On true love and diets

My baby sister is in the throes of a new relationship. Seeing the way her eyes shine whenever she says his name, I can’t help but remember how I felt when I was about her age, getting to know someone special and exciting. I remember the uncontrollable smile spreading over my face, the butterflies in my stomach. But then, as the weeks went by, I also felt, rather strangely, a twinge of sadness. First time to hold hands, first tentative kiss—it’s a time of thrilling firsts that, unfortunately, will never come again. Love flares, then it changes, mellows out, and only time will tell if it’s the real thing, the kind that lasts forever.

Lots of people nowadays, I’m told, want true love as much as ever, but don’t really believe that it exists. I think maybe it’s because we’re reading all the wrong love stories. You know, the ones in which the characters are beautiful and young. They have their whole lives before them, and every day is a romance.

In real life, we get to find out if it’s true love at the end of the story, not at the beginning. That’s why in real love stories, the characters are usually old—or at least, no longer young. They have a weatherbeaten look about them, because they’ve been through a few storms. But, like this couple I read about this week, they stuck together till the end.

I think we need to tell each other a lot more stories like this.

***

I’ve also been thinking about something else that’s rather more prosaic: diets.

A friend of mine who runs the kitchen at a conference centre gave me some of her expert tips on how to come up with healthy, affordable and interesting menus. So I’ve been trying it out, and I’ve found that a little time invested every week, going through recipes and making lists, really makes a difference. Now Mom and I know exactly what and how much to buy before even setting foot in a grocery store. And we’ve had some delicious, healthy meals, making the most of what’s in season.

I found some great printable templates here. There’s a variety of formats so you can choose what works best for you. I like this one from A Feathered Nest, which combines a weekly menu plan with a shopping list on just one sheet that you can take  to the grocery store with you.

***

Another interesting article I read this week talks about media diets. What is your media diet? asks Publishing Perspectives. Hmmm. Never thought about it before. But you know how you start by looking at your diet when you want to start eating healthier? Scrutinizing your media diet could also have the same kind of benefit.

So here’s mine.

During the week I get the news and other items of interest by scanning my Twitter and Facebook feeds for updates from the National Post, Real Simple magazine, Mental Floss, and a few other publications and personalities. I’ve also started to regularly check out the “This Day in History” section of history.com.

I watch the occasional Ted Talk or documentary on the internet, but I rarely watch the news on TV and I never listen to the radio.

I subscribe to the print edition of the National Post weekend paper, which I read cover-to-cover on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. I also subscribe to the print edition of the National Geographic and Verily Magazine, which I keep in various handy places around the house so I can pick them up and read an article or two whenever I have a few minutes to spare. I also subscribe to the digital edition of Creative Nonfiction, but I’m finding that I don’t get nearly as much pleasure from it as from my printed magazines. So I’ve taken to buying up their printed back issues when they go on sale.

And yes, Publishing Perspectives, I still do end my day with a book. Actually I always have at least three books going: one for fun, one for educational or research purposes, and a spiritual one.

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit it: when it comes to media—especially printed media—I’m a bit of a glutton. But at least you don’t get fat from intellectual calories.

***

Last but not least—I found a writing buddy! We’ve agreed to work together, not to critique each other’s work, but to keep each other on top of our writing goals. I’ve never been accountable for my writing to anybody except my editors, so this should be an interesting endeavour, and hopefully a fruitful one as well, for both of us.

It’s one of my goals to post something new here at least once a week. So thanks for reading, and stay tuned.

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