Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Past Deadline: Things That Went Away

Sleep went away. Then it came back a little. Then it went away again.

What? Sorry...sleep-deprived columnist over here.

I thought I’d try to assemble a reasonably cohesive column based on a few “things that went away.” You can judge my success – hopefully “readers” won’t be added to the list.

Calls from a Utah fax machine rank first on the list of things I at least thought went away. Regular readers may remember we had trouble in September with an organization that insisted upon trying to send a fax to our home telephone in the middle of the night – usually twice a night.

This is as awesome as it sounds. You know that heart-pounding telephone ring in the night? The one you assume will probably come with bad news? That’s what we dealt with a few times (only with a fax squeal instead of the Voice of Doom) before we turned off the ringer.

The calls went on every night for many nights. We worked to block the numbers (it was an auto dialler, so many numbers) and we registered on the do-not-call list. It stopped.

Until this weekend.

On the same night my kids woke me up not once, not twice, but thrice, Utah decided to throw in a couple of fax attempts, too.

[Insert many many bad words here.]

Needless to say I did not attempt to perform surgery or operate heavy equipment on the weekend.

I’ll be busily following up on this little annoyance – again – because I have all the time in the world to be dealing with auto diallers in Utah.

This is just the sort of distraction that is, um, preventing me from running. Yes, that’s another thing that has gone away. Although running was darned good for clearing my head, certain parts of my body didn’t enjoy it as much. At first I felt guilty about this loss of momentum, but then something happened to change that.

See, we’re making do with one car in our family, which means I spend a lot of time commuting around town on foot while Groom-boy has the auto at work all day. Although the days when I have to plow through snowbanks and against nasty north winds are a bit, well, chilly, for the most part I am not minding the experience one bit. Fortunately I have excellent support systems for when wheels are unavoidable (parents and in-laws).

Anyway, with all this walking I managed to shed six pounds in the fall. I felt great! This was a good thing to have go away. Muscle tone going away? Not so good.

These days I rarely run (read: never), at least not in an organized, meaningful way that involves any sort of distance. Endurance? Something else that went away. In fact, if I want to keep any promises about “doing the Kilt Run next time,” then I’ll be starting pretty much from scratch. I’ll let you know how that all turns out.

Not surprisingly, something else that went away is that weight-loss achievement. At first I blamed Christmas, but I extend that to a broader culprit. Yes, I blame another thing that went away: my willpower to stop snacking at night.


In the summer I wrote about a remarkable discovery. I realized that if I ate less, I wouldn’t starve to death. In fact, I went so far as to substantially reduce snacking in the evening and – get this – I was okay! I felt good! Oh – and by not eating until I was stuffed, I actually felt pleasantly satiated after a meal.

Remarkable. Truly astonishing. (Duh.)

Anyway, let’s just say there has been a bit of a blip since Christmas. In fact, the new room I discovered in my waistband? Well, that’s another thing that went away. Something that hasn’t gone away is the munchies.

So. Yes. We have some work to do over here. We need to shut down Utah fax machines in order to get some sleep; we must either get back to running or leave town on the weekend of the Kilt Run; and we should rediscover comfortable waistbands by staying out of the kitchen cupboard.

And once all that is achieved, world peace can’t be far behind.
Published in The Perth Courier, Feb. 17/11

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