Movin’ On

The project I’ve dubbed my “peace project” is all done now.

There’s really no easy way to go about forgiving someone. I can say the words all I want without it effecting my heart at all.

The only way I could think of was to purposefully, methodically make something for them and give it to them. I don’t know why this works, but it seems intuitively right.

I worked on this all weekend while I was sick, admiring the yarn and the pattern, more than a little irritated to know I’d be giving it away to someone I don’t like.

But the process has helped. I’m not done yet, but something clicked in me this morning, a sudden disengagement from the hurt and anger and all the nasty emotions. I’m closer to being done and over with this, with finishing the forgiveness process.

Staying bitter and angry hurts no one but me, and it feels refreshing to have a chunk of it lifted off me.

But you’re supposed to be resting!

This was my first day off in a week, my third day off in two weeks. While most people try to convince me it’s nice with “Hey! But your paycheck will be good!” my common retort is, “But no amount of money will buy me my summer back.” I’m finding that I truly would rather work less and then just spend less; when I have more money, I usually end up just spending more money.

I am sick, and have been since Thursday. I am fairly grumpy. I slept a lot today.

This afternoon, Daniel came in to the common room to find me busy in the kitchen. Exasperated, since he’d already explained that probably the reason I’ve been sick for so long is because I haven’t taken a break, he said “What are you doing? You’re supposed to be resting!”

At which point I called back gleefully, “I’m makin’ cheese!”

On my last paycheck I managed to not spend 90% percent of it, so I split it in half and used one half to pay off a chunk of my iPhone before the payment is even due, and the other to start picking up stuff I’d need for my homemade Christmas presents. I decided to focus on only buying the online portion of stuff and leave the thrift store items for when I have more time, and I ended up with a good chunk of money left over.

(Yes, I realize the irony of not spending the paycheck only to, as a reward, spend it. But I don’t like having big bills looming, so using it wisely eases my mind)

I’ve been thinking about cheese making for awhile, so I decided to go ahead a pick up a kit with some of the excess. Not a bad deal, enough stuff for 30 batches (minus the milk) for about $1/batch.

So I grabbed a gallon of milk, popped open the kit, and I made cheese.

Every time the cheese moved forward a step I got super excited. Cheese making isn’t something I am at all familiar with, but somehow it turned out alright.

Well, unless everyone was being nice for the sake of my self esteem, since I still can neither taste nor smell. But I’ll have faith that they don’t think I’m that delicate.

The whole process only took about an hour, though I made a mess of the kitchen making some crackers to go with it and some not-really ice cream out of creamed frozen bananas with chocolate and sugar, and strawberries on the side (and still working off the opinions of my trusty taste tester).

I had a biiiiiiig bowl of whey after the cheese was done. Wow! I kept just a little for some added protein in shakes and breads, but there’s no way I could use that much.

When the kitchen was clean (thanks mostly to Daniel) and the goodies all set, I sliced up the cheese to put with the crackers, and with arms full of food headed over.

(The goodness rolled up with the cheese is parsley, basil from our CSA, and tomatoes from our garden)

I played with Joshua’s kids, had good conversations, and meditated on compassion, self-acceptance, and being fulfilled and rested before being able to go out into the world and help others.

Today was good 🙂

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Oh! I almost forgot! From now on, to see my Public Humiliation Diet weigh ins, there’s a link in the sidebar. Makes for less lengthy blog posts, which I bet you’ll appreciate.

I’ve also added in my “True Weight” (you can see the description in the weigh in post). My weigh in today brings me to just shy of the ten pound weight loss mark. Whoo! My True Weight is a little bit higher, but I’m okay celebrating now. I like milestones 🙂

Updated my original post as well to reflect more accurately what I’m doing; I don’t know if I’ll ever fully be rid of soda from my diet, but I can make it a rarity instead of a staple. I’m also fairly sure that a huge amount of my weight loss has been from paring down my serving sizes, so I added that in as well.

The times, they are a-changin’

Change seems to be in the air over here. August 1st, the Abbey is going on a fall sabbatical from taking in any new guests, taking time for rest and for working on our sustainability (both finanically, and in terms of other novices; two is definitely not enough!).

By that day, all of our guests and one of our novices will be gone, with the only exception being a guest of Joshua’s that isn’t tied into the Abbey at all. We’ll be going from having being jam packed with people living in this row of rooms to just me.

On a personal level, a lot is changing too. I just put in my month’s notice at Baskin Robbins, which I realize is waaaaay far in advance for a food service job, but my boss already knew I have a new job and it seemed to make more sense to put in my notice so she wouldn’t think I was sneaking around or being deceptive (I wasn’t; the new job is super flexible and works completely around my scooping responsibilities).

I get a week off between my last night and the start of school, so I have a break for any birthday stuff I decide to do, though I don’t know if I will – I feel like I’m too young to not do anything, but too old to have a big party where it’s all about me. Maybe I’ll just have a movie night with friends or something, so I get to hang out with people I care about but I don’t feel too narcissistic!

This Friday, I’ll be resigning from volunteering at our Friday lunch program. I’ve been working there for about nine months, but it’s gotten ugly and incredibly frustrating very rapidly over the last couple of weeks. A huge part of my frustration is that I realize that a lot of my poor treatment stems not from my own actions or personality but from a grudge the supervisor has kept against Joshua (and by association the Abbey) as well as her personal control issues. Nothing feels quite so helpless like feeling like a pawn in some game that I neither started nor have much interest in.

I just wanted to donate food, dammit. Theoretically that should work out, since I love baking and experimenting around, and they need food and had been complaining about a lack of donations and funds, and this way they get nice homemade stuff too. But now it’s just no fun, and in fact feels draining. I’m stuck doing the same, basic recipes over and over because I know there’s no room for me to mess up, and if there’s no possibility for failure there’s not as much satisfaction in succeeding.

Last week all six loaves I baked were discarded for being underdone. Funny thing when we sliced one open though, it was perfectly done. I mean, fantastic. At first I was really, really angry, but as the week has worn on I’ve started to focus on other things.

Since we’ve been working through this bread for the last week, whenever it’s served there’s always at least one quip of “You know, this bread isn’t sturdy enough to tile my floor…”. Better to laugh than to be bitter and angry 🙂

Resigning there leaves me a spot open on my praxis day, at least for the next month until I go to school, when my praxis goodness gets switched over to Thursday.

I think it’s important for me to have a day to go out and work all over the community and do things I care about, so I’ll probably keep working at the library (awkwardness and all), but I’m really excited about finding something new to fill my other slot. One of my options is working with someone on murals, which I would love to do, even though my painting skills are so-so.

So there’s change all over the place, but I think it’s for the better. On a highly materialistic note , one of those changes happens to be that in about a day and a half I’ll have a phone! Whoooo! After several months, it’ll be really nice to not only have a phone, but an iPhone to boot. Death grip issues aside, I’m pretty excited, I have the tracking up in a new tab so I can check in on it.

I’ve managed to get myself into a lot of long term crafty projects, but I’m bouncing around from one to the next so I don’t get too discouraged. I still need to design a hat for someone, but it’s incredibly frustrating because I have a certain shape I’m going for but even if I drastically change the pattern, my mini-mockups still look exactly the same. Argh!

I have one other project that I’m really not fond of, that I should probably try to finish by the end of this month, but it’s long and time consuming and just straight up hard. I’d never realized how hard it is to put so much time and energy into something for someone you’re not particularly fond of. Gah. I know it’s good for me, but I don’t have to like it.