Friday, August 19, 2011

Taco temptation and wild abandon.

She looks innocent,
but watch out for her wily ways.
Okay, so I know I made a rather bold statement a few weeks ago. I think it went something like, “I am done with you.” I also asked the question, “How long with I miss you?” So, now it’s time for some coming clean honesty.

Apparently, I was NOT done with you. And I will miss you for a VERY long time. I am physically strong. I am mentally, or willpower, weak, as it turns out. Shocker, huh?

For those of you who don’t care to read the previous blog entries, I’ll break it down quickly. I tried to go hardcore Paleo, hardcore cold turkey, otherwise called the Whole 30. Okay, jeez, I was attempting the Whole 30 with wine. I know, I know. Not the Whole 30 at all. I get this. Whatever. At least I am being honest. Well anyway, even the best laid plans of mice and men, right?

So, my plan was going great. I was abiding by all Paleo eating standards. Drinking my coffee with unsweetened coconut creamer. No grains. No dairy. No sugar. Grass fed beef. No nitrates, etc. Yes, I did allow fermented grapes – my Achilles heel. Again, whatever. I get where I went wrong. The whole “sandpaper theory.” Those of you, who’ve attended a Whole 9 seminar, know what I’m saying. Anyway, no need to beat a dead horse. Lest I remind you, I am sharing my journey, by choice.

I went for a weekend away, to visit Shelby. The afternoon began innocently enough with hanging out and enjoying some rare sunshine on her beautiful deck. We were getting ready to go to dinner. I was firm in my resolve. “Stick to the plan.” I told myself. I told Shelby of my plan as well. She was supportive, as all good friends are.

We get to the restaurant. I am still firm in my resolve. The waitress comes. Shelby orders wine. Resolve weakens. I order a glass. Resolve weakens more. Shelby and Ryan tell me that this place has the best “shrimp tacos they have ever had.” Wow. The best? Then we all had some great conversation. Another glass of wine. Some really great laughs. More great conversation. I think to myself, “You’re smart. You are in control. You freaking rock.” You know, all the things you tell yourself after a couple of drinks on an empty stomach. But I’m rather convincing. Even when talking to myself. I order another glass of wine. By this time I am asking myself, “When will you get the chance to have the world’s greatest shrimp tacos with some really wonderful people EVER again?!” I am actually yelling this in my head, directly in the face of my “paleo resolve.”

“Resolve” is now floating in the bottom of a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s at the bottom of my glass, staring up at me, gulping for breath, as I watch it drowning -- with a smile on my face.

I could share the rest of my evening, and the details that lead me towards the complete destruction of my Paleo path, but why? You’re smart people. You can figure it out. I will say that it ended with eating 3 bites (yes, I counted, as though it really mattered) of a cinnamon roll on Sunday morning – with my unsweetened coffee creamer. I am not a complete hedonist!

The end of my story? I am back on track again. But I have zero regrets. As I have said before, I believe life can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. There are ups and downs. Some “ups” are absolutely worth it, others are not. Some “downs” take you further down than you ever intended to go. But either way – get on the ride. Live. Try. Fail. Succeed. Stumble. And try again. Let loose. Throw caution to the wind every now and then.

I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t stick to a great nutrition plan. Because I believe we should – almost all of the time. Those shrimp tacos? They were absolutely worth it. They were awesome. I’d have them again. Resolve be damned.

Sometimes you need to have a little “bad” in your life. Because sometimes “bad” can be really, really, good.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Your ass looks huge in those!

We met in 1996. Here we are 7-29-11.
I think it’s amazing to have relationships in your life that have had such a positive impact and deep meaning that, no matter what, you know without doubt, you will know this person forever.

I have friends in my life that hold this very special place. Friends I’ve know long enough to endure miles separating us, months between talks, and years between visits. These friendships have included years of laughter, love and tears. We’ve both survived and celebrated various life changing events.

So this past weekend I was able to break free of family commitments and responsibilies to go and visit my dear friend, Shelby, in Camano Island, WA. It’s been two and a half years since Shelby and I have laid eyes on each other. We’ve talked just enough to keep up on what’s going on in each others’ worlds. So, you’d think that maybe we’d lost a bit of that familiar closeness that we once shared.

No. We had not. The minute I pulled in to her driveway and saw her running towards me with her beautiful, signature long, red hair, my heart melted and we hugged like the sisters we’d always felt we were. No awkwardness. No “getting reacquainted” moments -- just reciprocated love that that two dear friends have always shared.

The first night I met Shelby, I didn’t know what I’d think of this tiny, gorgeous red head, until we got to dinner and she ordered ribs. Not a salad – ribs. Sticky ribs that she got all over her hands. I fell in love with this girl. We immediately became the best of friends. We complemented each other. She was the calm, voice of reason. I was the outspoken, wild one. Go figure, huh?

Shelby and I have always had an open and honest relationship. We’ve been the ones to tell each other, “Those white pants make your ass look huge. Take them off now.” We’ve shared every random thing imaginable -- from skinny dipping to being time-share hostages in Vegas. We've survived bad haircuts, bad self tanner moments, dive bars and hangovers. Marital bliss and marital nightmares. She was the first person to babysit one year old Sophia. She held her for hours while she cried so I could have a night out. She was the first person I called when I found out I was pregnant with my second baby. I had happened to be in Sacramento visiting Shelby, a few nights prior. When she heard the news, we laughed and said we should name the baby, “Chardonnay.” She ended up being named, Estella, instead.

Of course we have been through all the stuff that some long term friends go through. We’ve had our close times. We have had times when our lives were at different places. We have had times when we felt that we thought we knew what was better for the other. We’ve tried to tell each other “what to do.” But when one of us didn’t listen, we have then tried to support one another – through the hits and misses. We’ve celebrated the good times. And then we have consoled each other through the rough times.

We’ve had arguments. We’ve been angry. We’ve cried together. We’ve felt distant. But inevitably, we make our way back to each other. I think when people share a real friendship – one that will last – you ride out the waves. If you care enough, the good times will always outweigh the bad. They will outweigh the stress of distance and life's constant distractions.

Real friendship stands the test of time. These friends love you. They love your “goods.” They love your “bads.” They love you despite all things. They won’t judge. They will support. They don’t tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear. Be blessed by these rare people in your life. Cherish them. And be the same for them. Be the friend you want.

True friendship is unending. It is unyielding. But it is constantly evolving. Over time, friendship takes on different dimensions, but it never loses its original character.

And most importantly, a true friend will always tell you when you’re wearing unflattering pants.