I Didn’t Know Complexify Is a Word

I can’t believe it’s been more than four months since my last post. And yet I shouldn’t be surprised, because long stretches between posts have been a pattern for me. It seems like when I “come here” in the mood to write, I feel obligated to explain where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. So let me just get my excuses for not writing out of the way.

They are as follows: homeschooling, parenting, Italy, remodeling the half-bath, Plum Island, parties, NYC with Mary, decluttering, home maintenance, NYC with my sister, holidays, plays, deep cleaning, decorating, Christmas shopping, wrapping, movies, puzzles, cooking, celebrations, taking down decorations, and trying to maintain relationships and my spiritual condition.

So today is Day 15 of the Catechism in a Year, and I’m on Day 10. I’m also on Day 10 of a 30-Day Organizing Boot Camp, of which I’ve completed 16 of the assignments. If that didn’t make sense, it means I’m a little behind on my studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church and a little ahead on my decluttering and organizing my entire house. I expect to get behind on the latter when I get to the storage areas assignment, which for me is the dreaded basement. Maybe I’m being dramatic. It’s not as bad as I imagine it to be. I made a great deal of progress on it in November. The problem is that I always give up when it gets hard, and I don’t finish the whole house. Well not this year!!!

Let’s talk about books. The start of a new year always gets me assessing where I’m at in many areas, and reading is one of those areas. I find myself, as usual, with a list of books I am “currently reading”. This means I started them, but do I want to finish them? I’ve decided that 2023 is the year I will finally read The Lord of the Rings. I’m starting with The Hobbit. I also plan to finish the last few pages of Letters and Instructions of St. Ignatius Loyola. That’s all I have decided so far. There are so many good options. I will commit to one soon.

I’m not going to attempt to plan out my whole year as I did in the past, by setting goals and breaking them down and getting things done. While organizing crafts and hobby supplies, I found my old planners. The first one was an original Franklin Covey planner and the year was 2000. Yes, I have 22 years of them. Skimming through them I found it interesting that 2020 was noticeably emptier.

Anyway, I’m starting out 2023 by planning for the week ahead. I start by scheduling the activities that I already committed to, like giving rides. Then things important for my spiritual wellbeing, such as adoration. I also track daily habits I’d like to form or strengthen. I thought I’d ease into physical habits to make it easier for me to develop them. The first week I focused on sleep. I went to bed early and got up early. Yay! The second week I added drinking water. I met my daily water intake goals. Yay! But my sleeping plan failed miserably. I got into eating chocolate and staying up late reading or watching YouTube videos on my phone in bed. This week I’m going to try going back to the 5-0. (It’s going to bed and getting up at regular times, calorie counting, drinking water, exercising, and journaling. It’s basically taking care of my body.) I’ll need to take one day at a time and pray for help to do this. And a media fast wouldn’t hurt.

Speaking of media, and media fasting, today I watched a video I found fascinating. A man on a channel called Sips with Aquinas was interviewing Dr. Peter Kreeft. It was so interesting that I took notes. He listed the only three reasons why anybody ought to do anything according to Aquinas: 1. moral duty, 2. practical necessity, and 3. fun. There’s some food for thought. So, if I’m considering doing something, and it doesn’t meet any of these three criteria…

He was making the point that we make our lives more complex rather than simplify them. And why? Why are we so harried and hassled? Why do we complexify? And I like this one: Why do we put ourselves in a spider’s web? He says we are bored. I call it running away. The not wanting to slow down and sit quietly. He says it takes too much effort. It’s because of sloth. I’ve read about this before and would like to ponder it more in the future. And one last idea: If you don’t believe in a real Heaven, you have to try to make a heaven on earth, and that’s going to keep you very, very, busy forever.

In conclusion, once more, I was able to bring a bunch of wandering thoughts back to the theme of this blog: Slowing Down.



In 2018, I resolved to make some changes. I wrote about them in my first post. I completed my Whole 30, and then from Superbowl Sunday until Mardi Gras, one could say that I took a break from healthy eating. So I decided to recommit to my resolutions for Lent, which began on February 14th this year. Here is what I’m doing:

Eating healthy.  I’m doing another six weeks of eating Whole 30 compliant foods. Maybe this time I will be able to do the reintroduction of foods when it’s over and see which foods affect me negatively, if any.

Exercising.  (5 times a week for at least 30 minutes) I have only been doing the Couch to 5K weeks one and two so far. But I think I might step it up with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I know that it will work my arms and abs (and everything) much more than the walking and running.  I also own her Ripped in 30. That is super hard for me.

Daily meditation. I usually start by reading from a book called The Language of Letting Go. A friend gave me a copy of it years ago, before I met Bobby, at a time in my life when I was trying to take better care of myself.  I loved it, then passed it on. I recently purchased a second one, and it’s as good as I remember. I’m at another time in my life when I am trying to take better care of myself after years of letting my physical and emotional needs be low priority. I’ve also been watching the daily videos from Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever. So far, they seem to go right along with this theme of self-care. I usually do some journaling and spend about 15 minutes talking to God (like a friend) and listening in quiet.

Continuing Operation Joyful Space.  I’ll admit, progress has been slow. I need to remind myself of why this is important to me, and stop the time-wasting distractions. I visualize this project as taking things off of my overflowing plate, or taking a weight off my shoulders. I long for a calm, orderly, peaceful environment.  My ideal home is tidy. There are places for everything. Only what we love, use (or will use at a specific time) would be in it. It would be beautiful… with candles, flowers, art, music and space. Everything in it would be in good repair, taken care of, maintained.  It would be comfortable and cozy. In addition, my life would have rhythms or routines, balance, and time for what’s important. (satisfied sigh sound)  That’s why I need to persevere!

The Menstrual Journal. (shown above)  This is not for Lent. I’m doing this for three months as recommended by my OB/GYN. This is a new interest for me. Science was my least favorite subject in school. In fact, I liked every subject except for science. I’ve said for years that I have a mental block when it comes to medical things. And I used to get bored when anyone would talk about food and nutrition. And food talk, channels, shows, allergies, photos and foodies seem to have increased over the years. Food talk seems trendy now. BORING! Then I found out I was having problems with my hormones. Suddenly, I’m reading about medical stuff.  Around the same time, I began to have a desire to take better care of my body, mostly to have more energy, but also to stop the night snacking. I believe eating when I’m not hungry dulls the mind and can numb feelings too. I may be getting off track here….but my point is that now I’m interested in hormones, and my menstrual cycle, and how food affects it, etc. I’m considering that being aware of my cycle may be a key ingredient in self-care. So I’m actually enjoying keeping this journal. And I’m tracking my food, sleep, exercise and feelings in it too.

I will continue to read, learn, pray and act in ways that will make me physically, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally healthier.

One Month Update

I started this blog almost a month ago. Since I haven’t posted in over three weeks, I am writing a little update about what I’ve been doing.

I successfully completed my Whole30. It’s way to early to tell if it will change my life or not. I did lose 7 pounds, learned to cook many new recipes, and improved my food label reading. And I did often feel like my mind was clearer and I had a good amount of energy, but I also found out this month that I have a uterus related medical problem. I had to temporarily take hormone medication that I believe made me tired and nauseous at times, screwing up my Whole30 results. I’ve continued to eat many Whole30 compliant meals and I’ve reintroduced food occasionally without being able to tell if the way I felt was related to food or other changes in my body. I also have kept up with my plan to exercise at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes. The Greatest Showman was my go to music almost daily, but I did listen to Something Rotten a few times.

Operation Joyful Space is in progress, but I am behind in my schedule. This is partly from sickness, and partly from an unexpected project that came up.  Bobby has been wanting new living room furniture for quite some time now, and last week we shopped, purchased and rearranged the stuff in our home for many days and nights. I don’t think we are finished yet. We might be changing the wall hangings or end tables, but I can get back to my decluttering project now. I hope to write about my progress soon.

Whole30: Week One Notes

Day 1: 

7:30 2 eggs, red pepper, onion, tomato, broccoli, and a banana

11:00 feeling hungry

12:15 arugula, baby carrots, tomato, 1/2 avocado, 2  1/4 lb. burgers, mustard

3:00 C25K week one, day one

4:00 Larabar

5:30 feeling hungry

6:00 pulled pork,  salad, steamed carrots

Day 2: 

5:55 slept 7 1/2 hours and super tired

6:45 Whole30 Breakfast Bowl

12:30 leftover pulled pork, carrots, 1/2 baked potato

3:15 Larabar

3:30 C25K week one, day 2

5:45 burger, arugula, tomato, baby carrots, cucumbers, avocado

11:00 Larabar (saw Downsizing with Bobby, disappointing with some funny parts)

Day 3:


10:30 Whole30 Breakfast Bowl

2:50 Chicken and Prosciutto Salad

3:30 C25K week one, day 3

6:00 ground beef, romaine, cucumber, grape tomatoes, walnuts, cauliflower rice

Day 4:


11:30 Whole30 Breakfast Bowl

12:30 C25K week one, day one

1:00 Larabar

5:00 Chicken and Prosciutto Salad

9:00 tuna, arugula, part of an apple, celery (only ate 1/2 of plate)

I went to bed early and had the most horrible night’s sleep.

Day 5:

8:00 I met my friend, Karen, at Crepes Tea House in West Springfield, MA. I ate 2 hard boiled eggs and drank one of their fruit and vegetable power drinks.

12:30 Chicken Salad

3:00 green tea

5:30 ground beef, romaine, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, guacamole

9:00 seltzer water

Day 6:

11:00 Whole30 Breakfast Bowl

2:00 Chicken Salad

6:00 Easy Chicken Fajitas

10:30 1/2 of a Larabar (saw Father Figures with Bobby, we laughed like crazy)

Day 7:

6:40 2 hard boiled eggs and Sweet Potato Applesauce Mash (didn’t like for breakfast)

12:00 leftover pulled pork, steamed carrots, salad with nuts

3:30 C25K week one, day one

5:30 Garlicky Shrimp, cauliflower rice, baby carrots, salad with nuts, apple slices


Day2 (1)

I’m beginning this year with a BANG! I’m making lots of changes around here, such as starting a new blog and making it public. Here is where I’ll write about all the other changes I’m making too.

In 2018, I started doing a Whole30. This is drastic for sugar-loving me. I’ll admit my biggest reservation about starting it was giving up eating movie popcorn, “with extra butter layered,” as my husband requests it. So far I’m doing well. I’m cooking my butt off; and cooking, for those of you who know me well, is not something I do frequently. Unless you count popping frozen food into the oven.

I’m also exercising. No killer workouts for me. I’m taking it easy, but committing to doing it almost daily. Let’s say five times a week for at least 30 minutes. Last week I did the Couch to 5K (week one) five times on an old treadmill we have in our basement.

The next thing I’m doing is not much of a change. I’m decluttering my home. Yeah, I know I’ve been trying to get totally organized for 20 years now, but I mapped out a plan to finish my whole house in six months. This means that by June 30, 2018, everything in my home should have a place, and all of my own stuff will be used or loved (or both), including sentimental and digital clutter. That is the goal. I plan to take baby steps daily to get there.

Finally, I’m making daily prayer and meditation a priority. This, more than any other thing, will be a change for the better.