Zero for Six Update

In case you didn’t know, Zero for Six is about doing zero of something(s) for six months. I’ve been experimenting with four areas in this adventure: spending, diet, words, and TV.

As usual, the TV isn’t really a thing. In weeks and weeks, the only thing I’ve watched, with and at her request, was Emma with my daughter. This the Romola Garai version and in two sittings. That’s it. I’m not counting watching excellent preachers and motivational/inspirational speakers such as Jennifer L. Scott, Creflo Dollar, Benjamin Hardy, and Terri Savelle. But even these, helpful and positive as they are, can become excessive escapism. How to know: Do I go and do what they’ve inspired me to do, or do I just go on to the next video?

What to do, what to do? Read, don’t watch! Read books by these people (Madame Chic books by Jennifer L. Scott should not be missed!). Write, don’t watch! Write your morning pages, your artist’s pages, your scribbles. Until those thoughts going through your brain–up, down, and all around and all the time–are put down on paper, you’ll struggle to sort them and make sense of them. And then speak–the solution, not the problem.

Words. I’m learning that less is more. Less problem speaking, opinon spewing, and “news” spreading makes for more victory. This is a battle I refuse to lose, and I’m willing to crucify pride in the pursuit of positive, life-filled, scripturally correct speaking. I’ve given my family not only permission, but a request to call me on it, when less than helpful words come out of my mouth. So, I’m not at zero negativity, but that’s the unchanging goal.

I’ve found that what I speak about diet, or as I’ve put it in past posts, not eating fatigue-inducing foods, is helpful. I’m not only speaking that it’s easy as pie to do intermittent fasting, but that I don’t really even like sugar. At all. I’m finding that speaking that I’m simply no longer interested in less-than-healthy and delicious foods makes that so. In talking about how high the cost and how low the benefit of eating out so often turns out to be, I am cooking with greater care and more satisfying outcomes.

A most satisfying outcome of eating at home is the money savings. I do consider eating out, in many cases, to be unnecessary spending. I’m making progress here. I’ve come to the place where I pay attention to my instincts, and where my stomach doesn’t rule me.

If I have a bit of doubt, I get out! While traveling in South Dakota, (80 mph speed limits on Interstate!!!) for instance, my daughter and I stopped at a steakhouse. We went inside and the decor didn’t wow me. Way too gray and minimalist, and an attempt at authenticity via a sawdust-covered floor that didn’t impress. We gave our names to a snarky hostess and I went to the rest room. In there two women were carrying on about their husbands, and it was evident they didn’t know about positive words. They were well versed in the various and creative ways to denigate their husbands with the F word, but past that their vocabularies were limited. And so their lives.

“Let’s get out of here,” I said to Hannah. We left town, ended up at a marvelous destination in the middle of the South Dakota prairie, where we had the best night’s sleep in two weeks–The Dakota Prairie Hunting Lodge. I’d made an excellent soup the day before and it came out of the ice chest and into the microwave. We then dined on the deck where we watched the sun set, listened to innumerable critters sing their evening songs, and enjoyed the breeze along with our delicious and satisfying meal.

The next day, after leaving Mount Rushmore (soooooooooooo marvelous) we had peanut butter and honey sandwiches in the car rather than stop and spend. We made it to Fort Collins, where John met us at the car rental place. I was so ready to go on home, and to not spend any more money, but when John said, “Are you hungry,” Hannah answered with a vigorous nod and “Yes!” Off we went for a delicous and delightful meal at 3 Margaritas. Was that unnecessary spending? Not at all.

Early Morning Rain, Jesus, Testosterone, Good Books, Babies, and so Forth

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I cut and pasted these from my 2009 Facebook “25 Things” because it made me happy to read, and because I think it will be fun to add to it.

1. I love quiet time with Jesus early, early in the morning, and a nap in the afternoon.
2. I love putting in a load of laundry at 4:00 a.m. before I build a fire, make a cuppa or indulge in my latest new coffee, and settle in for quiet time.
3. I love being a member of the revolution Jesus started 2000 years ago.
4. I love rain. And more rain. Long, grey, dreary rainstorms.
5. With good books, like five or ten, fiction and non-fiction.
6. And a journal with colored pens, and a legal pad for absolutely mindless scribbling.
7. I love sending letters on nice stationery with lots of stickers and a pretty stamp.
8. I love watching my kids out the window on their sleds.
9. I love it when they wipe out and shriek with laughter, only to be pounced on by the dog, and get up and do it again!
10. I love John.
11. I love men who are so manly the testosterone drips off them, but they wear pink proudly, and are really good at comforting babies and changing diapers (John).
12. I love men who sing country love songs and hold my hand and sound like Vince Gill (yes, you guessed it – John).
13. I love men who love like Jesus – John, and also my dad.
14. I love my friends and all my family, especially all those little babies I have never seen.
15. I love big hardwood trees in the fall.
16. I love Fall.
17. I love God’s new mercies every morning.
18. I love color, lots of clear, bright color, or soft, muted colors. And light – iridescent, translucent, luminous, shimmering light.
19. Like on water. I love water, especially the Pacific ocean, but any water will do. I even love mud puddles.

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20. I love to travel. Even if it’s just a new dirt road close to home.
21. I love conversations with friends.
22. I love home schooling, and all my great teachers – my children.  And talking about home schooling with other home schoolers.
23. I love studying my kids, discovering them, marveling at God’s genius in creating them.
24. I love marriage. And chocolate.
25. I love whipping the devil’s butt when he tries to make me afraid. I love Jesus.

April, 2015 – And smiling teenagers teaching themselves without any Mom-prodding.

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