20.10. Relaunch {Jan. 3 to Jan. 9}

Every new year begins with new resolutions of determination. My resolutions are the same every year. I relaunch my body into a solid running machine. And, my mental state goes from trying to be holiday bright to genuinely happy. Envisioning the feeling of a runner’s high encourages me to run nine miles a week. All my body requires is 30 to 40 minutes a day of extensive physical action. If I do it now, I’ll be a happy young lady in her 90s going on 25-years old (actually, I think 35 is another perfect age, but I digress from the main topic).

Every January starts off as a challenge. My running starts in the gym because of the cold air. Besides the interior sweaty smells, running on a treadmill is akin to a hamster playing on a the wheel going no where. When early mornings start the days with 50°C in the spring, I return outside for a refreshing run toward the rising sun that will briefly warm the rest of the day. Running into the summer months with a svelte body, I sweat out impurities in soaring temperatures. Besides weight control, I run to maintain a healthy mental state of being. My thinking becomes more rational and positive. A runner’s high enables me to fly high above any problem. Around September, I gradually stop running in favor of eating fall’s starchy sweets. By November my mental high plummets into negativity. The holiday buoys my sinking mentality with a few extra pounds, in exchange for my favorite treats. And, every new year, I gradually return the extra weight and allow my thoughts to climb back into a runner’s high. 20.10. Relaunch. Now.

The Menu

Saturday’s Leftovers

Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce over Pasta
A happy accident of opening a can of tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes for the Brazilian collard greens. Instead of letting it spoil in the back of the fridge, I included this ingredient in this week’s menu.

Mole Chicken

Grocery Shopping

Strand’s Bookstore
"Changing My Mind" by Zadie Smith · Strand Bookstore on Broadway, NYC

I claim to love reading, but I didn’t open a book in 2009. It must have been the two magazine subscriptions. The magazines did little to fulfill me spiritually. Instead, reading them made me unhappy at the clothes, accessories and shoes I currently have in my closet. However, I’m learning trends and the magazines that promote them are not wise investments. And, I’m not talking about monetary values. The articles are the same topics I read as a pre-teen. They’re rephrased, reanalyzed, restudied and restructured. Books enrich my happiness and appreciation of life. They expand my world and exercise my brain. The extra thinking inspires new ideas instead of encouraging false pleasures caused by materialistic values.

My first book of 2009 is Zadie Smith’s, Changing my Mind. The first essay, “Their Eyes were Watching God”: What Does Soulful Mean? causes me to think about the choices we make in life.

“It is, in the end, the choice between values, possibilities, futures, hopes, arguments (shared concepts that fit the world as you experience it), languages (shared words that fit the world as you believe it to be) and lives.”

The essay is loosely based on one of my favorite books, Their Eyes were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. It’s a soulful, pragmatic love story that I will reread next. Perhaps, I’ll invest in a hardcover.

TSalon in Chelsea Market
TSalon: Flowering Tea
The TSalon in the Chelsea Market makes healthy, non-sugary Chai teas. After ordering a cup, I remembered a friend in need. I wanted to purchase a tea strainer for her, but the TSalon was restocking their shelves after their holiday rush. Instead, I purchased three flowering white teas. The shop was out of the small gift boxes, but the owner/manager gave me a beautiful green bag with a floral embroidery. Little did she know, her gift will encourage a friend to stay strong.

Gramercy Park Flower Shop in Chelsea Market
Paperwhites Bulbs: Week One
The year ended with a phone call on December 31st. Gramercy Flower Shop called me about their second shipment of paperwhite bulbs. I picked up a few bulbs en route home. The fun is watching the bulbs transform into fragrant white flowers in a few weeks. The image above is week one. I brought several for the apartment, the office and for a friend.