New Year's Intention 2015

This morning I sat cross-legged close to the fire, guzzling my green tea as if it could cure my post-Xmas hangover, thinking how quickly it all goes. It was just 12 hours ago that I fell into bed after our annual ritual family feast of sugar and fat that this year without exaggeration started with warm chocolate chip scones and unforgiveable loads of See’s candy, which led to chips, followed by of course more chips, sour-cream infused dips, cream cheese-filled meat, and then just obscene amounts of meat; meat balls, duck pate, and fried things with meat I did not recognize, and then later a roast for dinner. Then there came the after-dinner menu which featured cheese. My husband’s family is half French, so they like to wait until the end of the meal to eat cheese, which of course is exactly when I like to eat cheese; after consuming massive amounts of white flour, sugar, and meat. There isn’t a little cheese, but nine different types of PC cheese; breast fed or was it grass fed, anyway it was all free range, anti-Monsanto, varying degrees of cheese that stunk to the high heavens, including some brown cheese that might not have been cheese at all. Of course we had to have something to put the cheese on (well, some of us did) which meant bread because by now I have not had enough things to bloat and make my stomach unnaturally distend. Just as this food baby growing inside me was about to reach term, the Italian half of the family tradition rung in, which means you eat more of everything and whenever possible, which in this case included swapping out the thirty-pound marble cheese plate for several kinds of homemade cookies, four kinds of ice cream, some pineapple cake with crazy white meringue topping that apparently was a re-gift that came from a nudist couple (don’t ask), Russian wedding cookies (or so said one of our relatives who is neither French nor Italian), waffle crisps, coffee and a partridge in a pear tree. Actually there was no partridge, which I did not know until now was a small brown game bird native to Eurasia, but had there been I can assure you we would have eaten him!

There I was, sitting in this food-induced stupor, gulping my green tea elixir, watching Chloe and Leila (my two cats) stare into the flames, which is one of my favorite pastimes; wondering what they might be thinking. Then out of the fog I had the idea that I ought to try and figure out how make my new Jawbone work. This was obviously not a thought inspired by observing my cats who sleep 23 out of 24 hours a day, but rather inspired by the irony that if I had eaten one more bite of food I would very likely have needed a new Jawbone.

But this was not that kind of Jawbone. This Jawbone is a bracelet that you wear which helps track precisely how much and how often you move your body, every day. Lucky for me this Jawbone thing did not keep track of mastication movement because mine would have immediately exploded. However I quickly learned that it does have an app that can track calories which made me suddenly want to stand up and keep moving and not stop for several days (or weeks). Maybe then, I imagined, I could reach my goal of ten thousand steps which, according to the program, would add up to the 6 months it would take me to make a dent in the 100-thousand-calorie affair I just broke off two seconds before. Okay, I was thinking of breaking it off, then decided that New Year’s Day (or after the rest of the Susie Cakes and See’s candy box were finished) might be…more convenient.

Just as I was about to break my first New Year’s intention (before the new year) one of my cats happened to glance at me with that look of cat disdain that can reduce humans to flack, as though she had busted me. I stared back at her thinking, So what if I was wondering how many calories thinking and pondering burns? She looked away in disgust. Whatever, I thought, and how nice for you cats, you get to roll around and no matter how rotund or lazy you are, you get cuter and more cuddly. However, the fact that my cats will never wear nor need a Jawbone or any other movement or calorie tracking device did not stop me from fantasizing.

Which made me wonder; why is it my dog, on the other hand, has been on a diet for the last three months? Yep. The vet said she was 18 pounds overweight. And while we are on the subject, who decides how much dogs should weigh? Then I imagined getting a Jawbone for my dog Bella, and fastening it to her paw, which for a moment seemed not at all absurd.

While none of my animals are currently wearing a Jawbone at this time, I have to say that wearing this contraption feels somewhat like a shock collar. One of the features happens to be a buzzer (simulating a shock w/out the pain, I imagine) that you can set to let you know you are too sedentary. While I realize I may develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Shock Disorder) if I sit here much longer and it buzzes one more time, my final thought leads me to a moment of clarity; how we override our body’s natural messages. As social creatures we organize ourselves in ways that require self-control, yet our economy is covertly designed to help seduce us to lose it; well…it seems that way, more or less!? Ha. Maybe that’s how Buddha found the middle way. Of course he didn’t have See’s candy or a Jawbone, but was indeed faced with duality!

So as I sit and write for you on this New Year’s Day, the clock just turned 11:11 as I reconsider my intentions for the coming year. I will, like you, move into a world taunting me with this or that, fat or skinny, full and empty, healthy or not, and maybe just for today I will try being still, notice, and then wait for what else might be true…

May you be at peace…experience love, good health, and joy in 2015.

Happy New Year, my beauties!!

Maryanne