snap photos. I had him take a picture of me in front of this Swoon piece because he looked at it and said, “Mom.” He sensed the maternal aspect of the woman and associated it with me.


His favorite piece of all was on the top floor in the Unmuseum. It looks like an old Airstream trailer, but is actually fabricated out of signs from Route 66. And it ROCKS! Like, literally. You can stand inside and rock it back and forth. He decided that he would like to have it in his room. So, we are thinking about how we can create something kind of similar for him.

And I’m just going to mention my ketogenic diet here again because prior to starting to eat this way, I would NOT have dreamed of going downtown to the CAC. I would have been laying around waiting for my next feed, like Fiona and her ilk. I have so much energy now. I love feeling good. It’s so precious after feeling so bad for so long. And we made some sweet, sweet memories.

The Swoon exhibit is marvelous, as is “A Shout Within a Storm” by Glenn Kaino. And if you haven’t been to the Unmuseum, (trust me), you want to go.

As Kepler’s (and my!) favorite book, Only One You, says, “Appreciate art. It is all around you.” Good advice indeed.

On Being a Lab Rat: Fat Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Fat

"Remember, it's the journey not the destination."

YOU GUYS. I have just completed a 9-week stint as a research subject in a research project being conducted by The University of Cincinnati, on the topic of Early Intervention in Cognitive Aging. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether changes in diet may improve memory ability. I qualified because I am between the ages of 50 and 65, I had a BMI of at least 30, and I was aware of a mild decline in memory ability. These things were confirmed through an initial phone screening.


The long and the short of it is that a ketogenic diet, at least for this research subject, *did* have a positive impact on my memory ability (based on pre- and post-test scores). As a bonus, my scores on the depression inventory improved quite a bit. And as a bonus to the bonus, I lost 21 pounds of unwanted body weight. And the best bonus of all is that I am eating in a way that is healthy for me, with tasty and nutritious food. Oops. One more bonus. I am burning fat for energy now rather than carbohydrates.

Throughout the holiday season, I had a few temptations, especially my own pumpkin cake roll on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I missed having my annual Esther Price candy for Christmas this year. But those losses or deprivations are momentary compared to the energy I have all day long, the positive outlook that has replaced the Downward Dog of Depression, and the excitement of finding and creating new recipes that keep me on track.

Truth is, it’s hard for me to trust myself when I feel good. Feeling crappy is a much more familiar feeling, and much less risky. Nowhere to go but up when I’m down, so there’s always something better out there. When I feel good, I wonder if it’s all going to come crashing down while I’m caught unawares. The journey of this eating decision may require some adjustments along the way. I would never (haha) say that I’ll never eat another donut or lime chip, but I’m very content right now eating my high fat, adequate protein, extra low carb (<20/day) diet and as the number of days I’ve been doing this grows, I gain more confidence and enjoyment of the process.

Research subjects are still being recruited. Even if you don’t qualify, ketogenic eating is available to everyone. What seems to be the biggest stumbling block for people is the transition time between being a carb-burner and becoming a fat-burner. I felt pretty tired and didn’t have much energy until the switch happened. But if you can persevere through those days, the other side is pretty rosy.

Having grown up in the time of “low-fat” everything and being told over and over again how bad saturated fat is for us, sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind myself that those dietary recommendations came with some strings and haven’t actually produced the results they were supposed to produce.

I feel gratitude for the many organic and grass-fed options that are available these days both in the stores and online. It’s been two months. How long will I do this? What challenges and opportunities will arise as I continue? What might I be able to do in terms of sharing my knowledge, experience, and yummy food with others, either as gifts or as some sort of business? I don’t know the answers, but I’m very willing to live with the questions.

Does a ketogenic diet appeal to you? Do you have hesitations or reservations about it? What questions do you have? While I wait for your answer, I’m going to go make myself some Simple Truth Uncured Hardwood Thick-Slice Smoked Bacon and a couple of Grass-Fed-Hen Eggs. Yum!

How to Solve the Problem of “Shoulding” on Yourself

I recently made a list of every one of my roles, and then wrote down all the shoulds related to each role.  So far, I have discovered 40 different roles. Roles are anything that you could conceivably have embroidered on a hat! We all wear a whole bunch of different hats.

As for the shoulds, I was aghast but curious to observe the pages and pages of shoulds that hang around nonchalantly, shooting darts at me all day every day. As I stared at the pages, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Should is a very heavy word.

Not only that, but each should holds several more  inside, like the maryoshka dolls pictured above.

“I should clean out my car” contains “I SHOULD always have a clean car.” Inside that one: “I SHOULD have a clean car inside AND out.”  Inside: “I SHOULD WANT to have a cleaner car.” Inside that one: “I SHOULD get regular oil changes and other periodic service.” Inside that one: “I SHOULD teach Kepler to take all of his trash out of the car every day.” Each one piles on top of the other.

The tiniest maryoshka doll of should is probably the same for every should and has to do with being afraid to make mistakes, or a need to be perfect, or some other aspect of not being enough.

A common example of a should is “I should exericise (more/daily/at all).” And some of us are able to should ourselves to the gym and get it done. But only for awhile. Tony Robbins has a concept he calls “push motivation vs pull motivation.” As he says,

“There are 2 different kinds of motivation: Push requires willpower, and willpower never lasts. What will last is pull – having something so exciting, so attractive, something you desire so much that you have a hard time going to sleep at night, you get up so early in the morning and take it to the next level. That’s what you’re looking to get.”

Does should make me clean out my car? Or want to do it? Well, no, actually. The shoulds simply sit there, judging me. I feel terrible.

With a vague memory of the push-pull concept, I looked at my list and thought there must be some desire under these shoulds. There must be something that I actually want, something that connecting with would transform the should into a want.


What I actually like is what it feels like when my car is clean, inside and/or outside, free of trash, organized, fueled up, and taken care of.

I transform the should into a want like this:  I love how it feels to be in my car when it’s clean and organized. I love how it feels to take “exquisite care” of our things. I love feeling content as I drive.

And just like that, I’m motivated to take better care of my car. Just like that. Should is a heavy word. The joy of fulfilling a want is sweet and light and anything but heavy.




What’s Working, What’s Growing

clip-art-climbing-671220It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

I was having some trouble thinking of how to start this post. Well, now it’s started — with some very fine prose. This is actually one of my favorite opening lines to a novel. I’ve been experiencing the season of Light and the season of Darkness, as we all do. But there are some things that are WORKING!

When Sunshine Girl left for college in August, her bedroom asked us what was going to happen in there now that she had taken her art supplies, Snapchat conversations, books, extensive collection of coffee mugs (still growing!) and HIMYM marathons off to college. We turned it into an office for me. An office with a door, wall space, windows, and a closet. With the space to organize my things and write, having an office is WORKING!

Last post I mentioned Kepler is in 5th grade now. We had some excellent help in the spring as we worked on his IEP for this year. He is getting one-on-one instruction in reading and math and the effects are showing up in his reading at home. He loves his teachers and aides and I see him developing more and more independence. 5th grade is WORKING!

After years and years of being on the road for work, Greg took a job with a local organization he has wanted to work with for about 12 years. An opening arose earlier in 2017 and he started this new job on September 5th. He leaves in the morning and comes back in the evening. No more leaving on Sunday and coming back on Friday or Saturday. Can we all say, “Whew!” It’s been a lot of years trying to manage the challenges that go along with one parent being out of town the majority of the time. Greg living at home every day is WORKING!

Every so often I fall right into a juicy pot of wisdom and helpful practices and teaching. Many times I swim around a bit and get very excited about what I’m learning and then I go to sleep and the next morning I’ve seemingly forgotten everything I just learned and experienced yesterday. The past month has been a time where some of the things I’ve experienced and learned have come back into my consciousness and awareness and I’m remembering. I’m remembering. I think I’m starting to find a sweet spot where several of these rich experiences are converging. Remembering is WORKING!

cartoon3Perfection reminds me of a mirage. I think I can see it off in the distance, and I imagine I’m coming closer and closer, only to have it fade away, time and time again. While I’m not looking for perfection anymore (at least not as much), I have a pretty old habit of thinking I should be able to attain it. I’ve devised some duplicitous ways of running after it without actually saying the word.

One step forward and two steps back is a real thing. Or two steps forward and one step back. Recently, though, I had a major realization that may only be two steps forward, but they are giant steps. A wise friend pointed out to me that my tendency toward literal thinking is NOT a defect. It is the way my brain works. Similar to the brains of persons on the autism spectrum who think very literally, turns out some brains of people not on the spectrum can have the same characteristic. I had become quite distressed over the past few years about thinking so literally. It got me into trouble in many situations as I naturally took things very literally.

“I’ll be there a little after 11” means exactly that and it doesn’t occur to me that someone might hit all the green lights and arrive ten minutes early.

“I’ll pick up the drycleaning” means you will. pick it up. today. I don’t anticipate that you might have to drive some route that doesn’t go by the drycleaner today and you’ll get it tomorrow.

“You should not eat ice cream, sugary desserts, and junk food” means I should never eat those things.

Does that make sense to you? It wasn’t until my wise friend asked me to consider thinking about literal thinking differently that I could finally accept the way I naturally think. Am I hard-wired this way? I don’t know. Almost doesn’t matter. The key is that I no longer see it as a defect that I must somehow stamp out at my earliest opportunity.

What it DOES mean is that I can now recognize when it happens and I can be curious about how other people (who are not thinking literally) might interpret what is being said and how they might act on their interpretation. When you think very literally, it can be challenging to have a conversation with someone who is good at big picture ideas and making decisions on the fly. (I just might be married to someone like that.)

I’m like Amelia Bedelia. When Mrs. Rogers would ask her to do something, she always took it literally and ended up making comical mis-steps as she tried to do exactly what her employer had asked.

Well, it’s not so funny when you try to do exactly what someone has asked and it turns out not to be what they meant!

The realization that I don’t have to take things literally leads me to exciting new discoveries and freedom to experiment. While this is still an area I am growing in, understanding that my literal thinking is an ok part of my brain is WORKING!

I like to think I will be posting more often than every 3 months, and if I do, we might get some momentum going here on my blog reaching more people who might learn something from my journey. Thanks for reading!