So I'm going back to work tomorrow for the first time since my dad died. I'm definitely anxious and nervous about it, but I know I have to do it, and for the most part, I feel ready to go back. I know I wouldn't have been able to handle it last week, but I definitely feel ready to go tomorrow. My sister went back to school already and she said it was definitely weird, but at the same time, getting back into her routine helped her a lot. I am the exact same way- I love routine (sad but true, you could set a clock by me!), so I am looking forward to that. It's just going to be a little weird to see everyone, I'm not sure what they're going to say, and it'll be a little weird to come back to my desk, which has been untouched since the moment I got that phone call, and ran out of the office. I'll be going back to my desk for the first time since my whole world changed. The date February 12 will still be on my dry-erase board (unless someone erased it), my day planner's untouched, no days crossed off on the calendar since my dad died... I don't know if that will trigger any emotions or not.
I'm feeling a lot better- still sad, obviously, and sometimes still a little in shock about everything that's transpired over the past weekend- like, once in a while, I'll just stop and think, I can't believe that Dad is dead. For the most part, my emotions a lot more in check. I'm not having random outbursts anymore. I'm just trying to let myself feel the hurt and the loss and the pain, but not let it consume me... you know? Writing in my journal helps. And exercising. And reading.
Reading books has been a total lifesaver for me these past couple of days. I finished Blind Faith on Friday (very good, though I felt there were some parts of the murder and investigation that were a little confusing/not resolved or clarified completely, but if you like true crime, you'll like this book) and read an entire book over the weekend. At random I picked More Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin (from that series that my friend Rick is always making me buy at book sales, haha). I just read the first book a few weeks ago- what are the odds, huh? Anyhow, it was such a quick read, that I started it on Friday night and finished it up today while I was eating lunch. I actually think I enjoyed it more than the first one! It definitely clarified a lot of stuff from the first book that had left me hanging. I'm looking forward to reading the third one.
So I picked a new book. And the new book I picked was The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, which I actually was never forced to read in high school and saw it at a book sale for, like, 25 cents, and I'd always wondered what the fuss was about with this book, so I bought it. So I thumbed through it, and it looks like it's a good, extraordinarily depressing, and tough read.
Now, when I started the No Book Left Behind project, I know I made this self-imposed rule that I had to read the book I picked no matter what it was, I had to at least give it a try, and could always quit it if I didn't like it. But you know what? I decided, screw that. That's a stupid rule. I should read whatever book I feel like reading! But I also like picking them at random. I find that fun. But at the same time, given everything that's going on in my life right now, I feel the need for light, fun, fluffy, silly reads, and something told me that I was not gonna be getting that from The Grapes of Wrath. Call it a hunch. :-D So I amended the rule- I'm still going to pick at random, because I like that, but if I pick a title and I'm just not feeling it, I'll just drop it back in and pick again until I find something that I really do want to read. They're my books and it's my prerogative. :-)
So I decided to put it back and pick again. The Grapes of Wrath isn't going anywhere.
I came up with A Wedding in December, by Anita Shreve:
It's about a group of seven former schoolmates who are getting together to celebrate a wedding, and they find out all these things about each other at the reunion, secrets are revealed, and they all remember the death of a friend and how it impacted each of their lives. Well, okay, it's not fluffy silly chick lit, it sounds a little sad and depressing (oh, did I mention that the bride has breast cancer and is very sick?), but I read the first chapter and I do like it, so I'll give it a go. I haven't read much Anita Shreve- I read The Pilot's Wife a million years ago, and remember liking it very much. And how could I turn away someone with such a fabulous first name? :-)
And I did manage to have some yummy meals despite of all that's been going on. My stomach has definitely been off since Dad died- which I'm attributing to the obvious stress of everything, and my nerves. But I've been eating, I know I need to keep my strength up, and I don't believe in skipping meals or going too long without food- I'll have a small snack even if I'm not hungry, simply because I know it's not good to go for the body a long time without eating. Especially when you work out as much as I do (almost every day). For the most part, it's been the same eats, but I have had some new tasty treats, and took a new spin on an old favorite which totally changed the dish!
I tried both of my new Kashi cereals- the Mighty Bites and the Honey Sunshine. The Mighty Bites were pretty good, but the Honey Sunshine are fabulous! They taste just like a combination of Captain Crunch/Golden Grahams. I'm totally loving them! I don't know if I'd buy Mighty Bites again, but I definitely would buy the Honey Sunshine again. Of course, no cereal can ever take the place of my Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls- Barbara's my girl, let's not forget she brings us the magical Peanut Butter Puffins!- but the Honey Sunshine are definitely a nice runner-up.
More shoutouts to Kashi here- I tried their original 7-Grain Pilaf for dinner last night. Um, this was so easy to make that it was borderline ridiculous. Even I couldn't figure out how to screw it up. You just boil water, throw in the pilaf, and that's it. You don't even need to stir. Just let it cook until the water absorbs. That's wonderful. And it makes 4 servings per packet! That's a lot of pilaf, my friends. I'm having some tonight and then freezing the rest. I'm actually not a big fan of leftovers as it is- I think I'm the only person on the planet who feels this way- so I can't imagine eating pilaf for 4 days in a row, you know? Yet I'll eat a sweet potato with dinner every night for month with no complaints. LOL. Anyway, along with my pilaf, I added cubed grilled chicken and grilled pepper/onion stir fry mix, and voila:
Verdict? Yum! I can't wait to try pairing the pilaf with seafood, like shrimp or salmon. But tonight we're all about leftovers, which means more chicken. I'm going to have broccoli with it instead of pepper/onion mix. I'm feeling broccoli. I like that the pilaf is so versatile and I could eat it a thousand different ways. I find that exciting. :-)
And speaking of sweet potatoes, I put a new twist on my usual sweet potato meal that rocked my world. Ordinarily I just poke some holes in the potato and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes and cut it open. I'd have my protein and veggies on the side. Done. But Friday night I got all creative and cubed the sweet potato before I microwaved it. I threw them in the microwave for a few minutes, and added cubed grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and carrots, and some spices- curry powder, cayenne pepper, maybe a few other things- and also put some all-natural BBQ sauce on the side.
I hope you've all had a great weekend. I've been trying to catch up on everyone's blogs, so hopefully I'll get to do a little more of that tonight. But I want to write in my journal and try to get some stuff ready for work tomorrow (I hate rushing around in the morning... prepping the night before= getting a few extra minutes of sleep), so we shall see!
Okay, so who's watching the Academy Awards tonight? I'll be going back and forth. I'm not as excited about them this year because I haven't seen any of the movies, but I'm curious as to who's going to win and what all the ladies will be wearing (the men all look the same! Black tuxes! Boring. Although I wonder what Mickey Rourke will wear). But there's a new episode of The Amazing Race on that I really want to watch, and one of my faves is on tonight (Cold Case- it's a rerun but one I haven't seen yet), so I'll be channel-switching.
Have a good night! I'll check back in tomorrow and let you all know how my first day back was!