Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Play

For the last two months, I've been on a diet. I know that's not a pretty word anymore - "diet" is "die" with a "t" at the end - but it's true. I'd put on enough weight that my clothes didn't fit properly and I decided, after about a dozen failed attempts, to Get Serious. So I've been trying to eat proper amounts of healthy food and exercise appropriately. (That's been hard, as my ankle just finally healed enough to get out of the walking boot I've been in for five-plus months.) I've adjusted (mostly) and seen the needle on the scale begin to settle in more friendly territory. Still a little ways to go, though.

But a day doesn't always go into the "win" column based on the overall calorie count.

Let me make this clear - this post isn't any more about a refined-sugar binge than Buffy was about vampires. There is a time in everyone's life when it is appropriate to Get Serious, but (and equally important) there are also times when it's crucial to test the boundaries to the point of finding yourself on the other side of them. I set rules for my "diet plan" that were realistic, but I'm a sugar fiend (Red Hots, you are my downfall). Further, past life lessons have taught me that there is absolutely no sense whatsoever in acquiring good habits only to become miserable.

Add to the mix that FryDaddy is home for his spring break and he spent most of the week working on a conference paper and I spent the week teaching. It was the week before my school's spring break, so the students were a little crispy, I was a little battered-fried and - oh yeah - the school was putting the finishing touches on the documentation that must be provided for our accreditation review, so everyone involved in that was stressed. (Such a high stress level among so many people is another reason ["ammunition," if you will] why weapons should not be allowed on campuses in my opinion, but I digress.) So yesterday, I ate sensibly until about noon, then I finished my work for the day and firmly shut my door. FryDaddy and I loaded up on dollar store candy, bought a bucket of popcorn and hied ourselves to a matinee showing of Rango, followed by dinner out and a decadent evening of cheap chocolate and Cowboy Bebop.

I didn't just marry him for his stunning good looks and devilish smile, you know.

Yeah, the diet is in tatters that I have to stitch back together. But my husband and I had a "play date" that we both sorely needed and, for a few hours, I didn't have to think about work, the toxic environment of American politics, or the devastation of Japan and points east (which are points west for me - it gets confusing). There is still work to do - I have stacks of papers to grade, lessons to prep, and I have a conference presentation that needs to be transformed from piles of highlighted, sticky-noted research into a coherent paper - but yesterday needed to be for play.

I joked that I have given up self-restraint for Lent but I don't think that's it, exactly. I'll Get Serious again later today (or maybe tomorrow, after FryDaddy must leave to return to his school). It's just that here on Earth, we're traveling through space so fast we don't even feel the motion and I don't want to look up amazed one day and say, "How did I get here?" Moreover, at my funeral, I sincerely hope there are other things to say than, "She always got her papers back on time."

It was a very, very good day.

Side note: Rango is a sly, charming film with some wonderful things to say about how we decide who we are, the nature and craft of acting, the myth of the American West, and how natural resources determine the life of entire regions. And you thought it was just Johnny Depp as a talking lizard! And Bebop is - well - gorgeous and heartbreaking and funny and has a soundtrack you want to download into ringtones so you always have it close by. Trust me on that one.

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