10 Things I’ve Learned About Myself

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New cut!  Slightly asymmetrical.  I might go a little shorter next time.

New cut! Slightly asymmetrical. I might go a little shorter next time.

1.  I have a lot more self-confidence when I have a great haircut.  Even growing up, the only thing I could ever point to that I loved about myself was my hair.  I don’t remember getting compliments about my other features, but, “You have such pretty hair,” was a constant refrain.  So my self-worth is strongly tied to my hair looking good.  So yesterday I found a new salon and stylist, and got a little update.  Thanks to Sarah at Bellezza in Peoria Heights for yesterday’s cut.  P.S.  I still love Maria at M.D. Waling Salon in Remington, but it’s a long drive, and I’ve been looking for a new stylist in Peoria for 3 years.

It's hard to get motivated when it's so cold!

It’s hard to get motivated when it’s so cold!

2.  When I’m working to lose weight, I need to be able to talk about it.  It’s why Weight Watchers worked for me five years ago; I went to meetings and got to share what I was doing, give advice and talk about what wasn’t working.  It’s why Crossfit works for my best friend; she constantly posts on Facebook about her workouts, and we spend a lot of time discussing what she’s doing during our phone convos.  And it’s why the weight loss competition I’m participating in now is going to work; we all share our struggles and accomplishments.  It’s validating to know other people are taking your effort seriously.

Or a beignet!

Beignets in the French Quarter!

3.  I don’t do well with deprivation.  If I’m craving chocolate cake, I should really just go buy a piece (not make a whole cake), and eat it, because I’ll just spend the whole day eating everything else trying to stop the craving.  A few bites of cake or a cookie when I first realize that’s what I want is usually enough to get my mind on something else.  Candy bars do not fall into this category.  I should remind myself that I don’t really like candy, and eat a carrot instead.

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4.    When I spend money on good quality food like organic produce, quality meat, good Scotch, I’m much more likely to savor and make it last.  That means if I spend $5 on a pint of Belgian chocolate gelato, it will last two weeks, but if I buy a quart of $3 ice cream, it’s gone in a few days.  Also, if I spend some quality time in the kitchen with good ingredients, I’m much more satisfied than eating a fatty meal at a restaurant.  And if I shop with cash instead of a debit card, I’m more thoughtful about the whole process.

Most of the successful dinners I make start with this.

Most of the successful dinners I make start with this.

5.  When my husband tells me that dinner tastes good, I want to clean the kitchen and make dinner all over again.  But when he isn’t excited about it, I don’t want to go in the kitchen again for days.  Last night I made tadka dal, which I’ll be posting about again soon, and it was delicious.  “That was really good, honey,” has stuck with me all day.

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

6.  If I’m planning a menu for an event, large or small, I shop more conscientiously, and plan more healthful and frugal meals for us at home.  There aren’t a lot of things I think I’m really good at, but I’m a good caterer.   I like to plan and get the numbers just right, find and test new recipe ideas and explore the grocery store.  But I’ve learned that I need to be in charge in the kitchen or have no responsibility at all, because I don’t have a happy medium where cooking is concerned.  I can’t help feeling responsible for how things go, and when I’m not in charge, it’s a very stressful situation for me.

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7.  I don’t need to have kids.  I’m a complete person all by myself.  I have a great husband who loves me, and we’re happy just having a fur-baby.  That said, it’s not okay throw my childlessness in my face.  We all make choices about how to spend our time, money, etc.  If you have kids and choose to spend your resources on those kids, that’s your call, and I won’t judge you.  I expect the same.

Still unpacking!

Still unpacking!

8.  I like being a housewife.  I like cleaning my house (don’t tell my husband), even doing dishes.  I take pride in our home, and it makes me want to make an effort.  I want Naren to come home and relax, not worry about all the stuff he needs to get done.  It’s exceptionally frustrating to clean at work then go home and not have the energy to clean my house.

Naren showing Gavin how to fish.

Naren showing Gavin how to fish.

9.  My 5-year-old self was really in touch with what I want.  I wrote an “essay” about what I wanted to be when I grew up that said “I want to be a babysitter.”  Clearly, I’ve been running away from that for 30 years, but it’s true.  I like being a nanny, even on the rough days.  I’m thinking about starting my own business in my home.

Fresh and dried curry leaves.

Fresh and dried curry leaves.

10.  I do not have enough things going on in my life to justify multiple blog posts every week.  So I’m adjusting my commitment to write 3 times a week.  Instead, I’m going to write at least one post about a recipe I’ve made, and if I can come up with something else to write about, I’ll do that too.  Look for a recipe post later this week.

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