Look who’s here…

Why, it’s my new friend, Mr. Kale!

Look how polite…he brought a hostess gift. A nice bottle of pinot grigio. What a gentleman! Notice what an enormous gentleman he is (see bottle for scale).

Mr. Kale and his hostess gift

See, after my announcement yesterday, I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is. My local Safeway may leave much to be desired, but it does have these guys. Ginormous two pound bags of chopped kale. Not only will this ease preparation (hurray!), but I feel like I’m making a commitment. A commitment to kale. This isn’t casual dating, it’s the pursuit of a lasting relationship. eHarmony rather than Match.com, if you will.

So there we go. let the month of kale commence!

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Get ready for kale

I’ve decided that February 2012 will be kale month here on Happier. As I’ve started trying (and often failing) to eat healthier over the past few years, I’ve explored and grown to love so many new and yummy good-for-the-body foods. But kale and I have had a rough relationship. I want to like it, I really do. But it has rarely felt right, and on the few occasions when we seemed to be heading toward detente, it proves to be fleeting.

My hypothesis is as follows: maybe my problem is less with kale itself and more with how I’ve been preparing it. So, during the month of February I plan to give myself over whole-heartedly to the act of making friends with kale. I’m going to approach this with a very open mind. We’re going to learn all about why kale is so good for us, and we’re going to find recipes that make me crave kale.

Kale, you have been put on notice: I’m going to be your new BFF. Like, for realsies!

I did it!

I have absolutely no idea what got into me, but early this morning I finished reading Doctor Zhivago. After years of futile, halfhearted attempts, I zoomed through it in less than two weeks! This demonstrates one of two things: (a) that my mind, like my body, is stubborn as all get out and refuses to do something until it’s damn well ready to do it, or (b) I can do anything I put my mind to. Until proven otherwise, let’s give me the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s the latter!

Now the question is, what next? As I mentioned before, I have a copy of Anna Karenina chilling on my bookshelf. Should I go with that or try a little Dostoevsky? Any thoughts or suggestions? Let my Year of the Russian Novel continue!

Year of the Russian Novel

I have officially declared 2012 to be my year of the Russian novel. Never again will I have to admit with great shame that no, even though Doctor Zhivago is one of my favorite movies, I’ve never read the book.

Mind you, I’ve started it a few times. The writing is so beautiful, but it gets pretty dark. Judging from the bookmark’s placement when I resurrected it from my bookshelf the other day, I made it about halfway through on my last attempt. Not too shabby, but I’ve resolved that this year I will persevere!

Perhaps I will also finally get around to reading the copy of Anna Karenina that’s been in my possession for more than a decade.

Stay tuned…

Trapped

My life is relatively normal. Like lots of people, I get up in the morning, I go to the office, I work, I return home, I go to bed and sleep, and then I do it all over again. Some people love their jobs, or they love their lives enough to balance our whatever it is about their jobs that they don’t like.

Me? Not so much. I used to enjoy my job, but it never felt entirely right. Now I hate my job, and I’m certain it isn’t right. Plus, I don’t really love the rest of my life. It, too, doesn’t feel entirely right.

So why do I stay? If I don’t like my job and I don’t really like the rest of my daily life, why don’t I change it? I’m sorry to say until very recently, the answer to that question could be found somewhere in the big melting pot of apprehension, fear of going against the grain, and exhausted apathy that had taken root in my soul. I told myself that no one’s life is perfect, that being an independent adult entails supporting oneself and meeting one’s responsibilities.

Another way of putting it is that I feel trapped in my life. The only good side to this: I recently realized that the only thing trapping me there was myself. I may not be able to change my current job into something I enjoy, and I may not be able to change the circumstances of my life as currently configured so that I feel at peace. But what I can do is change my life so that what I do, where I live, and how I live feel right.

A few days ago I had an epiphany. My dream life isn’t out of my reach. I know where I want to be. Now I just need to work on getting there.