Monday, May 23, 2011

Today's fortune: May 23, 2011

Today's fortune: You shall soon make a long overdue personal decision.

I took today and tomorrow off from work. Leaving the widget floor behind for a couple extra days feels nice, and the way I have it planned out, I'll be on for three days this week and off for three days for the Memorial Day holiday. Not too shabby.

But just because I wasn't at the office doesn't mean I didn't work my butt off. I did, in part because of this fortune. And I'm not talking about some sissy writing work or cleaning the toilet or anything like that. I'm talking good, old-fashioned manual labor.

Jamie and I have lived in this house for over three years now. When we bought the place, the person who owned it before had "flipped" the house; he bought a somewhat run-down house cheap, put some money into fixing the house up and then sold it at a profit. Part of the renovations included new landscaping in the front yard.

The landscaping, as it was designed to do, looked very nice - for the first year. But then it began to look run-down and weed-ridden, and it ended up taking away more from the curb appeal of our house than it added.

The first long overdue personal decision I made today was to do something about it, instead of ignoring the problem and hoping it would get better on its own.

I spent the day tearing nearly everything out, including tons of obnoxious and overgrown shrubs and bushes, dozens of paving stones and a precarious rock walkway. I hauled a pickup truck full of brush to the landfill. And I leveled everything out as best as I could, even digging a trench in which I will place our new walkway.

The design will be much more simplified: a brick path surrounded by grass. Maybe down the road we can plant some easy-to-maintain flowers. The work is not done yet, but I know it's gonna look a whole lot better than it did 24 hours ago.

Hopefully, this is the tip of the iceberg. I'm going to make an effort to do more stuff around the house to make it better for us now, and also better for when we make the decision to sell it.


This brings me to my second long-overdue personal decision. But first, let me say that Jamie is on her way home from work now, and when she gets here she's going to cook veggie dogs. I've never had a veggie dog before, but hey, how much worse can it taste than an actual hot dog?

This meat-free week has made me think a lot about what I eat. I've written about my diet on this blog before, and in theory, I should be losing weight: I'm supposed to eat a 200-calorie bar for breakfast and lunch, a 500-calorie dinner and three 100-calorie snacks throughout the day for a total of about 1,200 calories.

But the thing I haven't confessed, not even to myself, is that I've been cheating. I eat more than I should for dinner, and on the weekends I usually don't follow the diet at all.

That's not good. And I made a long-overdue decision today to get back on the wagon. Just like Jamie and I did with our finances, I'm going on caloric lockdown.

That is, after Wednesday, which is the first day after my meat fast ends. I plan on eating greasy, disgusting, delicious meat for every meal that day.

Then - lockdown.