Challenge Day Eight

Rainy days are not invigorating.

I love a lazy rainy day, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a step beyond difficult to motivate myself to do productive things when the weather is garbage like it was today. It took me an extra ten minutes to do my stretches because my mind just kept drifting sleepily away. I sat on the couch after walking Howie and stared out the window for a while, munching on my croissant with jam. It took forever to get all my parts moving.

The whole day was kind of like that, even after the rain stopped and the sun arrived. I just wanted to nap, and I resented this project entirely. I didn’t like any of the postcards I had, I didn’t feel like reading anything informative, I was annoyed by all of my instruments, my body hurt, and worst of all, it was all my fault. I did this to myself. But therein lies the catch: if I don’t do the challenges because I’m mad at myself for forcing me to do things, then I fail my own self by not doing what I set out to accomplish. It gets very complicated very quickly.

I tried to pull myself together today, I really did. But in the end, I had to let a few things go.

Daily Challenges

Intimate Time?
CookingToday’s Menu: I started my day with one of the decent croissants and a bit of strawberry jam (not homemade, sadly); for lunch, I had a tuna sandwich and Guy had leftover pizza; for dinner, we ate a tasty meat pie with gravy (see below for pictures!)
Reading (Poetry)I came across “The Fish” by Elizabeth Bishop today, and I have read this poem before, but today it struck a chord. It’s about catching a fish, seeing that it’s been caught before but gotten away, and then letting it go. Bishop walks you through hooking and gutting the fish before showing you its vital life force, its personality and perseverance, and you understand why she lets it go. She didn’t have a choice.
Reading (Fiction)I spent a bit of time today reading The Poisonwood Bible, since it was kind of the only thing I wanted to do. It’s so good. I mean, I’m still at the beginning and thinking, yeah, I see why this won prizes and stuff.
Reading (Nonfiction)Last night one of the shows we watched was Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight. During it, host John Oliver talked about China’s one-child policy, which I knew about of course, but there were a lot of details that were new to me. So today, I read more about it, and thought about how something like that might echo in my mythical world in November.
MusicThis is one of the things that I didn’t do today. I feel pretty discouraged by all of my instruments, and I’m trying to be patient, but it’s a struggle. I used to be the person who could play for hours and hours every day, no problem. Now I get 5 minutes of practicing done before my hand and forearm complain. I’m trying to be patient with myself, build up my strength and flexibility slowly to avoid injury, remember that I’m not a teenager and I went from not playing really at all to playing every day, and it’s just going to be a minute. But it’s hard. And today I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. #restday
Postcard Poem [NOTE: Yesterday’s poem went to commenter and my pal Ladafi (not their real name), who’s been a regular reader from the start. XOXO, friend!] Tonight’s poem might be my favorite one yet! The front makes me laugh:

If you cut the person’s body off at the knees, it looks like just underpants (go ahead, try it.) The poem itself is most near and dear to my heart, though. I wrote it in, like, five minutes, which is a record for this project. It was inspired by a woman in my dance class tonight, whose own artwork has also been shaped by our fellow dancers; she will also be the recipient:
Trash PickupI did my trash walk in the daylight today, which was nice, but it was wet and everything was soggy, especially the two pizza boxes that aren’t pictured because I chucked them in a nearby dumpster:

Today’s Challenges

As of the writing of this blog, I have not completed Day 4 of my abs challenge, and I’m not planning to. Between three days of focused core work and two days in a row of dance class, my body is angry at me about everything, including sitting and breathing. (Now that I write this, I suppose this might have contributed to my general feeling of malaise and exhaustion today.) I’ll resume tomorrow, but the jury’s out on whether I will tack another day onto the end (consider this a rest day) or just call it an unchecked box. I can make that decision tomorrow.

As my second “Great British Baking Show/Bake-Off” challenge, I made a hot water crust meat pie based on a Martha Stewart recipe (which is both comical and irritating, for unrelated reasons, but which turned out a pretty good pie):

I modified her pie to add some vegetables, which is probably why it ended up with a soggy bottom (too much liquid from the veg). But the top crust is perfect and it went great with the gravy that Guy made (we did not make the aspic from Martha’s nonsense recipe.) It took, of course, twice as long as it was supposed to, so I had to pass off the final couple of steps to Guy, who executed them like a champ while I was at dance class. Overall, it was easy enough that I know I’ll make a hot water crust pie again; compared with the croissants, it was downright simple.

Day 2 of dance class this week was as much of a challenge as the rest of the day, albeit a more emotionally rewarding one. I did a lot of stretching to try to ease the pains in my body, which was luxurious. Half the class was absent, so it was an intimate group, which can be tough sometimes, but tonight it gave us a ton of room to play, and more time to spend connecting with ourselves and each other. After all that bliss, I drove a classmate home and we sat in her driveway and chatted for 20 minutes before I reluctantly came home to what proved to be a delicious dinner.

I still have a big smile on my face, even if I didn’t do 100% of everything else I wanted to do. That’s okay today. That’s life.


  1. Beth says:

    Poem today is excellent. Very evocative.

    And your meat pie looks beautiful! Love the decoration 🙂

    1. Keep Right says:

      Thank you! I am still swooning about the poem myself. For the pie, can you believe I’ve never used those music note cutters before? I bought them like a year ago at the kitchen store in Ballard that burned down the other day, just because I wanted them. It was a treat to have a reason to use them!

  2. Ladafi says:

    I love your pie crust! SO adorable. I don’t even know how you do that (we’ve also discussed how I know very little about baking).

    Thanks so much for picking me!! It’s my birthday today so it was exciting to see that I’ll be getting a present. 🙂 And your postcard poem today was lovely.

    1. Keep Right says:

      Oh yeah, happy birthday! That’s perfect! I’m not great about getting them to the mailbox, so it hasn’t been sent yet, but it will be tomorrow! (PS today’s poem is for you, too, you Divine human ♥!

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