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I’m kind of torn.   I have written about learning to live more in the moment – to seize the day – and I’m slowly but surely getting there I think.   But this month of dietary austerity has definitely challenged me on this front.   To be totally honest – which I seem to be doing more than I probably should in these posts – the end of this month could not have come soon enough.   Whoever pulled this idea of Dietary Austerity from the Pit of Despair in the first place should be severely admonished and sent to the same Pit from whence the idea came.   Now I’m not pointing any fingers, but Sarah – what in the HELL were you thinking?

Writing posts this month has been about as easy as having my molars pried out with a pair of pliers.   There hasn’t been a night when I didn’t sit down here and stare at a blank page for less than an hour.   In the end, I would simply throw a word – any word – on the page and basically going from there.   So, thank you for reading.  You guys should be knighted or canonized or something for sticking with it.  I mean it.

But tonight is different.   I like it when it’s my last post for the month because I don’t need to find something new to write.   In the spirit of reflection, I get to rehash the highlights of the month past.  So, here goes.

My top lessons learned from the month of Dietary Austerity….

Lesson 1:  I can actually cook a meal from start to finish without sending someone to the ER.  Now this may be because the kids have the whole “push the food around to make it look like it’s being eaten” ploy down to a fine art and hadn’t actually ingested any of my creation.   But, in the end, I cooked, which is a hell of a lot more than I would normally do!

Lesson 2:  I don’t like cooking.   Being forced to cook this month just reinforced the following reality:  the more I cook, the more I don’t really want to.   It’s fine directly afterwards, you know, when you feel that you’ve accomplished something.   Like running a marathon.   But then the endorphins that get whipped up with the batter go “bye-bye” and all you’re left with is a deep sense of loss.   Loss, in the sense of “WTH.  I’ve just lost 2 hours of my life doing that!”

Lesson 3:  One of the best ways to change your diet is to change your lifestyle, and not worry about the food.   This month has been one of my best in terms of keeping active, and my diet has naturally altered for the better as a result.

Lesson 4:  Chloe is clearly not as bribable as she might appear.   Not even 2 Starbucks and $14.50 would get her to write my posts for me this month.  Now, I think she was suffering for ideas this month, too, which probably contributed to this refusal to have her palm greased.   But I bet if I went to 20 bucks and 3 Starbucks I would’ve had her.   But that’s just gross.

Lesson 5:  Even months like this one that have been a royal pain in the ass have their value.   As you are only too aware, I have tended to retrospection this month, if for no other reason than I couldn’t think of anything else to write.   Yet, this has been good for me.  I’ve said before that there are benefits to exploring your past, especially as a means to better understanding how you react to the present.    It allows you to re-explore those defining moments in your life that you should never forget.  For every difficult memory there are ten others that fill you with joy.   Cherish these, and don’t let them slip away.

Lesson 6:  I have realized that for a self-proclaimed non-religious person, Sarah really knows how to preach.   Wowza.  All you meat-eaters out there, BEWARE.  That white Pathfinder behind you with the revving engine is not there by mistake.

Lesson 7:  I have become just a little better at living in the moment.  Got a long way to go there.  But I’m on the path, and will continue to walk it.

And, Lesson 8, perhaps the most important one I’ve taken away from this month:  Don’t ever, ever do this again.   One month of dietary austerity is more than enough, thank you very much.  Anyone who might find me attached to such an undertaking in future, please, just come right up and shoot me.  Your act of kindness and compassion will be your sure route to Heaven.

So, there you have it.  Another month for me done.  I’m kind of afraid to ask the boss what we’re doing next month.

Wish me luck.