Making The Good Life

It's not what you have, but how you live.

Archive for the tag “change”

Life Changes Some More

tunnelThe more things change, well, the more they change. Life just refuses to stand still, which I suppose is a good thing. SEVEN months ago or so, I wrote about my younger son’s imminent graduation from high school and an obsession with sugar in my diet.

Well, he graduated, was accepted to the school of his choice a couple of hours from home and moved into the dorm in August. He has had a successful and happy first semester at school. It was an adjustment, given that my older son moved into his own apartment in July for his senior year at his school. Neither one was home a lot aside from the holidays, as they have very busy schedules. Alan is at an art school studying theatrical set design and production. They spend a lot of class time in “crew”, which is building sets. They also spend a lot of evening and weekend time in crew, and loading in at the theatre, and working performances. Joey has his classes, the Glee Club (he’s an officer) and a couple of other clubs that he participates in and helps to run. He also has a part-time job during school for the first time. They are growing up and doing the things that they should do, and handling it well. I’m so very proud of them, and I miss them like mad sometimes!

I also mentioned some time back that I’m seeing a wonderful man who I love very much. Said wonderful man moved in with me over the holidays and we recently welcomed two of his daughters for their first weekend at Paula’s. The girls seem excited and I hope all will go well. We’re in the throes of making “my house” into “our house” and not making anyone feel crowded out in the process. This is uncharted territory for me, as it’s been nearly 12 years since I’ve lived with anyone besides my children.

I’ve had to sort through an attic space (which has been planned for some time) and a closet, as well as the many miscellaneous spaces that people share in a bedroom and house. I found six boxes of baby and toddler things in the attic that I am now washing, sorting and preparing for doshoesnation. They’re in surprisingly good condition considering their age! So at the same time that I’m moving forward in a wonderful way, I’m also immersed in the past. It’s an odd juxtaposition. Nearly grown boys moving on to a degree, and I’m folding the sleepers I used to dress them after their baths, the little overalls they wore and the tiny shoes I buckled onto their feet. It’s making my head spin.

As cliché as it is for this time of year, I need to clean up my diet, get back on the exercise train, and renew the focus on some personal goals that I’ve lost sight of a bit. I lost my mother suddenly in the spring of 2014, and while we were not as close as my dad and I were, it was still upsetting. She was healthy enough to go to the gym and mow the grass the day she died. It makes me want to do everything now, as none of us knows how much later there will be.

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Changes

As usual I’m behind again, letting over a month pass since my last entry! There’s a lot going on, and in an attempt to have some degree of balance in my life, this was put on the list of things that could wait.

My younger son is graduating from high school soon, and we’ve beDSCF4228en having some final things lately. Final stage production for drama, final chorus concert, final voice recital coming up. It’s been my privilege to share almost every day of the last 21 years of my life with two bright, talented, funny, handsome and loveable young men, and the second of the two is getting ready to move on to a new and exciting stage of his life. It’s all excitement and brave new world for him, and of course I am happy for him and immensely proud of him, but it’s somewhat bittersweet for me. I’ll be happy to see a couple of the changes – no more waking up to make breakfast at 5:15 am for example – but sad to see others. Ah well, it’s about time I stopped waking up at the crack of dawn with my kids! Both will be off to school before the end of the summer (my oldest is a rising college senior) and I will be figuring out what I want to do with my mornings.

Last time I was here, I was thinking of sugar. I did chart my added sugars over the course of several days, and I discovered a couple of things. Overall, I do reasonably well. And it doesn’t take much at all to blow past the newest suggested lower limit for the day.

In my last post, I mentioned a recommendation for sugar consumption of 15% of total daily calories. This was the 2010 US government guideline for “calories from solid fats and added sugars”. (pg 28) I can’t ACTUALLY find a specific reference to added sugar alone in the 2010 Guidelines. I thought that deserved clarification.

It turns out that as of March, 2014, there is a new (draft) World Health Organization recommendation. They say that adults should set an upper limit of 10% of daily calories from sugar (50 grams/12 teaspoons), but 5% of total calories (25 grams/6 teaspoons) of added sugar would be better.

ImageIf I give in to a VERY small serving of Chunky Monkey, I’m over that lower limit for the day. In fact, ½ cup of the heavenly stuff packs 28 grams of sugar! That leaves no room for a little sugar in my morning coffee. I hear the message that we need to cut sugar for better health, but when a single, small dessert is over the recommended limit, I wonder how many people will be successful? I know that even with my (reasonably) healthy diet, I don’t hit that mark every day.

I might be able to manage 10% on a pretty regular basis, but 5% is a serious challenge. Unfortunately I can’t see the US government getting a published recommendation of 5% past the sugar lobby, since they don’t seem to be able to do what’s right in the face of money and opposition from any food industry lobby. I’ll be curious to see what happens, and will continue to monitor my own progress.

What else is going on? Local produce is coming in – the fresh strawberries are fantastic so far this year. I know these aren’t very low-carbon-footprint, but I adore Champagne mangoes (18 grams of sugar each) which are plentiful in the stores, and breakfast has been a fruit and Greek yogurt smoothie (with no added sugar but plenty in the fruit) almost every day for the last three weeks. I’ll post a recipe when I get a chance. It’s different every day, but I’ll try to get some measurements and write it down. It’s a wonderful time of year to increase the plate space given over to locally grown fresh veg and fruit!

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