Friday, 19 June 2015

Pantry Challenge – day 10 & 119 days without Coca~Cola!!

Ooh da lolly!! Did the last two days really go by without me blogging here? Yes, they did. I apologise for that. I’m still getting back into blogging, & so this isn’t yet habit for me. Still, I do want to keep it up every day as much as possible. Tomorrow, though – Saturday 20 June 2015 – will most likely not find me blogging since I work two four-hour shifts with the same client. I’ll have three-&-a-half hours in between, but I won’t be going to any location with WiFi. When I get home, I’ll be tired & will most likely just want to go to bed right away. I probably won’t be up in time to blog in the morning, either, although I have been getting up earlier these days due to being at my Tuesday to Friday client’s home by 7 AM. We’ll see, though. I’ll be getting to bed quite a bit later than I have been the past few days since I’ll be working at my every-other-weekend-client’s home ‘til 9:30 PM in Hope, BC this evening. It’s a 20 minute drive from my place to theirs, & vice versa, & I’ll most likely chat with the client’s mom for a few minutes before I leave for the night.

So all this adds to me most likely not blogging at all tomorrow. I will do my very best to on Sunday, though.

I decided to create a post for today, though. I feel like it and I really do want to get into this habit. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, & it takes about 30 or so to really cement it into a person; or so they say. It does seem to be true.

Since I don’t plan on blogging tomorrow, I want to mention a very special thing – today is 119 days without any Coca~Cola. Whoohoo!!

In case you’re not familiar with my Coke history, it’s a huge addiction for me. Some argue that it’s not all that bad & that there’s nothing wrong with having one once in a while. For me, though, it is a thing to be avoided. I ended up having two or three pretty well every day, and if even a day went by without me having any, I’d have nasty headaches and my stomach would hurt a bit. I’d feel so groggy and just generally blah and not right. I’d get quite persnickity & very grumpy. I just wouldn’t be myself.

On 20 February 2015, I had my last Coke. I didn’t plan on it being so. It was just that I drank the last one I had here in my home and didn’t have enough money to buy any for the next day. Surprisingly, I felt fine the next day. Well, I did have a tiny twinge here & there in my head as if it was going into headache mode, but that headache never came. Then I decided to cut it out for a fitness challenge that I was doing at the time. I started to drink a lot more water, and that was the best thing that helped me get over the initial craving.

There’re times when I do want one, especially when I see the ads for those Coke bottles with people’s names. Otherwise, I honestly could care less. So that’s good! I know it’ll be something with which I’ll struggle my whole life, or at least have periods of struggle about it, but I’m happy to say that it’s no longer a huge drive in my life, something that I long for or actually think about going out and buying.

Part of this really has to do with the fact that I’ve really had to pray & think seriously about how to spend my money lately. Since starting on this spending fast & pantry challenge 10 days ago, it’s been interesting that, aside from a moment here & there, I’ve not actually craved food that I don’t have here at home; nor have I really had an urge to spend money. This is a very good thing! I’m not fooling myself into thinking that this’ll always be the case, especially when I get paid or if I see something that I’d really like to have. I just can’t be spending freely, though. It just doesn’t work right now. Even when it will work, I don’t want to go back to that. Yes, I want to be able to spend money & to treat myself every so often, but I don’t want to be the impulsive & reckless spender that I used to be.

Doing something like this is a good exercise that wouldn’t other people to do. Some know what I’m going through because they’ve had no choice or currently have no choice but to be super strict when it comes to their spending. Others have an idea because of what others close to them have told them or because of how they grew up and what their parents went through. Others have good imaginations and can picture what I’m going through that way. There are others, though, who just can’t imagine ever being in this place. If you’re not in this place & never have been, I hope that you never have to be. It’s not fun.

While I’m very thankful for what I’m learning & for what I’ll take out of this, I’d love to not be in this place. However, I am, & I’m not wishing it away. That doesn’t do any good. I’m choosing to face the reality of where I am & to do what I can to live as best as I can, to learn from it, and to grow from it. That’s really the only choice for me. I’ve gone through financial hardship before, and I’ve not learnt. This time, though, is different and I’m taking my lessons and applying them to my life and to be a wise steward of all that God has given me, whether that’s money or material possessions or gifts or talents, or absolutely anything else. I’ve taken it all for granted far too long & far too often, & I’m not doing that any longer.

Since coming back here to the Fraser Valley in southwestern BC, Canada from Inuvik, NT (up on Canada’s Arctic), a very, very long period of low paying jobs & unemployment started for me. It’s not been fun & it’s not been easy. I have learnt about how generous & kind people can be, though, & how willing people are to help out those in needs. I’ve learnt to put my pride aside when I really & truly need something & to ask for help. It’s certainly not hard for most people to ask, & I definitely don’t take it for granted that people will help, but I have learnt that sometimes I just have to break down the walls of pride & let people know what my needs are. Oh, it’s humbling! But I needed to be taken down several pegs – let alone one or two.

My desire now is to help others as I’m able. I’ve learnt that helping isn’t always about  money. Sometimes giving food or to other needs in place of money are far better ways to help. I’ve grown so accustomed over my life, though, to think of helping in terms of money. That kind of thinking’s been broken, though. Still, I am looking forward to the day when I can help out with money if someone has such a need. I just want the freedom to be able to help people in various ways. I also want to be able to take friends out for coffee or to treat them once in a while, & that’ll come in time.

I don’t remember if I mentioned it in my last post, but I got my second client. So this adds to my income. Slowly it’s increasing, & that’s nothing but a good thing. I’m looking forward to my first paycheque with Nurse Next Door on Tuesday – that’ll be freeing! No, I’m not planning on splurging – I’m not stopping my spending fast anytime soon. I still need to do it. It’ll just be nice to have the money for what I need – gas AND milk and other foodstuffs and other things that I need.

So, food-wise, what I have done lately? Not much worth mentioning. I’m just eating from what I have in my pantry & freezer still. Without milk, I’m not having cereal. I have bread, but it’s Paska, which is Easter bread. It’s really good with Nutella, but it’s not good for things like peanut butter sandwiches. I did have Granny Smith apples (my favourite!!) with Nutella & peanut butter the other day. That was really good! I always cut my apples in pieces because it’s a lot easier on my teeth, which aren’t that great. So I had some slices with just peanut butter, & some with just Nutella. I had a couple with both, & that was good, too.

Right now, I have a bowl of two eggs & cheese & salsa that I cooked in the microwave waiting for me. It smells really good & will taste good, too. Good sources of protein & a bit of veggies; so it’s a good, quick meal. Just right for one person. Some people would have just the one egg, but, foolishly, I didn’t have breakfast before I went to work this morning. So I’m having two eggs to make up for that.

That’s another thing I have to work on – making sure that I get up early enough for breakfast, even if it’s just a quite bite of something. I just need to make sure that my tummy’s full & that it’s not grumbling. I don’t like being hungry & there’s no excuse for me to ever be. I just get so busy doing stuff or don’t plan for eating first thing in the morning. I need to make sure that I eat, though. I’m working on it, & I’m usually pretty good at it lately, but once in a while I slip. Oh, we all do, don’t we?

Well, that’s it for today! I hope that you’re even a little bit blessed by reading this post, & I hope that you have a good weekend. Take care of yourself & make sure you count your blessings.

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