Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Balance in 2021: May

Does anyone else feel like the days are going by faster even as they get longer? I can't believe it's already the last week of May; Rainbow only has two weeks of fifth grade left, which is completely bonkers to me. But the end of the month means it's time to look back on my One Little Word for the year as well as progress on my 21 in 2021 list. Thanks as always to Carolyn for hosting us for this monthly check-in.

Balance this past month has been in part about balancing work and life, but I've also been thinking a lot lately about Balance in terms of my diet. Many of you have been along for the ride with me these past few years as I've made some pretty significant changes in my diet and lifestyle to lose weight and get healthier. The pandemic has been really good for getting in regular exercise. Lately I've been walking an average of 4.8 miles a day, and I'm a pretty good step streak -- I've hit at least 10K steps every day since September 29, 2020. I do my strength exercises (a 2-minute plank, deep knee bends, crunches, and push-ups) almost every day. And for the most part, my diet has been pretty good. My approach has been one of moderation, so not totally denying myself entire categories or particular foods but rather trying to eat mostly food that is good for me in a traditional sense: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins. Most days I have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and an Israeli salad (chopped cucumber, tomato, and bell pepper) for lunch. Where I get in trouble is that I have a sweet tooth, and often when I've been "good" during the day, I perhaps overindulge a bit with dessert after dinner. I suspect some of it is related to stress from work, but I'm also trying to be more mindful of it. A little bit of chocolate isn't necessarily a bad thing, and I know that restricting myself entirely would be a very bad idea, so it's really a matter of being more mindful of what I'm consuming and how much.

As to my 21 in 2021 list, it's been a less productive month than previously, but I think a large part of that has to do with the fact that I've already crossed several items off the list. Let's take a look at where things stand:

  1. Bake challah for shabbat DONE
  2. Run a 5K straight
  3. Learn a new knitting technique
  4. Sew a project bag DONE
  5. Knit a sweater out of handspun DONE
  6. Spin for a sweater - in progress
  7. Read a book outside my comfort zone DONE
  8. Try making pastry
  9. Knit or crochet a toy DONE
  10. Design a crochet pattern
  11. Read a biography/autobiography DONE
  12. Spin the oldest fiber in my stash DONE
  13. Knit five items for charity DONE
  14. Finish my WIPs from 2020 DONE
  15. Knit a sweater for Rainbow DONE
  16. Knit socks for my brother - in progress
  17. Read a book of poetry DONE
  18. Read a book by a Native American/Indigenous author
  19. Try three new meatless recipes DONE
  20. Go for at least three bike rides
  21. Read a book Rainbow reads for school DONE
I don't know that I've crossed any new items off the list this month, but I have started two of them (spinning for a sweater and knitting socks for my brother). I also have plans to read two books by Native American/Indigenous authors this summer, and now that the weather is heating up and Rainbow is almost out of school, I expect we'll resume family bike rides. I am getting a little nervous about item number 2. I have not started running yet this year, and that's something I typically do in April to get ready for the two 5Ks we usually do in September and October. I stopped running in the fall because I was having terrible hip pain, and I've been nervous to try to run again because of it. I have become a really excellent walker, so it's not an issue about not getting the exercise if I can't run, but if it's still painful, I'm going to have to come up with a new item for that one. I guess the only way to know if I need to do that is to give it a try and see how the old hip feels! I'll keep you posted. 


  1. That's a lot of really great progress! You're totally kicking butt over there.

  2. You've made great progress on your list, Sarah, but I think it's important to remember it was just a list you were thinking about . . . back in January. Sometimes life and circumstances change. Like . . . who knew you'd have hip pain that would sideline your running back when you made up the list??? I say it's a wise and (ahem) balanced person who can be flexible about evaluating their goals. I think you could substitute some new item for #2; something you would never have considered way back in January! XO

  3. Way to go, Sarah! Your efforts to balance your diet have paid off, and I'm sure moderation will serve you well. It's hard for me to think about the pandemic having some good effects, but your ability to work from home and get regular exercise are two really big positives. Like Kym said, it's a wise person that re-thinks and makes adjustments as necessary, so if you have to revise or replace #2, that is just a solid balanced decision!

  4. Sending good hip juju your way, Sarah!
    Something that stands out to me is how much you've done on your list to date--and how your YEAR balances out, even when the days/weeks don't feel balanced some months. (Hope that made sense. The big picture balancing...)
    And spring is such a beautiful time for family bike rides! Enjoy!

  5. I am sending good hip juju your way also, Sarah. I love your list and how much you've accomplished thus far! (and personally, I think chocolate is a necessary food group!)

  6. Awesome progress, Sarah! I hope you can get back to running ... and if not, I'm sure you'll find something equally challenging (and hopefully as rewarding) as training for a race! Is Braiding Sweetgrass for #18?

  7. Good for you for maintaining that 10,000 step streak. That is amazing! I have never heard of an Israeli salad before, but now I want to try it. Once you become comfortable with #8, you will never go back to store bought. Homemade pastry is cheaper, more delicious, and not very difficult once you get the hang of it. You must be willing to not expect it to look perfect.

  8. That step streak is incredible, Sarah. I am in awe! Plenty of water and walking is the secret to good health, I've heard, and you're devoted to both of those. I know I've said it before, but the combination of balance and your 21 in 2021 list works so well together. What a way to stay on track!

    I also love that you've taken the opportunity to cultivate good habits during the pandemic (walking daily). I hope it's something you can continue! And you've inspired me to find more walking time throughout my day, so thank you.

  9. I am so, so impressed by your exercising and your stamina in this (and also, your self-control!) I converted that to km, and it's over 7km per day? That is super impressive, wow! I'm sure that you can totally finish that list by the end of the year, and I do hope that you're proud of yourself, because I sure am!