Mid-Winter Observations

I had a dentist appointment last night. I knew it was coming, but I had been having a hard time reconciling the fact that it had been six months since my last cleaning. Where did that time go?

Things are very different now than they were in August when I sat down in my hygienist’s chair. I was just entering into a stressful period at work that lasted a bit longer than usual (it usually doesn’t start in summer, I’ll give you that much). A group of us had joined a weight loss challenge (that I ultimately wound up failing at… so beginning my latest fall off of that particular wagon). I was still writing much more frequently about veganism as it would be a few months before my tenure at Your Daily Vegan ended.

Last week, three of our nation’s groundhogs allegedly told their human oppressors that we would have an early Spring. I’m not going to talk about how we should leave those groundhogs alone and how even feeling that way, I still love the movie Groundhog Day (perhaps I’ll save that rant for next year), but I am ready to talk about how glad I am that winter is closer to its end than to its beginning. Perhaps on the calendar, we’re still right in the middle of this season. But I can feel Spring coming, even as this week brings a few flakes to my area. I am ready for Spring. For long walks at the park.

Ah, yes, that would be the wagon I mentioned falling off of. I’m trying to get back on. I walked close to 10,000 steps yesterday for the first time in a long time. I started reading up on Fitbit’s new Alta bracelet, even as I stared at the first generation Microsoft Band on my wrist, which I’ve already replaced once due to wear and have never felt an affinity towards as I have to prior Fitbit devices. (Hey, Fitbit, send me an Alta for review. Seriously.) I started logging my food on My Fitness Pal, though I haven’t started watching my calories quite yet. Baby steps. Close to 10,000 each day. And hopefully some healthy habits re-learned in time for my annual physical in April.

I’ve been deleting my Google alerts each morning for “vegan” and “veganism” – not because I don’t care about what’s going on in the vegan world, but because I choose not to get angry and cynical about it at the moment. Did I roll my eyes when I heard Hellmann’s is coming out with a vegan mayo? Yes, but only because they tried to sue Hampton Creek last year, couldn’t win, and decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” So that means more vegan mayonnaise on my supermarket shelf. Great. Ben & Jerry’s has four new vegan ice cream flavors (Hey, Ben & Jerry’s, my chocolate-allergic friend would like some chocolate-free flavors to try!), and Hampton Creek is coming out with something like forty new plant-based products. Vegan food continues to become more accessible in more places, and that’s a gateway to a bunch more people moving towards a more compassionate life, right?

Compassion. It’s something I continue to strive towards, for myself as much as (if not more than) others. Practice makes… not perfect. But better.

Better days are ahead.

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