A Break from the Routine

Flying into Chicago Friday

Last night my friend Jill and I saw the play “Tiny Beautiful Things” in a Lincoln Park theater. The play brings to life Cheryl Strayed’s advice column called Dear Sugar. Several years ago on one of the best vacations of my life, I hiked by day off the Blue Ridge Parkway and read Wild by the light of a headlamp by night. Strayed’s story about her hiking odyssey on the Pacific Crest Trail single-handedly inspired me to register for a backpacking class and sparked dreams of a solo hike on one of the great long-distance trails in this country.

Her odyssey was a way to force herself out of her comfort zone, process her mother’s young death and to re-evaluate her own substance abuse and bad choices. Last night’s play was a raw rendition of the book by the same name and provided more context about her greater life and the way she touched others by openly sharing the lessons she had learned. It was familiar to see her struggle with her past on the stage and in her writing as I’ve chosen a similar path with my blog. And it beautifully illustrated the connections people feel when they share openly and honestly to each other about common and maybe not so common human struggles.

Nashville, USA….

I flew to Nashville last Sunday for the beginning of another journey on a new team and in a newly formed organization. I knew it would be an exhausting week for work and probably a helluva lot of fun in one of my favorite cities on the planet. It was all of that. I also didn’t get much sleep, skimped on exercise, drank too much coffee and consumed way too much sugar. Then I met Jill from my Oregon writing workshop in Chicago for some R & R. As I lay down to sleep last night I felt wrung out.

It felt weird after the week I had to be alone. I was around people non-stop since last Sunday. The week felt like a vacation even though it was also a lot of work. The new locale provided a break from the routine. The meeting was a time to think about the future and not be caught up in the chaos of the present. There were trains, planes and automobiles to navigate. There was laughter, rabble-rousing, debate, process-mapping, and even some long talks that lasted until midnight. It was a relief to be home even though it presented like deafening silence.

Monday hangs in the air. I am drinking green tea and plan to get off all other caffeine and sugar today. I need a detox, and I am craving my routine. My Precision Nutrition habit this week is to have lean protein and plant foods at every meal. I bought some beautiful Michigan sweet potatoes and winter squash yesterday. Last night I lulled myself to sleep with a cup of Golden Milk. It feels too warm outside to be craving the spicy warmness of turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, but my body says it’s fall. I’ll add them to a smoothie with sweet potatoes, cottage cheese and almond milk for a sharp nutritional boost this morning. I’m looking for the clean, clear energy boost that comes from healthy foods.

It’s Monday y’all! Make it a good one.

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