Sunday, May 22, 2016

Accountability: in Food, in Poems, in Life

While I have several wonderful tea pots, I don't usually use them for more than decoration.  I'm usually at the office, and I make a cup of tea the way I once did:  a tea bag, a well-used mug, with the electric kettle that I got in my undergrad student days to boil the water.

On my 10 day shred, I'm only supposed to have one drink with caffeine a day.  That's been coffee during the past 7 days.  Then I switch to tea.  When I'm home for a longer morning, it's several cups of tea.

This morning, I realized that I would run out of tea if I went tea bag by tea bag.  I decided to use a teapot with a family size decaf tea bag and my herbal peppermint tea bag:

It was great.  Now, it's not the way my tea enthusiast friend would serve it:

But it felt more beautiful nonetheless.

There are many benefits to this 10 day shred, but the one that I didn't expect was that I would find creative ways to solve small issues.  Yesterday I started thinking about all the ways I could create a treat of some sort, a dessert perhaps that didn't use flour or white sugar.  Then I thought, just have some of those cashews you stashed away.  And that's what I did.

I've also been feeling a stronger sense of accountability, and not just for what I'm eating.  This morning, I wrote a poem, based on these line from this poem by Luisa A. Igloria:  " . . . But as always the taxicab / of history picks up its passengers, takes them where / they think they want to go; then leaves them there."

The taxicab of history!  I had fun with that idea:   who takes which vehicle of history.  I'll polish it a bit and send it to the Via Negativa website.  I love seeing how our poems influence each other.

And then, my voice of accountability reminded me that although it was great that I wrote the one poem, I had made a vow to write 2 poems a week.  And so I wrote the second one, the one that's been percolating about Jesus going to the dentist.

This blog helps that voice of accountability stay vibrant.  I remember my goals that I recorded as the year started, and I know that at the end of the year, I'll see how I did.  In some senses, I've always used writing to help with accountability:  I keep a written record, one to which I can return, so that I know how I'm doing.  But blogging, with its public aspect, is both the same and different.

And of course, it helps to have a community.  I'm sticking to the 10 day shred because others are.  I've read more classic texts this year because my friend is doing it too.  The blog audience, slender as it might be, serves as a community too.

I wonder what other techniques from the psychology of behavior modification I might should be using.


Sarah Melvey said...

Kristin - I met you recently at the St. Stephen Women's Retreat (thank you for awesome discussion sessions, by the way!). I just had to comment...I have the SAME celadon teapot with handpainted koi. Would you believe I bought mine at a junk shop in Yokosuka, Japan...complete with a set of teacups? So neat!

Kristin said...

The whole retreat was so wonderful--hard to believe it's been a month! Thanks for commenting--amazing that we have the same tea pot!