8 months and a half ! WOWOWOWOWOW.
Oh my, time flies, but I can’t disappear into the void altogether so here I post, about numbers, for some reason. (If you worry that I might have gone insane, I blame the last chapter of my PhD. I finish it this week if everything goes well. Then I promise, I will return to the land of the sane).
8 months 1/2 is the amount of time I have been sober. 33 is the number of years I have been alive on this planet. 2 months is how long I have been quarantining (I think), and the days all blend into each other now. 2 is the number of humans I see on a regular basis. My best friend (she lives 3 blocks away) and my partner (he lives 1 block away). 2 years-ish is how long I have been meditating everyday. 6 years ago is when I started practicing yoga. Changed my fuckin’ life. 6 months and 18 days is how long I’ve gone without a cigarette, according to my phone. 5 years, is how long this loooooong tunnel has been, and I am SO CLOSE to the end …. this PhD will have seen a lot of lows but also quite a few honorable highs, and most of all a lot of growth. In the end, I am happy I did it. I never would have thought I would ever say that.
6 months is the longest I’ve been single since age 14.
2 months, is how long I have been living by a simple rule: all is well, as long as I stay at home, and manage to fit in yoga, meditation, PhD work and a daily walk. Ideally 10.000 steps, but in reality more like 6000-ish. Oh, and (wink wink Claire and Dwight) ZERO bikes. Also zero jogging. I’m too lazy for that. 26, give or take, is the number of years that I have been biting my nails. Zero is the number of successful attempts to stop biting them, despite the heroic efforts of people around me. 100 is the percentages of meals I cook at home these days, and enjoy every single time. 2 is the number of children I will have one day in my dreams. I come from a family of 6. 2 months is how long I have now been on Accutane, the hardcore treatment for acne that dermatologist only prescribe as a last resort treatment (it basically involves overdosing on vitamin A and proving that you are not pregnant every month, because of severe birth deficiencies that can happen otherwise. I can’t begin to tell you how not fun it is to go and get bloodwork done in a lab when you have no car, and live in the time Covid). The treatment is working miracles – this is the second time I’ve done it, and I don’t regret it despite the side effects.
2 weeks, 2 looooong glorious weeks is how long I’ve been using “no added or refined sugar WHATSOEVER” in my food. Now, this is a biggie for me. So far I had been dealing with quarantine (and, to be honest, I think, sobriety) with lots and lots of M&Ms and ice-cream in the evening, sometimes uncontrollably so, and feeling lots and lots of shame the next day, promising myself not to do it again, but failing once the evening rolled round. Sound familiar, sobriety people?
So I finally watched a ton (number unidentified) of youtube videos about it, and decided to do a “30 sugar free” challenge. After all, that’s how I quit drinking. I’m not being a total Keto maniac though, I’m still eating fruit and whole grains. You can’t take EVERYTHING away from me. But no sugar (refined, raw, whatever), no honey, no artificial sweeteners, no processed foods containing added sugars (they’re EVERYWHERE), no white flour, no nothing. Conclusion after 2 weeks: It feels really good and I eat more fat now and I just drink tea in the evenings. Like when I quit booze, I had to fight the sugar cravings at first, (and still do, but less so) but I am gradually learning to implement new habits and replace mindless sugar binges with more meaningful habits in the evening (I’m talking Yin yoga, blogging, meditating and yep, mindless Netflix watching, but with tea ^^ ). The app I use for my alcohol has a setting where you can log different “addictions”, and sugar was in the list so now I have a daily pledge and milestone for that too.
It feels strange, because in my mind drinking is so much deadlier, but then I think about how “moderate drinkers” probably think that alcohol is harmless. And I think of obesity and type 2 diabetes and marketing in the food industry, and realize that some anti-sugar advocates speak of it like we do about alcohol. So what do I know, maybe it “really” is an addiction, not just an indulgence – I’m not one to judge. Some days are easier than others, and globally I am trying to find balance between avoiding excess, and avoiding excess restriction. Because I don’t want to get addicted to restricting – I’ve taken a quick glimpse down that rabbit hole and I ain’t going in there. I just want to CONQUER the dream of leading a healthy, BALANCED lifestyle. Sigh. Aaaaaaaah, dear, dear MODERATION. When will I crack your code? When will I discover your secret? Open up to meeeeeeee, tell me how you work. I know, I know. A lot of it lies in correcting all or nothing thinking. Believe me, I work 1.000.000 times a day (number probably not accurate) on redirecting and turning extremist thoughts into softer, more gentle, more kind, friendly ones. I try to get them to match my harmless appearance and the outward impression I seem to give others of being “super nice”. Come oooooooon, beliefs about self, catch up!!!!
Anyway, I digress.
5 is the number of days in which I am hoping to send my chapter to my advisor, aka Voldemort. I’m joking, she’s the sweetest. I’m the insane fascist. 4 and a half, is the number of months I legally have left in the USA before I defend my Phd and have to leave the country, saying bye byyyyyyye to some very close friends and one lovely, but very dysfunctional relationship. 5000$ is the amount of money that my department just awarded me as a “research grant”, which will get me through the summer, as my funding runs out in June. Eternal unquantifiable gratitude, and a lot of covid guilt, is what I felt when I got the news this week.
ZERO is the number of ideas that I have about what to do next and which country to move to once I have finished my program. ZERO is the percentage of desire that I have to even begin to confront this difficult question. ZERO, no… MINUS A MILLION, is how much I want to end up living on my parents’ couch, with no job and no savings, one alcoholic mother and one enabling, passive father, who gets bullied all day long by his wife. Minus a million millions. AND YET, numerous yet unidentified, are the options and possibilities for the future, and (wink wink, Nadine) I promised a dear fellow blogger that I would cultivate noble speech with her and speak nicely about the world, which is why I will close this long list of numerals with ***one*** final motto: we can neither know the future nor control the world so might as well reel ourselves back here to right now. Hic et nunc, as the Roman Numerals peeps used to say a few centuries ago. FIVE BILLION is the number of hugs that I am sending out to whoever made it through this crazy ramble. You. YES YOU! Remember, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE, the future is pregnant with potentialities, and I’m pretty sure the future is not on Accutane so there’s a good chance the babies will turn out ok. There is potential hidden in everything, waiting to be developed. If acorns can do it, so can we.
I leave you with two pics of some delicious “zero added sugar” breakfasts I made this week.
Hang in there,