Oh, where to start? Where to start so you won't all think they removed my brain during my surgery...so that you can understand the depth to which I really MEAN what I am saying in this post. It won't matter, you may not understand and simply call me a freak of nature or a gross exaggerator. I waited a day before posting this so as to come down off my high and really test the degree of my happiness, my exuberance, my joy, my relief, my over-the-top-holy-shit-was-that-really-THAT-good-ness....and of course, my sanity. Even if no one "gets it" and I remain alone on this topic, it doesn't matter. It was like my very own 28-year old Christmas morning...
Yesterday I graduated to a "soft" foods diet. Things like low fat ricotta, pureed veggies, tuna, cottage cheese, V8 and light condiments. I won't bore you with the list of "acceptable" foods. What I can tell you, however, is that I woke up yesterday feeling like Santa could crap on my porch and I would still welcome him in to eat cookies! I ran (yeah, ok...walked) down to the kitchen, yanked a pan out of the cupboard (or Evan did because he won't let me lift anything) and proceeded to light that gas stove! Now, the tricky part of the soft food stage is that you have NO idea A) IF you can tolerate the food you are about to try and B) IF you still even like that food because taste buds have been known to change after surgery (add it to the list of things they forget to tell you). So as my one scrambled egg is cooking all lonesome in its pan (you have to try only one food at a time so that if you do get sick, you certainly know which one it is and to avoid it in the future), I am praying like a nun on speed that I will not throw up and will still love eggs. As I serve the egg into a tiny dish that is meant to hold my condiments, I continue to hope.
So, I sit down and I put the first teaspoon (literally the teaspoon I measure with) in my mouth and chew 20 times...swallow...and grin the biggest grin I can remember grinning since the first season of Prison Break (fictional hot cons without their shirts, need I say more?). Evan, if you are reading this, I grinned like this the day we got married too, don't fret! :o) Needless to say it was like skipping over top marshmallow clouds in heaven (ok that was a bit of an exaggeration). So seldom do we, as a culture, sit down, take a bite of a single food, chew and really taste it, wait a whole five minutes and then take another bite of that same food. It sounds incredibly boring but my appreciation skyrocketed for something as little and simple as one egg (which I couldn't finish, by the way) or 1/2 can of tuna (dinner) with only 1 tablespoon of light mayo. I stopped both times around 6 teaspoons because I was honestly full and it took me 30 minutes to eat both meals. I find it amazing that our brains and our stomachs don't communicate better on a daily basis. My body was telling me that I was full and my brain asked "Why aren't you finishing the entire can of tuna...and on crackers at least?!" to which I replied "Because I don't NEED it."
We have two very simple words that I think we confuse on a daily basis...WANT...and NEED. There are many things I WANT but very few things I actually NEED. We all do this and I am certainly guilty of it, but I think it is understanding the difference between these two words that is getting me through this on a daily basis. I now understand that when we say things like: "I really need a coffee" or a cigarette, cheeseburger, huge glass of wine, quick lay, day off, man, woman, new purse...the list can go on and on...what we are really saying is that we WANT those things and by saying we need them we are justifying some of our really bad habits. Now, of course, everything is moderation is OK and overall not harmful. But we tend to be an "I NEED" society when all we really NEED in life is a place to call home, friends and family that care about us, a decent income, food and water to survive and clothes to keep us warm. I am generally the last one to preach about anything, but this holiday season let me in on the really simple joys in my life and I hope that in the new year, you all still see those everyday pleasures, the little things that make you grin like the fool that I was yesterday (and still this morning when I added a Tb of salsa to my egg), the little things you do that make others around you so happy and blessed to have you in their lives and the courage to fight for what you want AND need. Sometimes, as is finally my belief about the difficult choice I made, they can be the same thing. Happy New Year everyone!