Great expectations

The longer the days stretch on, the more it seems to me that humans have innumerable expectations.

Currently, I can think of no less than eight that are front of mind for me personally. I’m sure if you did a quick count, you’d find a few at the ready, with others lurking not far behind. If you really reach, I’ll bet you might even be surprised at how many more you’ll dig up with a bit of brutal private honesty.

My latest and most pressing expectation is on the copious dietary alternatives looming large in my cupboard right now. There’s a lot riding on all those little wheat-and-dairy-free additives and main ingredients I’ve recently bought. Coconut milk powder, chick pea flour, spelt… it’s all there waiting to be experimented with. Steve just sacrificed the one work-free day he gets a week to help me get some clarity. My pantry is now orderly – some may say obsessively – stacked with ALL the alternative flours. So far, my bread and pizza dough experiments have been intermittently hit and (often) miss.

By early evening at the moment, I begin to fret over the sheer volume of culinary possibilities (many/most of them not even relying on any sort of flour or wheat alternative). And I get my family’s meal sorted but then fall into some sort of cooking fatigue and just whip up a curry or a salad for myself, or have leftovers of…. curry or salad. Nothing wrong with that. But if you have anything endless days in a row it begins to get tedious.

So with the initial burst of wellness and feeling lighter now out of the way and the “new norm”, I am beginning to settle in to life on the other side of my dairy and wheat/gluten intolerance. And already, just three weeks in, if I cave and have a piece of chocolate or (as happened the other day) think to myself that the skinny milk in that latté is “almost as okay as having soy milk”, I am paying sorely for it. Literally.

That doctor who diagnosed this over thirty years ago was right…. whoopsies. I’ve finally stopped making excuses for “just having a little bit” and tricking myself it hasn’t mattered all this time. This side of my 40th – it’s close enough to get me thinking about how and where I want to be with my life and health by the time it comes – I know that it simply isn’t fair to indulge my tastebuds now and get my gut to cope later. Let’s just say, the old “that’s Tomorrow Gut’s problem” is no longer the responsible self-talk I am engaging in.

But still I find myself even more expectant for results from these already health-saving alternatives. I want to shed kilo’s. I want to be fitter, have a clearer complexion. COME ON, RICE FLOUR, DAMN YOU!!! I wonder if a gluten and dairy free diet will make me lodge my quarterly business tax returns on time. Remains to be seen…

While all this change is taking place in my body and my pantry this Spring, my mind is also going through a stage of cleaning out a range of old expectations. Mostly, these are outmoded ways of thinking on certain situations that I have long harped on. Counted on. Hedged my bets on. Expected.

But no more. I am about to walk away from a few relationships that, to me, were once flourishing grounds in which I imagined myself walking to the end of my days. I had no reason to believe the death of these connections lay just around the corner. But the Universe, yet again, has had other plans. Turns out my great expectations had some not so great outcomes. The roots of these previously well-tended gardens actually died a long time ago. Here I was, thinking that all the manure was okay… Healthy, when all was said and done, as long as a person comes away feeling loved for the time you’ve spent with them. Doesn’t matter if you’re not being truly honest with yourself (and them, in turn) about how you really feel. After all, nobody really gets harmed if they’re fed bs. Do they?? Isn’t it good for growth? On the surface, the foliage of these relationships appeared fine for quite a while. But slowly, the mutually nurturing aspects were sapped away. The reasons were varied but the result was ultimately the same: no matter how pretty the plant, if the ground it’s in is not cared for, then it cannot possibly survive.

Although there is still this quarter to go, I can feel 2013 – a short but sharp and hard year – slipping away in the rear view mirror. I had no expectations for this year. After all, it began completely up in the air.

Already, I am tending my patch of Earth for 2014. I wonder what it holds in store for me? I wonder how my garden will fare. What is clear is that by the time it begins, I will have removed a number of dated expectations, freeing both myself and others.

Now to just perfect that pizza dough and I’ll be set.


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