Sunday, January 31, 2021

Lots of Cleaning...

Since I'm not working right now, I'm spending my days trying to really clean my house. This is turning out to be a huge chore, way bigger than I expected, but I feel like I should be doing something productive since I'm not punching a clock. Turns out my house is a level of deeply dirty that's got me running non-stop trying to scrub it down. On the surface, it doesn't seem that dirty, but everywhere I look there's something I've been neglecting for the last few years. And, let's be honest, living with animals can be gross.

Doing all this cleaning, it's really hit home how lonely things can be without animals. In the 21 years we've been together, we've had four furbabies--Chummer (1999-2005), Galileo (2004-2019), Anakin (2005-2021), and Chewbacca (2011-2020). Our last furbaby, a 15 1/2 year old Shih-tzu, Ani, crossed the rainbow bridge two weeks ago. So, it's just us now and I think I have a little bit of empty nest syndrome. Do you think it's possible to have empty nest syndrome over animals? Heh, yeah. Animals can't talk to you, but their presence really fills up a space and you have to care for them each day. And, those beasts were my babies.

It's going to be a long time before everything is actually completely clean and until our house feels whole again. Since my husband will be off for a week, I won't have a ton of time to clean during that time, so I'm trying to get as much done as I can while he's working. It helps me to be less lonely when I'm busy, even if it's just around the house. Hilariously, the hubs doesn't even really notice (or care) if the house is clean. But, I want him to have a clean place to live and, honestly, I want to pull my weight while I'm not bringing in income. Wish me luck getting it all clean... I'm going to need it.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

RIP Ani

On January 14th we sent our sweet baby, Anakin, over the rainbow bridge to be with his brothers. We've never had to put an animal down before and it was the hardest thing we've ever had to do. He was always an ornery little guy, but was so sweet, too. In his last years he developed cognitive impairment and went blind. At the end of his life, he struggled with pain. We knew it was time to let him go, however much that hurt us.

Five months to the day after losing Chewbi, we let Ani go. He was 15 1/2 years old. We miss you and love you, little guy, rest well. ♥

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

One Year Veganniversary!!

We've been vegan for one year! Our vegan anniversary was some time in late December; I wish I'd tracked the exact day. The most amazing part is that this is the first time we've succeeded making a substantial change to our eating habits and improve our health. Best of all, it's become almost effortless on a day-to-day basis. To celebrate our milestone and because it's Veganuary, I wanted to share some things I wish I'd known when we started down this road in December 2019.
  1. It's not as hard as you think it will be. We always hear "Wow, I could never do that." Heck, I used to say I could never do it. I once had a supervisor who was vegan and I was absolutely amazed by her. Now, I get it. While making any life change isn't easy, it's not nearly as difficult as you think it will be. You will learn, grow, and it will get easier.
  2. You don't have to eat anything weird, unless you want to. This is a big one. My immediate response to many of the recipes on Pinterest was "oh, hell no." I wasn't interested in eating chickpeas and kale. I didn't want to make lentil meatloaf, seitan, or eat tofu. The good news is, it's absolutely possible to make many of the foods you already eat vegan.
  3. Try something new, you might like it. I know I just said you don't have to eat anything weird, but the time will come when you're going to want to try something different or eat some of these "vegan foods." Chickpeas actually taste really good, if you make them correctly. I particularly like the chickpea salad sandwich (faux tuna or egg salad sandwiches). I just got brave enough to make seitan and wish I had sooner. My husband doesn't like mushrooms, but he loved the Portobello mushroom steaks I made for dinner once. Many vegan foods are delicious, once you can get past how different it is from the way you might already be eating. You never know unless you try.
  4. Vegan dairy alternatives are ridiculously good. So many people don't want to go vegan because they can't give up cheese or ice cream. Vegan cheese has come a long way, is so much healthier than dairy cheeses, and tastes good. Vegan ice cream is crazy good! My favorites are So Delicious, Daiya, and Magnum also makes dairy-free ice cream bars.
  5. It's okay if you're not perfect. If you accidently, or even on purpose, eat something that's not vegan it's not the end of the world. But, you may find that your tastes have changed and you don't love it as much as you used to. There've been a couple of times that we accidently ate something that wasn't vegan. We learned and moved on. You can't un-eat it, so don't stress. Being vegan is about intention, not perfection. 
This really is a great time to be vegan because it's ridiculously easy now. Even 10 years ago, being vegan was so much more work than it is now. I love how simple it is to look for a new recipe on Pinterest, the vegan blogs, and how many vegan cookbooks there are with completely practical recipes. And there are so many great vegan foods there are out there now. Almost every single dairy product has a vegan alternative, vegan meat alternatives are mostly delicious, and most pastas are vegan. And, of course, fruits and veggies are always vegan! 

But, the most important take-away is this... THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO BE A VEGAN. There is no one right reason to be a vegan. Whatever your way or reason is, it's the right one. If you're doing it for the animals, amazing! If you're doing it for your health, fantastic!

There are so many people with so many opinions about the right way to be a vegan, the right reasons to be vegan, the right things to eat as a vegan. People will say not to eat meat alternatives and judge those who do, or they will say that eating processed foods is wrong. So, one more time... there is no right way to be a vegan. Tell those judgy people to shut the f*ck up and do your own thing. Your life will be so much happier and being vegan will be so much easier.

Please know this is not in anyway a sponsored post, but I do I believe in what Veganuary is doing. So, please check them out and, if it strikes your fancy, give it a shot this January! 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

I Quit

I left my job of 3 years, this week. While I've generally been happy with that job, something happened this month that made it impossible for me to stay. So, I took the financially unhealthy route in order to save my mental health and dignity. I decided that would rather be broke than disrespected. So, with Matt's support, I quit my job and we lost a good chunk of income. This makes me a burden on my family, rather than a contributor to our success, I know this, but there are things I cannot choose to ignore. Even if it means finding a part-time or lower paying job, or figuring out how to venture out on my own, I simply could not stay.

I feel like I need to write this down, for the sake of my sanity, because I have lost nights sleep and so many tears over this choice. I'm choosing to leave the name of the company out, because I still believe that they are generally a good company and a good place to work, depending on your position. And because the best leader I have ever had in my adult life, was a leader I had at this company.