Writing about writing, and also about food #20170724

Hello there. I’m never sure about how to start these things, but I wanted to check in and say that I *have* in fact been writing. I still haven’t been publishing much, because the writing that I’ve been doing has only been to help me wrestle with some private issues. I have yet to actually get into a formal writing practice, in spite of the fact that I’ve written out many rules and lofty goals about said practice. Here are some quotes, courtesy of GoodReads.com, to get us started:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
― Anton Chekhov

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
― Louis L’Amour

With that being said, here’s what is coming out of my writing-faucet today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about nutrition, life style, and food as fuel lately. I’m right at the top of the healthy weight range for my age and height, and I’ve been actively working on my general health for some time. What most recently refocused my attention on this subject was my 8-year-old son eating three cheeseburgers in one meal. Three. Cheeseburgers. This would have been an enormous meal for a fully grown adult. I would like it noted that he received permission from a relative (who was not me) to eat this much because he claimed to still be hungry. I personally doubt that he was eating too quickly to feel how full he was, he is a young man who both enjoys the taste of food and enjoys showing off how much he can put away. The showing off part is what I believe got us into trouble on this particular occasion.

What I’m now calling The Cheeseburger Incident started a family conversation about food as fuel. I spoke with my son about why three cheeseburgers is not a healthy amount of fuel for your body, what your body does with that extra fuel, and what would be a better approach. I told him he would have to check in with a parent about his portions until he showed us that he was making good decisions for himself. We started having the food as fuel discussion more regularly, and I now encourage him almost daily to listen to what his body is telling him about being full. Promising dessert “when you have room again” after listening to your body about being full has been very helpful.

I’m not sure my son will be ready to make his own portion decisions any time soon, but I’m ok with that for the time being. What I realized during that conversation is that I haven’t been doing a great job of taking my own advice on the subject. I’m guilty of over eating, and I’m probably setting the example of showing-off-eating. I’m guilty of throwing together a meal that’s quick and easy, but not necessarily healthy. I am the primary food supplier to a small group of young-and-impressionable humans, and the Cheeseburger Incident has me focused again on all our eating, activity, and health.

I should note here that I really enjoy this focus on health, and while I still have a ways to go, I enjoy making better food choices for our family. Please share your preferred diet choice, recipes, etc with me here, or on whatever social platform you desire.

Writing about writing #20170607

“Write like it matters, and it will.” Wise and weighty words from Libba Bray. I’m struggling under their weight today. I have many topics I want to start writing about, but I feel more than a little overwhelmed by the responsibility. I want to process these ideas with you- whoever you are. If the topic applies to you, I want to hear your side of it. I’m nervous about making a statement that excludes something important, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end an important discussion by not introducing a topic correctly.

Currently,  The Big Topics are on a list that includes much more than the following:

Building community through shared meals (or other routines, or camping)

Simple acts of care during crisis

Something about Hospice care- more about loved ones dying

Raising a feminist son- more on being a white mom when your kids are not white

Depression and loneliness, or “asking for help is the only way to kill it, so why is is so hard to ask for help”

I don’t feel like The Big Topics aren’t entirely mine to write about, so how do I start? Do just put my ideas out there? Do I awkwardly interview others to get their input and perspective? Do I hop down The Google Rabbit Hole and see where I end up? Too often, The Big Topics are often overpowered by the ever-growing too-trivial-to-share writing list:

What to cook and eat when your kids have sports five days a week

Yesterday I felt-like-a-rage-monster, but it’s ok because today I feel-like-a-mom-again

I cleaned my bathroom and now I feel like I deserve a celebratory metal

I cooked a giant batch of vegan lentil and veggie soup, it’s all I’m eating for lunch and I’m pretty sure it’s giving me super powers

Seriously, eat more lentils, your poops will amaze you

Harry Potter: the best bedtime story in the history of the world

I’ve drowned myself in Google results, trying to narrow down the “how to start writing” results to the specific kind of writing I’m not doing. I’ve read what feels like hundreds of pages, but all the scrolling could be making it feel more substantial than it actually is. That last sentence is making me second guess my grammar, and I instantly want to close out of this post. Relegate it to the never-visited “drafts” section of this website. My ratio of drafts to posts is in the double digits at least, but I don’t want to do the math and find out how many times I’ve stopped writing.

So how do I start? Do I really just hit Publish and let this post drift off into oblivion? I think I’m going to try and take Walter Mosley’s advice, but in a more public way and certainly not for a novel. I’ll call this my first draft, and also a call for help.

I want to start working through my list, but I sure as hell don’t want to do it alone. Please, please join me. I’m sharing this with you and asking for your help. If you have an anecdote or story, I want to hear it. If you think I didn’t word something properly, or if I need to give something more clarity, I want to hear it.

I’m not entirely sure how to feel about all of this, so rather than mull it over any longer and change my mind, I’m hitting Publish. Yikes.