Is It Really Almost Christmas?

Good morning!  I hope you all are enjoying the countdown to Christmas.  I am excited to be heading to Houston and then to SC where Christmas will finally be real for me.  My visit will overlap with my sister and brother-in-law for a few days.  It will be nice to have our little family together again, even though we will miss my dad terribly.  I won't be there for the actual holiday but that is okay.  I'll join Tom in Houston so that is good too.  

In the meantime, I am reading everywhere about all the stress, hustle and bustle.  I am missing all of that this year.  No holiday parties to attend, co-workers to buy for, house to decorate.  I must say, I miss it all.   This being in-between seems pretty ungrounding.  I sold my house, quit my job, and sent all my worldy goods to storage.  I am living in an apartment for the first time in 20 years.  Knowing I am only here temporarily makes it hard for me to seriously try to put down roots and feel like I belong here.  I spend lots of time looking forward to the future, the planning…where to live?  Buy a house?  How to make friends?  What kind of job to get?  Can I start my own business?  Should I heed the calling to be a "real" nurse again? How can I use this culinary training to find the reward in cooking healthy food for others?

 Isn't it so easy to get ahead of yourself?  All that planning and visioning and hoping can really take you out of the present day. The days go by so quickly especially when you are  looking  outward instead of just right at today.  I am going to make a real effort to focus on what is right in front of me, especially for the holidays.  I try and remember we will never get these days back, so we shouldn't waste a single one! 

My intention for the new year is just "Be All There."  Not on my phone, not planning in my head, not willing the future to come.  Just learning in school, loving Austin, being in whatever moment I am given, as they are all a real gift. 

Okay, so enough with the philosophy.  I came across this list of the top 10 best foods to eat.  Like there really are only 10?  I did think it was interesting and good enough to share. I only disagree with a few of them.  I don't eat much mango.  They do grow near here, more toward the south of Texas and Mexico, so they are not really a local food for me.  Also, I don't think you need to eat fat free yogurt.  Go for the real thing or the 2%.  Just watch for added sugar, and additives. And crispbreads?  Really? Whatever the case, I think this is a good guide as a beginning point for trying to eat real food.  

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So on that note, have a great week leading up to Christmas.  I hope you don't get lost in the commotion and stress but can enjoy every moment!  I will try to write as I can but if it means I am not present, I'll see you on the other side my travels!